Planning for Life

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

MassHealth Trust Database On Line

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 28, 2014

Previous blog posts have reported on recent MassHealth cases involving irrevocable trusts and the ongoing attacks by MassHealth on trusts that were acceptable until recently. We linked to court and fair hearing decisions on a website created by Plymouth elder law practitioner Brian Barreira. Attorney Barreira has created the Massachusetts Medicaid Trust Law site at irrevocabletrust.info to share 

5809877fair hearing decisions, court decisions, legal briefs and other material submitted by elder law practitioners throughout the Commonwealth. Or, as he explains it:

The Massachusetts Medicaid Trust Law blog has been prepared as a resource for Massachusetts citizens and their attorneys who are experiencing denials on MassHealth applications that include irrevocable trusts.

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Topics: MassHealth planning

MassHealth Reversed in Another Trust Case

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 10, 2014

Over the last couple of years, MassHealth has been rejecting irrevocable trusts containing terms that it had accepted up until recently. Since many seniors use irrevocable trusts to shelter assets as part of long-term care planning, this has resulted in much uncertainty and cost due to the need for administrative and court appeals. Fortunately, as more cases have gone through the lengthy appeal process litigants are having increasing success in defending the trusts. We can report that my partner, Jeffrey A. Bloom, recently was successful in defending our standard irrevocable trust instrument at an administrative fair hearing.

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

MassHealth Appeal Denied as Form Defeats Function

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 29, 2014

In the case of Boudreau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Mass. App. No. 13-P-1337, July 25, 2014), the Massachusetts Court of Appeals dismisses a complaint for judicial review because it was filed by the appellant's attorney rather than his conservator.JML banner

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Topics: MassHealth planning

The New Elder Law: Stay-At-Home Planning

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 21, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: nursing homes, MassHealth, MassHealth planning, long-term care planning

5 Questions to Ask Before Making Gifts for MassHealth or Tax Planning

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 14, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: MassHealth planning, special needs planning, Estate Planning

Is My MassHealth Asset Protection Trust Still Good? - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 10, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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

LTCI - MassHealth Issues Clarified

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 5, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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

How Much Do You Need to Retire? -- Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 15, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

How much money you need "in the bank" when you retire depends on many factors, including the following:

  • Living standards. How much money will you need each month to live the way you want to live? Does that include travel? A second home? Gifts or support to children and grandchildren? Create a budget as a starting point, and then assume that it will increase at least 3 percent per year to account for likely inflation.

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

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