Medicaid and Long-Term Care: An Overview

When you are planning for retirement, you probably envision the good times that await you. If you plan ahead diligently, you can go forward with the financial underpinning that you need to enjoy your retirement years to the fullest. These are the golden years, but the twilight years will follow. A very significant percentage of people ultimately require assistance with their activities of daily living. In fact, 70 percent of people who are reaching the age of 65 will someday need living assistance according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Medicare Limitations Your first thought may be that Medicare will pay for long-term care when and if you need it. You will qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65 if you have paid into the program sufficiently. That s the good news. Here s the bad news: Medicare will not pay for long-term care. The program will pay for up to 100 days of convalescent care, but it does not cover custodial care. Cost of Care It is

Three Trusts That Can Reduce Your Estate Tax Burden

People who have been able to accumulate significant wealth are undoubtedly aware of the potential imposition of estate taxes. On the federal level, the estate tax carries a 40 percent top rate, and this is a very big slice. The existence of this tax is especially disturbing to many people, because they see it as an instance of double taxation. After all, your estate is comprised of assets that you have left after you paid taxes all of your life. Why should a legacy that you are leaving to your loved ones be hammered down by 40 percent after you already paid so many taxes? This question is a good one, and there have been legislative efforts to eliminate the estate tax. However, it is a fact of life at the present time. On the federal level, the exclusion is $5.45 million. The portion of your estate that exceeds this amount is subject to the estate tax. The gift tax prevents you from giving gifts while you are living to avoid the death tax. The $5.45 million exclusion encompasses gifts

Inheritance Planning 101

The process of inheritance planning involves the execution of various different legally binding documents. There are basic estate plans, and more complex estate plans. First we will look at the anatomy of the basic estate plan, and then we will take a glance at some of the more complex inheritance planning techniques. The Last Will or Last Will & Testament A very common inheritance planning device is the last will or last will and testament. Just about everyone has heard of this document. It is used to record your final wishes regarding how you want your financial assets distributed among your heirs after you die. There are a couple of other things to consider if you are using a last will to arrange for the transfer of your assets. Someone has to actually conduct the business of the estate after you pass away. This individual is called the executor or personal representative. It should be noted that a female estate administrator is sometimes called an executrix. When you are planning

Why Do You Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

People sometimes tend to underestimate the things that professionals do. We have all heard stories about do-it-yourself advocates who made things worse by biting off more than they could chew. They made rookie mistakes, and they turned relatively simple jobs into more complicated and costly situations that were ultimately handled by qualified people. This is a lesson that you should apply when you are considering the subject of estate planning. It can seem as though the creation of documents is a relatively simple endeavor. After all, there are websites on the Internet that sell worksheets and downloads that you can use to fill in the blanks on generic legal documents. Do you really need an estate planning lawyer to plan your estate? In fairness, there is no legal requirement that mandates the involvement of a licensed, practicing attorney. At the same time, there is no legal obstacle in the way if you want to give yourself a root canal, but that would probably not be a very good idea

Hartford Courant Looks at Connecticut Probate Court Fees

The process of probate is something that you should fully understand when you are engaged in your inheritance planning efforts. This process can enter the picture when assets are changing hands after someone dies. The probate court steps in to provide supervision when certain circumstances exist. For example, when someone passes away without any estate planning documents at all, the condition of intestacy is the result. Someone has to handle the business of the estate, so the probate court is responsible for intestacy case. A personal representative would be appointed by the court, and this individual would become the estate administrator. Final debts would be paid, and remaining assets would be distributed according to the intestacy succession rules of the state of Connecticut. If you were to maintain direct personal possession of your property throughout your life and direct its  distribution through the terms of a will, you can nominate an executor in the document. After your pass

Demystifying Nursing Homes

Long-term care is a matter that elder law attorneys frequently counsel clients about. There are people who are looking ahead toward their own future in a practical manner, and they want to be prepared. Of course, we also speak with adult children who are concerned about their parents. First, we should point out the fact that it is not a good idea to assume that most elders will be able to take care of their day-to-day needs on their own throughout their lives. If you want to get a feel for the long-term care situation, you should certainly visit the government website This site is maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and you can educate yourself if you take some time to explore this very useful website. According to the site, the majority of people who attain senior citizen status will someday need help with their activities of daily living. The figure that they have come up with is 70 percent, so it is likely that you will require

Estate Taxes: Five Things You Need to Know

There are some misconceptions out there about estate taxes. In this blog post, we will provide you with the five essential facts about death taxes that everyone should understand. Federal Estate Tax We have an estate tax on the federal level that is applicable in all 50 states. There is a certain amount that can be transferred before the estate tax would be applied. This is called the credit, exemption, or exclusion. The exclusion is inflation-adjusted each year. For the rest of 2016, the federal estate tax exclusion stands at $5.45 million. The top rate of the estate tax is 40 percent, so your legacy can be significantly impacted if the estate tax is applied to the taxable portion of your estate. Gift Tax If you have not looked into the subject, you wouldn t worry too much about the estate tax, because you may think that you could just give gifts to your loved ones to avoid the tax. Unfortunately, this is not possible, because there is also a gift tax in place. The exclusion is a uni

Medicaid and Nursing Home Care: A Primer

When you are planning ahead toward your senior years, there are a few important things that you should know about nursing home care. One of them is the simple fact that most people require some form of long-term care eventually, and many of these individuals will ultimately reside in nursing homes. Nursing homes are very expensive, and this is another fact of life that everyone should understand. We practice law in the state of Connecticut. Though nursing home costs are very high across the country, they are particularly high in our state. At the present time, the entity that is conducting the most comprehensive research into the subject is Genworth Financial. According to their survey, the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home in Connecticut is almost $159,000. Since people often require multiple years of care, the numbers can get huge, and prices have been rising. The Genworth survey predicts a three percent per year growth rate over the next five years. The last t

Elder Law Attorneys Are In Demand

Times change, and different eras take on different identities. Right around now, we are experiencing a very interesting phenomenon in the United States. The baby boomer generation is comprised of people who were born between 1946 and 1964. During this postwar interim, an unusual number of babies were born as soldiers returned home. As we sit here in 2016 these people are either at retirement age, or they are approaching retirement age. This is resulting in a rapidly aging population. To put this into perspective, the Social Security Administration is processing around 10,000 applications from newly minted senior citizens every day, and the number is not going to decrease anytime soon. Elder Law Attorneys Legal professionals usually focus on certain specialties. Our firm is dedicated to estate planning and elder law. Elder law attorneys help people prepare for the challenges that they may face toward the end of their lives. Because of the fact that so many people are reaching their sen

What Is Nursing Home Asset Protection?

The concept of asset protection is usually applied to potential lawsuits, but there is another type of asset protection that everyone should be concerned about. It can be hard to envision a time when you will not be able to take care of all of your own day-to-day needs, but the reality is that most senior citizens will eventually need living assistance. The figure is 70 percent according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Most seniors qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65, but Medicare does not pay for long-term care. There are those who can rely on family members and friends for assistance, but a significant percentage of elders ultimately reside in assisted living communities and nursing homes. These facilities are quite expensive, and long-term care costs are especially high here in Connecticut, where we practice law. It can easily cost you well in excess of $100,000 per year to reside in a nursing home, and people often require multiple year