Planning for Life

8 More Ways to Protect Your Home from MassHealth Estate Recovery: Part 2

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 9, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, MassHealth

Will You Need Long-Term Care?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 2, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

It would be a lot easier to plan for retirement and to decide whether to buy long-term care insurance if you knew how likely it is that you will need long-term care, as well as at what age and for how long. Unfortunately, there's no definite answer. On the other hand, some statistics do provide a bit of guidance.

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Topics: long-term care planning

The History of Autism – A Disease, a Disability, or Another Mode of Normalcy?

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on February 1, 2016

By Karen B. Mariscal

We realize it is a little odd to review a book review.  But Steven Shapin’s review of the new autism book, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, published in the January 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, here, is exceptional.  Shapin uses his review to provide a brief survey of the history of autism, and how we have come to understand it, that is the best we have seen.  Shapin explains that a major focus of Donvan and Zucker’s book is on autism in the family and the changing historical role of parents of autistic children.  Here is an excerpt from the review:

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Topics: autism, special needs

Exciting New Proposal to Help With Housing for Elderly and Disabled in Massachusetts

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on January 25, 2016

By Karen B. Mariscal

Given the cost of living in Massachusetts, we need to think creatively about how to make sure the elderly and disabled can afford to stay in their home communities, close to their families.  Encouragingly, a bill has been introduced in the State House to create the Disabled and Elderly Accessory Apartment Loan Program, which would allow a homeowner to take out a low-cost loan from the state to create an accessory apartment of up to two bedrooms, provided a person with a disability or a senior citizen residesin the new unit or in the original part of the home.

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Topics: seniors, housing policy ,, disability

Court Says Irrevocable Trust Countable Due to “Use and Occupancy” Right

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on January 22, 2016

By Sarah Foster

In a concerning new decision, Nadeau v. Thorn, a Superior Court judge finds that MassHealth correctly deemed the property in an irrevocable trust as a countable asset due to the fact that the irrevocable trust contained a right to “use and occupy” any property contained in the trust.

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Topics: trusts, long-term care planning, MassHealth

What's Wrong with LegalZoom and RocketLawyer?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 12, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Nothing. Both LegalZoom and RocketLawyer create great legal forms. They should; they have the resources to hire first-rate lawyers to draft them. But the estate planning (or corporate) document is just one product of any legal representation.

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Topics: Estate Planning

Court Rejects Income-Only Trust Created by MassHealth Applicant

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 5, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

In a poorly-reasoned and somewhat murky decision, a Superior Court judge in Daley v. Sudders (Civil Action No. 15–CV–0188–D.Dec. 24, 2015) extends the Doherty decision to reject the MassHealth application of a man who, with his wife, placed his Worcester condominium into an irrevocable trust for long-term care planning purposes.

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Topics: trusts, long-term care planning, MassHealth

MassHealth Coverage of Long-Term Care Projected to Grow Significantly

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 29, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation reports that MassHealth covers 45% of long-term services and supports (LTSS) in Massachusetts, totaling $4.5 billion in 2015. LTSS include all costs for care of people with disabilities or chronic illness, including home health, assisted living, nursing home and medical equipment expenses. These costs are expected to increase dramatically as the over-65 population grows by almost half over the next two decades.

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Topics: long-term care planning, MassHealth

11 Nursing Homes to Avoid?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 25, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The Boston Globe has reported on a New York father and son who have been buying up nursing homes in Massachusetts and then, apparently, cutting costs to such an extent that patient care has suffered. According to an article, "Owners profited as complaints grew." Larry Lipschutz owned a development in Belleville, New Jersey, Branch Brook Gardens, that he ran into the ground with about 1,400 code violations in a March 2004 inspection. His failure to respond to the violations ultimately led to his criminal conviction and fines.

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Topics: nursing homes

Your Likely Need and Cost of Long-Term Care

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 22, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

What are the chances that you will need long-term care, and what will it cost? These are huge questions in terms of retirement planning. Many older Americans can afford to live on their retirement income and savings as long as they don't have long-term care needs, but risk bankruptcy in the event they do need such care.

A recent Urban Institute study (with the wonky title "Microsimulation Analysis of Financing Options for Long-Term Services and Support") suggests some answers.

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Topics: long-term care planning, growth of elderly population, elder law

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