Planning for Life

Harry S. Margolis

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Some Elder Care Forms You Can Use

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 12, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The Internet is not only a source of vital information, but also of useful tools. On her website, Joy Loverde, author of The Complete Eldercare Planner, offers a number of useful forms and checklists for anyone caring for a senior. Among others, these include:

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Topics: health-care decision making, Estate Planning

Support Full Judicial Funding

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 5, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Last week, on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, I gants98x147attended a program for bar leadership at the Supreme Judicial Court. Chaired by Chief Justice Ralph Gants, the presenters made the case for why the courts need full funding in the coming year's state budget.

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Assisted Living Keeps Growing in Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 5, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

I recently heard a presentation by Michael Banville, acting president of the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association (MassALFA), in which he provided information about trends in the assisted living industry in Massachusetts, including the following:

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Topics: assisted living

Using Immediate Annuities in MassHealth Planning for Single Nursing Home Residents

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 28, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Last week, I blogged about how immediate annuities might be used by spouses of nursing home residents to preserve their assets and qualify the nursing home spouse for MassHealth coverage. Immediate annuities are also used by unmarried or widowed nursing home residents, but with less favorable results. In effect, they permit the nursing home resident to pay the MassHealth rate rather than the private-pay rate. Use of immediate annuities is based on the following rules and facts:

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning

Immediate Annuities in MassHealth Planning for Married Couples

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 23, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) is the primary source of payment for long-term care services in the United States. To qualify, however, those needing long-term care must become impoverished under MassHealth's complicated and often-changing rules. To make matters even more complicated, the rules differ depending on whether the patient seeks care at home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home. The following discussion of the use of immediate annuities applies only to the nursing home setting. But in that setting, immediate annuities can be of great benefit in protecting spouses of nursing home residents and to a lesser extent can help preserve assets for the children of nursing home residents who are unmarried or widowed, which will be the subject of another blog post.

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Topics: MassHealth planning

Census Bureau Issues Revealing Report on Older Americans

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 14, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The U.S. Census Bureau has issued a report on the 65+ in the United States: 2014 that paints an interesting picture of the changing demographics of the nation as a whole and of older Americans in particular. Here are some of the highlights:

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

Case Highlights PI Attorney Settlement Planning Responsibility

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 7, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Elder law and special needs planning attorneys who work with individuals who win personal injury claims have long felt that trial lawyers should be more concerned about the issues that come up for clients after the case is resolved. These can include Medicare set aside rules, continuing eligibility for public benefits and appropriate financial management and budgeting of the settlement funds.

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Topics: personal injury settlement

7 Decisions to Make for Your Durable Power of Attorney

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 24, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

I've always said that the durable power of attorney is your most important estate planning document. It appoints your agent or agents (called your "attorney-in-fact") to step in and act for you on financial and legal matters in the event you ever become incapacitated. It can permit them to pay your bills, make investment decisions, take planning steps, and take care of your family when you can't do so yourself.

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Topics: Estate Planning

If You're a Super Lawyer, Where's Your Cape?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 17, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

With the proliferation of attorney ratings in recent years, what if anything do they mean? For decades, Martindale Hubbell provided a peer-reviewed rating of "AV" for its top-rated attorneys. It has now changed it to "AV Preeminent" to compete with a plethora of upstarts, including Super Lawyers, AVVO and Best Law Firms, the last of which seems to be reserved primarily to larger law firms worldwide.

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Topics: Legal profession

When is the Right Time to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 10, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The other day, I met with a long-term care insurance broker who bemoaned the quicker timetable of estate planning attorneys as compared to the underwriting process for long-term care insurance (LTCI). He reported that in his experience most estate planners try to complete the process from first meeting to executing the ultimate documents in about five weeks. It takes longer than that for an application for LTCI to be approved or rejected by insurance companies who will only sell policies to healthy applicants.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care insurance

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