Category Archives for 2015

Medicaid Myths You Need To Know

Medicaid Facts Myths

When it comes to Medicaid and planning, a little learning is a very dangerous thing. I have seen families lose hundreds of thousands of dollars or be rejected for admission to a preferred placement because they thought they knew Medicaid from some connection with a relative or friend in the past. Here are some of […]

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Remembering Agnes Chesko

Some people are so extraordinary they cannot pass without noticing. Agnes Grady Chesko who died on April 18, 2015 at the age of 94 was one of them. While Agnes would have been remarkable at any age, to have accomplished those things that she did and continued to do at an age when many just […]

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It may be time to deconstruct your estate plan

If you have any sort of sizeable estate and prepared your Will with an attorney’s assistance over the past 10 to 15 years, there is a reasonable possibility, especially if you are or were married with children, that your Will contained some fairly complicated wording. If the expressions “credit shelter trust,” “family trust,” “A-B” Trust, […]

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Financial benefits to same sex couples in Supreme Court ruling

For those awaiting results in major U.S. Supreme Court cases, this past week turned up at least two of major significance – one affirming health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and another finding a constitutional right regarding same sex marriage. Same sex marriage has been the subject of prior columns here, one […]

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Congressional Budget Plan Ends Social Security File and Suspend

Social Security File and Suspend

A popular Social Security planning strategy used by Americans mostly in their 60’s to expand their benefits, known as File and Suspend will be coming to an end in six months as a result of last week’s Congressional budget deal. Closely related and also receiving the ax under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is […]

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Why Every Second Marriage Needs An Estate Plan

Second Marriage Estate Plan

If you have followed my columns, you know that I rarely use the expressions “always” or “never.” My usual expression is “it depends.” However, I might break that rule in one circumstance and that is regarding second (or subsequent) marriages and the need for an estate plan instead of just Wills. Wills affect only probate […]

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Groundbreaking Medicaid Case Changes Landscape

Groundbreaking Medicaid

Just as I was proverbially speaking on my way out the door for vacation, a ground breaking Medicaid case was decided that establishes a “safe harbor” for Medicaid planning. The case is a Pennsylvania case from the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals but has implications throughout the country. It is one in which organizations […]

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Gifting for those who can afford to gift

If you have a million or more in assets and are trying to decide whether and when to gift during your lifetime or after your passing, this column is for you. Often the possibilities are overwhelming but here are some considerations. As a cautionary note, this column is for very high asset individuals who are […]

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Medicaid Myths You Need To Know

When it comes to Medicaid and planning, a little learning is a very dangerous thing. I have seen families lose hundreds of thousands of dollars or be rejected for admission to a preferred placement because they thought they knew Medicaid from some connection with a relative or friend in the past. Here are some of […]

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Turning 65? -What To Know About Medicare

Retirement age used to be simpler. At age 65 you figured you would start collecting Social Security and begin to be insured under Medicare. You were expected to retire from work and, with your gold watch and farewell party, everything was set. Today you might begin to collect Social Security for most applicants at any […]

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How To Gift Lesser Beneficiaries

Most clients know when planning their wills who they want to name as their primary or most important beneficiary. They do struggle, though, sometimes for years, as to how to benefit others further down the line. For married couples, using the typical husband to wife, wife to husband wills, with remainder to the children when […]

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Exploring What Is the Best State for Long Term Care

If your parents live in Kentucky and you live here in Pennsylvania and your brothers and sisters live in California and New York, chances are you may have had “the conversation” discussing with your parents where they might live if one of them needs long term care. It is not just a question whether they […]

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Goodbye to the Medicare ‘Doc Fix’

Among the more bizarre actions that Congress has had to take over the past several years has been the regular ritual to pass measures preventing reduction in doctors’ fees for Medicare patients. Known as the “doc fix,” the bills were short term fixes for a longer term issue, that is how to control the cost […]

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What Happens With a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) When You Run Out of Money?

When clients ask me to review an agreement to enter a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), the most frequently asked question is “what happens if I run out of money?” The issue may be presented in another way such as “what are the major risks?” or “Will I have to move if I run out […]

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A Will Is Only The Beginning

Often people think they have resolved estate planning issues once they have drafted a will. This is one reason such services as Legal Zoom can be so popular. Actually this is just the beginning. Sometimes I try an experiment drawing a line down the center of our whiteboard and writing “Probate” on one side and […]

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