Planning for Life

Harry S. Margolis

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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

In an earlier blog post, I discussed planning steps you can take to protect your home if sometime in the future you were to need MassHealth covered long-term care. The four steps I described all need to be taken at least five years before you apply for MassHealth. But what do you do if you can't wait five years, if you or a loved one already needs assistance or the writing is on the wall?

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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

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

4 Ways to Protect Your House from MassHealth Estate Recovery: Part 1

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 15, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

In most instances, you can own a home and still get MassHealth coverage of your health or long-term care. While MassHealth has strict income and asset limits on eligibility, in most cases it doesn't count the home against those limits. On the other hand, as I often say, while they don't get you coming, they will get you going. If you sell the house either during your life or upon your death, MassHealth will seek to recover its costs of paying for your care.

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

Three Decades of Elder Law: My, How It's Changed!

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 8, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

attorneys_emily.jpg

 

Emily Starr, one of the pioneers of elder law in Massachusetts, and I have been asked to appear on a panel at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) this Thursday evening to discuss the history and prognosticate about the future of elder law in Massachusetts. Here are the major changes that I see:

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

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Retirement Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 1, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

There are two kinds of annuities: variable and immediate. Both can be useful for retirement planning purposes and both can be misused. Variable annuities have gotten a bad reputation in recent years because they are often sold to people, especially seniors, for whom they are inappropriate. Immediate annuities, on the other hand, may be undersold.

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Topics: Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, financial planning

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