While the goals of attorneys and their clients are supposed to be aligned, often they are not, or at least not completely. I've been thinking about what this means in the field of estate planning and how we can better serve our clients.To lay the groundwork, here are the premises I'm working with:
long-term care planning,
In the recent case of Bobrow v. Commissioner, the U.S. Tax Court overturned a longstanding IRA rule permitting taxpayers to "roll over" multiple IRAs in a single year. The IRS had interpreted a limitation on one roll over a year to apply separately to each IRA a taxpayer may own. So the taxpayer could roll over IRA A in February, IRA B in May and IRA C in October.
Bobrow v. Commissioner
In the case of Boudreau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Mass. App. No. 13-P-1337, July 25, 2014), the Massachusetts Court of Appeals dismisses a complaint for judicial review because it was filed by the appellant's attorney rather than his conservator.
Matthew J. Dupuy,
Boudreau v. Medicaid
In a recent decision, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts, in Walker v. Collyer, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 311 (2014), holds that physician Charles Walker cannot be compelled to arbitrate a medical malpractice claim despite an arbitration agreement signed by the senior health care facility at which he treated patients. He had not signed the agreement.
nursing home arbitration agreements,
In general under the 2005 Bankruptcy Code, IRAs and other retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and SEP plans, are protected in the event of bankruptcy by the owner -- one more reason to fund your retirement plan with as much as possible. But what about an inherited IRA? The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided in Clark v. Rameker that they do not enjoy any bankruptcy protection.
Increasingly, federal and state governments are providing assistance to family members caring for seniors. Some of these programs involve direct payment through Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts), such as for personal care attendants or adult foster care. (Click here to learn more about these programs.)
dependent care tax credit,
medical expense tax deduction
As you no doubt know, your will governs who will receive your probate property when you pass away. Probate property essentially means property in your name alone as opposed to property you own with someone in joint names, property in trust, or property with a named beneficiary, such as a retirement plan.
I'm often asked whether MassHealth "will take my house" or other assets. A recent posting on ElderLawAnswers.com, where I answers questions from consumers, reads in part:
pooled disability trusts,
protecting the home,
MassHealth estate recovery
The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has published a book describing her parents' last years as they fell into disability and dementia in their 90s. A difficult couple to have as parents, taking care of them through their denial and her conflicting emotions of obligation, guilt and resentment also induced great conflict and anxiety.
Can't We Talk About Something Pleasant?
By Harry S. Margolis