Before we share some specific information about Medicaid and your home, we have to set the stage with some necessary background information. You earn retirement credits when you make payroll or self-employment tax contributions. Most people easily accumulate the maximum four credits each year. After you have at least 40 credits, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. This will safety net will serve as a foundation, but you have to understand the limitations of … [Read more...] about Medicaid Rules for Home Ownership
Potential estate challenges should be taken into consideration when you are planning your estate. If you know that there is someone close to you who will not be happy with your decisions, don't ignore the potential fallout. Yes, you have the right to make your own choices, and you will not be around to hear any negative feedback. That being said, a disgruntled individual could potentially issue an estate challenge which could bring the administration process to a standstill. Even if it is … [Read more...] about Will Your Estate Be Contested?
To be completely prepared for your twilight years, you should understand all of the eventualities and include family members who will be by your side. Death is one of the certainties of life so it is wise to be prepared and make things as comfortable as possible for yourself and the people that you love. With this in mind, it is important to understand the value of hospice care. Ordinarily, when you seek out health care assistance, recovery is the objective. Things are entirely different when … [Read more...] about Elder Law Answers: Hospice Care 101
We do not usually have the opportunity to hear about people passing away when they are relatively young adults or minors, but it happens all too frequently. The only time that we really hear this news is when someone famous passes away. One of these incidents rattled the collective consciousness recently when basketball great Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. In addition to his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a total of seven other people passed away in the devastating accident. … [Read more...] about Bryant’s Death Teaches Estate Planning Lesson
Before we get to the increase in the estate tax exclusion, we should explain how taxes apply to inheritances in a broad sense. Many people assume that you are required to report an inheritance when you file your regular income taxes, but this is not the case. Inheritance is not taxable income for a logical reason. Assets that comprise estates are left over after the decedents paid taxes throughout their lifetimes. For example, if a person saved a certain amount of money every pay period for … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Exclusion Has Been Increased
As elder law attorneys, we place a significant focus on the process of Medicaid planning. The reason why this jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program is relevant may come as a surprise to you. If you work and pay taxes for at least 10 years, you will qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65 under currently existing laws. Even if you have not met this requirement, if you are married and your spouse has done so, you would become eligible based on their … [Read more...] about A Look at Adjusted 2020 Medicaid Figures
At the end of 2019, Congress passed the SECURE Act making significant changes to the distribution rules for inherited IRAs; these apply to individuals who die in 2020 or later. Most inherited IRAs must be now distributed within ten years of the death of the IRA owner, though there are still exceptions for surviving spouses, minor children, and disabled beneficiaries. This blog post will talk about some of these SECURE Act changes. We also have client law updates in Matthews on January 23 and … [Read more...] about The SECURE Act Has Made Significant Changes to IRA Rules
You may hear about different ways that assets can be transferred after you pass away. If you do not know much about the intricacies of estate planning, they can sound like great ideas. That being said, you should really know the facts so that you can make truly informed decisions. Some of the so-called “simple solutions” are not that simple in the long run. Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship If you own a home, you can add a co-owner to the title or deed of the property. This … [Read more...] about Asset Transfers: When Simplicity Gets Complicated
We often get questions about the most important estate planning document. Because so many people have made no preparations at all, they want to know where to begin. They figure that they should start with the piece that is absolutely essential and go from there. In a way, this makes sense, but there is no single answer that is right for everyone because primary estate planning objectives vary from person to person. What is most important for one individual may not be to the next … [Read more...] about What Is the Most Essential Estate Planning Document?
A lot of people are under the impression that a last will is the preferred estate planning document. They shy away from trusts for a couple of different unfounded reasons. One of them is the idea that a will is the right choice if you are not extremely wealthy. The second one is a fear of permanently losing control of assets that are conveyed into a trust. Let’s clear up these misconceptions. Essentially, there are two different classes of trusts: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. … [Read more...] about Trusts Are Often Misunderstood