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Introducing Our New Monthly Lunchtime Webinar Series

Webinar Topic: What is Probate, and Should You Try to Avoid It? The estate planning process can be a difficult one to navigate. We are now providing monthly educational discussions about estate planning strategies, the probate process, and elder law issues. Join us on Thursday, August 19 from 12:15-12:45 PM EST for a discussion about Probate […]

Appealing a MassHealth Denial Preserves Retroactive Nursing Home Coverage

In Massachusetts, Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs is obtained by filing a MassHealth long-term care application. Often, an initial denial is received, sometimes due to missing information. Not appealing that denial can have disastrous financial effects, so it is this office’s policy that every denial that is received during the MassHealth application process will be appealed. Any […]

Using Long-Term Care Insurance to Cover the MassHealth Disqualification Period

Buying Insurance for Temporary Reasons Can Keep a Disqualifying Transfer from Becoming a Problem. Many persons do not become aware of long-term care financing issues (including MassHealth transfer restrictions and the lack of coverage of long-term health care by Medicare and other health insurance) until it is too late to engage in anything other than […]

Last-Minute Medicaid Planning in Massachusetts

Even After a Nursing Home Stay Has Begun, Some Asset Protection Planning Can Still Be Done Lookback and Disqualification Periods. Many persons, including some who are rendering advice about Medicaid law, seem to misunderstand the Medicaid lookback period. The lookback period is not the same as the disqualification period. When a Medicaid application is filed, […]

Questions and Answers About Declarations of Homestead in Massachusetts

Each Type of Homestead Exemption Was Automatically Increased to $500,000.00 on October 26, 2004. What is a Declaration of Homestead? A “Declaration of Homestead” is a simple and inexpensive legal document that can protect part (or perhaps all) of the value of your home from most of your future creditors and lawsuits against you. Unless […]

Attempting to Receive Retroactive Medicaid Benefits

In Massachusetts, Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs is obtained by filing a MassHealth long-term care application. Coverage under a MassHealth application can be retroactive to the first day of the third month prior to the application. Based on the date that MassHealth is needed, in many cases you must keep the original application alive. […]

Protecting Your Home from Creditors in Massachusetts

A Revocable “Living” Trust Does Not Protect You. Some of my clients are concerned about the possibility of losing their homes to creditors. The following are some of the ways which can help you protect your home from being sold to satisfy debts owed to creditors. (1) If you are married and you acquired title […]

A Potpourri of Basic Federal Tax Rules Regarding Death and Taxes

Pre-death gifts that are in excess of $14,000.00 per person per calendar year can reduce the amount that can be left behind as a tax-free inheritance. Someone who does not exceed that amount with gifts can leave $5,450,000.00 free of federal estate tax as an inheritance. For example, if a person makes a pre-death $17,000.00 […]

Despite Lookback Restrictions, Some Gifts of a MassHealth Applicant’s Home Are Always Safe

A MassHealth Applicant’s Home Can Sometimes Be Given Away Without Penalty Even After a Nursing Home Stay Has Begun. While many transfers of the home are subject to a period of disqualification from payment of nursing home costs by the state Medicaid program, some transfers can be made even after a nursing home stay has […]

Life Estate Can Be Retained for Estate Tax Purposes Without Being Reserved in Deed, and Result in a Step-up in Basis for Capital Gains Tax Purposes

Estate Tax Inclusion Results in a Step-Up in Basis and Eliminates Capital Gains Taxes on Transferred Real Estate. For many elderly persons in the middle class, a key tax goal is to keep the home includable in the person’s gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. Doing so results in a step-up in the basis of […]