Planning for Life

MassHealth Imposing Asset Limit on Community Spouse of Frail Elder Waiver Applicants in Fall 2016

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on July 18, 2016

We anticipate a significant change coming this fall for married elders seeking eligibility for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver in Massachusetts.  The Commonwealth is very likely to begin imposing an asset limit of $119,220 for the community spouse of HCBS waivers.  There is currently no asset limit for the community spouse of applicants for the HCBS waiver.  This will apply to new HCBS applicants and HCBS waiver applicants who started receiving benefits beginning January 1, 2014. 

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Topics: MassHealth

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.

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Topics: Massachusetts, MassHealth

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

At What Age Should You Do Long-Term Care Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 12, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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

EXPANDED ESTATE RECOVERY – We Need Your Help By 4/7/16!

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on March 31, 2016

CALL TO ACTION:  This is a call to action to our clients and readers who own their homes jointly with their spouses or with another individual and those who have created life estate deeds.

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Topics: MassHealth, Estate Planning

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

Court Says Irrevocable Trust Countable Due to “Use and Occupancy” Right

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on January 22, 2016

By Sarah Foster

In a concerning new decision, Nadeau v. Thorn, a Superior Court judge finds that MassHealth correctly deemed the property in an irrevocable trust as a countable asset due to the fact that the irrevocable trust contained a right to “use and occupy” any property contained in the trust.

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Topics: trusts, long-term care planning, MassHealth

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