Planning for Life

Favorable Decision from Appeals Court on Irrevocable Trusts

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 19, 2016

By Sarah Foster

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Topics: trusts, MassHealth planning, MassHealth

Another Trust Bites the Dust, or Why You Should Review Your Plan Periodically

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 5, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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

Governor Baker Seeks to Expand Estate Recovery

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 23, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Governor Charles Baker's FY 2017 budget includes a proposal to expand MassHealth estate recovery to include non-probate property. Currently, MassHealth recoups its expenditures from the probate estates of individuals who received coverage of nursing home care or any other MassHealth benefits after age 55.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, MassHealth, Probate Estate Administration

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 16, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

While two of our blog posts on life estates and durable powers of attorney (see the links on the right) get far more traffic than all others (they must have gotten greenlighted by Google in some fashion), following are the most popular articles we posted in 2015.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, MassHealth, Estate Planning

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

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

10 Questions to Ask an Elder Law Attorney

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 11, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

You need to consult with an elder law attorney for either advance long-term care planning for yourself or advance long-term care planning for a loved one. You have a few names of possible attorneys that you got from friends, relatives, other advisors and the Internet. How do you determine which one to hire?

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, Legal profession

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

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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