Planning for Life

Appeals Court Confirms Use of POAs in Life Estate Deeds

Posted by Anthony Bushu on May 10, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

life-estate-remaindermen-Wellesley-MA

A life estate is a deed that divides ownership by time. The "life tenant" has full rights to the property during his life, but at his death, full rights pass to the "remaindermen." Both the life tenant and the remaindermen are owners of the property, but their interests are different.

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

Questions & Answers on Protecting the Family Home

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 1, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

MassHealth-real-estate-planning-asset-protection-Wellesley-MA

I recently conducted a webinar surveying the various techniques clients can take to protect their home from the costs of long-term care. These ranged from standing pat and doing nothing to giving their home to their kids, with life estates, irrevocable trusts, and purchasing long-term care insurance as in-between strategies, each with its own pros and cons.

Afterwards, I received a number of follow-up questions. Here are some of them with my answers:

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Topics: MassHealth planning, MassHealth

Using Annuities in MassHealth Planning for Nursing Home Residents

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 4, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Masshealth-nursing-home-coverage-long-term-care-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

Immediate annuities have long been used in long-term care planning as a means of transforming assets that are countable against the limits for MassHealth eligibility into an income stream that does not affect eligibility. This primarily benefits spouses of nursing home residents, but can be used for single nursing home residents as a form of “arbitrage,” in effect, to pay MassHealth rather than the private-pay rates charged by nursing homes. 

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

Are You Saving to Leave an Inheritance? Why?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 29, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

inheritance-Masshealth-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

Do you hope to leave your children an inheritance? If so, what sacrifices are you willing to make to assure that you do so? Are you working longer or scrimping on spending for yourself? If so, why? Haven't you raised your children and perhaps paid expensive college tuitions? Shouldn't they be able to stand on their own two feet?

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

Favorable Decision from Appeals Court on Irrevocable Trusts

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 19, 2016

By Sarah Hartline

Masshealth-court-ruling-irrevocable-trusts-Wellesley-MA

In the latest decision on irrevocable trusts, Heyn v. Medicaid, the Appeals Court concludes that MassHealth erred in determining that property in an irrevocable trust was a “countable” asset and overturned the lower court’s decision affirming MassHealth’s holding.

The Trust

In 2003, Everlenna Roche established the Everlenna Roche Irrevocable Trust and transferred her Westborough home into the trust, retaining a life estate interest. The trust mandated payment of income to Ms. Roche but not principal. Pursuant to the terms of the trust, principal could only be paid to those persons who would be otherwise entitled to the trust assets after Ms. Roche’s death.

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Topics: trusts, MassHealth planning, MassHealth

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

Questions-for-Elder-Law-Attorney-Estate-Planning-Wellesley-MA

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

MassHealth-Annuities-nursing-homes-Wellesley-MA

In 2015, I wrote this blog post: Immediate Annuities in MassHealth Planning for Married Couples. This post talks 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-long-term-care-Masshealth-eligibility-nursing-home-Wellesley-MA

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 (I'll dive into this subject in another blog post).

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Topics: MassHealth planning

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