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Are Trusts Still Useful If The Estate Tax Is Repealed?

In continuing with our theme of current events for the month of June, this week we will examine how a possible repeal of the estate tax under the new administration may affect your current estate plan. With Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency, there is talk of eliminating the federal estate tax, which…

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New Protections for Nursing Home Residents

New Obama-era rules designed to give nursing home residents more control of their care are gradually going into effect over the next couple of years. The rules give residents more options regarding meals and visitation as well as make changes to discharge and grievance procedures. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the…

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Department of Labor Announces That Fiduciary Rule Will Go Into Effect in June

After initially delaying a rule intended to prevent financial advisers from steering their clients to bad retirement investments, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the rule will go into effect on June 9, 2017, but its future is still unclear. Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order delaying the so-called fiduciary rule,…

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Honoring Our Veterans – Veterans Funeral Benefits

In honor of Memorial Day, we’d like to introduce you to some of the benefits available to Veterans’ and their spouses when one of them passes away. Federally, the VA will provide funeral/burial and plot interment benefits to certain veterans, including those dying from a service-related disability, those receiving pension or compensation (including Aid and…

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Disability Benefits Available To Our Veterans

The Veterans Administration offers two disability programs for eligible veterans. The first benefit is disability compensation which is only available for veterans with service-connected disabilities. The second program provides a disability pension benefit which is available to anyone who served during wartime and has a disability. For this pension benefit, the disability does not have…

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New Rules Will Make It Harder to Qualify for Long-Term Care Help From the VA

The Veteran’s Administration (VA) offers a pension benefit to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need help at home with the activities of daily living, like dressing, bathing and other similar tasks.  The pension, called Aid and Attendance, is currently underused, but impending regulations will soon make it available…

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Veteran’s Benefits for Long-Term Care Coverage

Last month we took a closer look at Medicaid, asset protection planning and the rules concerning qualification for Medicaid benefits. As a source of payment for long term care, Medicaid will only cover skilled nursing care. If you do not require and/or meet the qualifications for this level of skilled nursing care, there may be…

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What Is a Life Estate?

The phrase “life estate” often comes up in discussions of estate and Medicaid planning, However, when we meet with individuals who ask us about this planning method, they are often unaware of how it works. Since there are both pros and cons in utilizing this type of planning, it is important to take a closer…

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Can I Give My Kids $14,000 a Year?

This particular question is one that we hear from our clients all of the time. The short answer is, if you have it to give, you certainly can. HOWEVER, there may be consequences should you apply for Medicaid long-term care coverage within five years after each gift. The $14,000 figure is the amount of the…

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How Does the Medicaid Look-Back Period Work?

In the world of Medicaid, one of the phrases that many people are familiar with is the 5 year look-back period. Unfortunately, it is also the one area of Medicaid that causes people the greatest amount of confusion. As discussed last week, Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a means-based program, which means that you are only…

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