Planning for Life

Get On It! The Centralized Section 8 Waiting List

Posted by Karen Mariscal on June 14, 2016

By Karen Mariscal

On the day your intellectually disabled child turns 18, give yourself a birthday present – put him or her on the Section 8 waiting list.  The Section 8 housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.  In the Boston area it usually takes 8-10 years to get a voucher, starting from the day you first submit the pre-application. 

Read More

Topics: special needs planning, housing policy ,, special needs

Beware Your Old Bypass Trust

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 7, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Very few people need to worry about federal estate taxes today with the threshold for taxation now at $5.45 million (in 2016) and surviving spouses permitted to add on the unused portion of their deceased spouse's credit through "portability." Yet many people have estate tax planning trusts put in place when the threshold was much lower and before portability was enacted. As recently as 2003 the threshold was $1 million and before 1998 it was just $600,000.

Read More

Topics: trusts, Estate Planning, capital gains taxes

A  Long Bright Future: What Will You Do with Your Extra 30 Years?

Posted by Karen Mariscal on May 31, 2016

By Karen B. Mariscal

According to Stanford Professor Laura L. Carstensen Carstensen, the 20th century bequeathed us a fabulous gift:  an average of 30 more years of life!  Life expectancy at birth is now 78, whereas in the early 1900s it was only about 50.

Read More

Topics: Retirement Planning

Little-Known Social Security Benefit for Parents of Disabled Children

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 17, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

One of our clients recently brought to our attention a Social Security benefit that was news to us. He and his wife care for their adult daughter with a disability in their home. Our client retired and began receiving Social Security benefits. As a result, his daughter was able to drop her Supplemental Security Income and switch over to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), a much better benefit for a number of reasons.

Read More

Topics: social security, disability

See the US Population Age Before Your Eyes

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 10, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Check out the dynamic graph below that represents the US age distribution from 1933 to 2100. It starts as a narrow pyramid with a relatively even age distribution narrowing as it gets to older ages. Then it takes on an arrowhead shape as the dearth of births during the Depression begins to work its way up through the ages.

Read More

Topics: growth of elderly population

Bowie Yes, Prince No: More Lessons from Celebrity Estates

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 3, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Read More

Topics: Estate Planning

The Future of Law According to LegalZoom

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 26, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

I recently heard Chas Rampenthal, the general counsel of LegalZoom, the legal forms site, speak at Suffolk University Law School on how the practice of law needs to be modernized and made more efficient, accessible and affordable. He joined many commentators, most notably Richard Susskind who wrote The End of Lawyers?, in describing the practice of law as being behind the times, lawyers crafting single solutions for individual clients, which by its nature is expensive and inefficient.

Read More

Topics: Legal profession

Expanded Estate Recovery NOT included in House Committee on Ways and Means FY 2017 Budget Recommendations

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 26, 2016

By Patricia C. D'Agostino

We are happy to report that the House Committee on Ways and Means did not include Governor Baker’s proposal to expand Medicaid estate recovery. As previously reported, the Governor’s proposed provisions would allow MassHealth to make claims against all property in which the deceased MassHealth member had an ownership interest immediately prior to death. This would include property passing by survivorship or beneficiary designation to a spouse or child that was held in joint names, life estate, tenants by the entirety or living trusts. Current law limits estate recovery to the probate estate of a deceased MassHealth member – meaning the Commonwealth could recover if the deceased member owned their home in his or her name alone.

Read More

Topics: Massachusetts, MassHealth

The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 19, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Caring for others who are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of themselves is a daunting task. On top of the physical and emotional strain, making personal and health care decisions for another person in circumstances that you haven't discussed in advance compounds the burden.

Read More

Topics: caregiving

Favorable Decision from Appeals Court on Irrevocable Trusts

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 19, 2016

By Sarah Foster

Read More

Topics: trusts, MassHealth planning, MassHealth

Subscribe to New Blog Posts

Recent Posts

Most Popular Posts

Posts by Topic

see all