Planning for Life

The Trump-Ryan Plan for Medicaid Moves Towards Block Grants

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 22, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

10-donald-trump-paul-ryan.w710.h473.jpgWith the release of the House GOP plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the American Health Care Act, we can now begin moving from conjecture to reality, though much still remains uncertain. This article will focus on the proposed changes to Medicaid and how they could affect seniors and people with disabilities.

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Topics: long-term care planning, MassHealth, Medicaid

Managing Stress Can Save a Caregivers Life

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 15, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

Karen's mom.jpgFamily caregivers are under a tremendous amount of stress. It is no surprise that when scientists went looking for a population that would likely record chronic stress throughout their lives, they used mothers of chronically ill children.

Compared to control mothers of healthy children, scientists Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, whose research won the Nobel Prize, found that the mothers who spent years caring for ill children had shorter telomeres (caps to the chromosomes). When telomeres become too short, cells can no longer multiply, which is a very bad thing.

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Topics: Managing Stress, Telomere, Stress, Telomere Effect, Caregivers, Mothers of chronically ill children

Deconstructing Conflict: Understanding Family Business, Shared Wealth and Power

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 13, 2017

Deconstructing Conflict.jpgThere is the old myth of "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" for family owned and operated enterprises. The real truth is most family businesses that fail do so because they don't plan ahead, or they don't handle conflict well.

Blair Trippe, Managing Partner of Continuity Family Business Consulting and co-author of Deconstructing Conflict: Understanding Family Business, Shared Wealth and Power, visited Margolis & Bloom on Monday, March 6th, as part of our monthly First Monday Lunch for Professionals series to discuss understanding and managing conflict in family business situations.

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Reminder: There is No Such Thing as a Medicare "Improvement" Standard

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 8, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

hospital-discharge-protections-medicare-legal-guide.pngFor decades Medicare, skilled nursing facilities and visiting nurse associations have applied the so-called "improvement" standard in determining whether residents were entitled to Medicare coverage of the care. The standard, which can be found nowhere in Medicare law, only permitted coverage if the skilled treatment was deemed to contribute to improving the patient's condition, which can be difficult to achieve for many ill seniors.

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Topics: Medicare, nursing homes

What Happens if Your Lawyer Doesn't Retire?

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 1, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

In a survey that it acknowledges is unscientific, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly asked subscribers "When do you foresee yourself retiring from the practice of law?" More than a third responded that they would work at least part-time "until I literally no longer can." Almost a quarter plan to retire between ages 70 and 80. A quarter will retire between 65 and 70 and the smallest group, 16 percent, plan to retire before age 65.

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Topics: Legal profession

How the Differences between SSI and SSDI Can Impact Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 22, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child: SSI and SSDI

Parents of children with special needs should understand the U.S. government’s two different income support programs: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). These programs both provide cash to disabled people who cannot be gainfully employed, via monthly checks. There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two programs. Although SSI and SSDI both provide supplemental income to disabled people, and have similar names, they are completely different programs.

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Topics: financial planning, special needs, Special Needs Child, SSI, SSDI

Making Sure the Inheritance for Your Special Needs Child Doesn't Disappear

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 15, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

How can you protect the inheritance for your special needs child?  One way is through a supplemental needs trust.  A supplemental needs trust is a special type of trust that both provides management of money for the disabled beneficiary, and maintains the beneficiary’s eligibility for government services. 

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Topics: trusts, asset protection, special needs

Trump Tax Plan May Discourage Charitable Deductions

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 8, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

Several of President Donald Trump's tax plans have been described as threats to the ability of charities to raise money. While I oppose just about everything the new president stands for, there's one tax proposal I can get behind -- limiting total annual itemized deductions to $100,000 per taxpayer ($200,000 per couple).

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Topics: income taxes, estate taxes, tax law

The IEP/BSEA Hearing Process and Pitfalls for Clinicians Working with Special Needs Children

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 6, 2017

FML 3.jpgSpecial Education attorney Heather Gold visited Margolis & Bloom on Monday, February 6th, as part of our monthly First Monday Lunch for Professionals.  Heather represents parents who have children with special needs in connection with the IEP/BSEA (Board of Special Education Appeals) Hearing process.

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Questions & Answers on Protecting the Family Home

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 1, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

I recently conducted a webinar surveying the various techniques clients can take to protect their home from the costs of long-term care. These ranged from standing pat and doing nothing to giving their home to their kids, with life estates, irrevocable trusts and purchasing long-term care insurance as in-between strategies, each with its own pros and cons.

Afterwards, I received a number of follow-up questions. Here are some of them with my answers:

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Topics: MassHealth planning, MassHealth

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