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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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What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid in the Context of Long-Term Care?

 Although their names are confusingly alike, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different programs. Both programs provide health coverage, but Medicare is an “entitlement” program, meaning that everyone who reaches age 65 and is entitled to receive Social Security benefits also receives Medicare. (Medicare also covers people of any age who are permanently disabled or who…

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Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

This week, we kick-off a month long discussion about Medicaid Benefits and Planning. Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance or MA in Pennsylvania, is a federal program administered by the State to provide medical care for those who cannot afford the care. It is a vast, far reaching program. Medicaid is the largest payer to…

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The Locked Treasure Chest of Irrevocable Trusts

Over the past month, we have examined the uses of and differences between Revocable Trusts, Living Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, and Special Needs/Supplemental Needs Trusts.  This week, we will discuss the Irrevocable Trust and how it might be utilized when discussing your Estate Plan and/or Long Term Care. An Irrevocable Trust, which may also be called…

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Protection From Beyond the Grave – Testamentary Trusts

In last week’s blog post, we took a closer look at the Revocable Living Trust and explored some reasons that you may want to utilize one when creating your estate plan.  As a refresher, a trust is essentially a contract between three parties.  The person who creates the trust is known as the Grantor.  Upon…

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Revocable Living Trusts – Do I Want One?

As we discussed last week, there are a number of different types of trusts that can be employed when creating your estate plan and/or planning for long term care. This week we will focus on Revocable Living Trusts and why you may or may not want to use them. A Revocable Trust is often seen…

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