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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, […]

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 […]

Problems with Outright Gifts in the Medicaid Planning Context

An Irrevocable Trust Is Sometimes a Better Planning Maneuver Than an Outright Gift. There are several problems with outright gifts in the Medicaid planning context that can lead to the recommendation of the use of an irrevocable trust. Below are a few of these problems. (1) Appreciated Assets Clients are often concerned about leaving behind […]

A Primer for Elder Care Professionals on the Use of Reserved Special Powers of Appointment in MassHealth Planning

Clients Can Make Some Types of Transfers for Medicaid Planning Purposes Yet Still Reserve Some Degree of Control. Due to their concerns about possible impact of nursing home costs (and the Medicaid disqualification period) on their assets, many aging clients feel under pressure to make transfers of their assets earlier than may otherwise be advisable. One […]

In MassHealth Planning, Some Trusts Can Put Elderly Persons in a Worse Position Than If They Had Taken No Action At All

If Assets Can Be Given Back to or Taken Back by the Original Owner, the Assets of the Trust Are Not Protected for MassHealth Purposes if a Nursing Home Stay Becomes Necessary. In trust law, there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all.” Trusts must be designed to meet the particular concerns of the person whose […]

Proper Medicaid Planning May Permit Keeping the Home in the Family (as Published in Estate Planning)

This article of mine was published in the April 2001 issue of Estate Planning. (Note to reader: The Medicaid lookback/disqualification laws changed to 60 months on 2/8/06, after this article was published; otherwise, the rest of the article remains valid.) Many aging clients are concerned that, after a lifetime of hard work to acquire and maintain […]