Estate Administration & Probate

Medicaid’s Power to Recoup Benefits Paid: Estate Recovery and Liens

Federal law requires the state to attempt to recover the long-term care benefits from a Medicaid recipient’s estate after the recipient’s death. If steps aren’t taken to protect the Medicaid recipient’s house, it may need to be sold to settle the claim. For Medicaid recipients aged 55 or older, states must seek recovery of payments […]READ POST »

Protecting Your House After You Move into a Nursing Home

While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it is possible the state can file a claim against your house after you die, so you may want to take steps to protect your house. If you get help from Medicaid to pay […]READ POST »

How Can You Transfer a Guardianship Between States?

When an incapacitated person cannot make personal or financial decisions, state courts may appoint a guardian to assist the individual with determining where to live, what kind of care to receive, or how to manage finances. In some cases, guardians may wish to move their ward — someone whom a court has found need a […]READ POST »

Using Estate Planning to Prepare for Medicaid

Long-term care involves not only a loss of personal autonomy; it also comes at a tremendous financial price. Proper planning can help your family prepare for the financial toll and protect assets for future generations. Long-term care can be very expensive, especially around-the-clock nursing home care. Most people end up paying for nursing home care […]READ POST »

Biden Administration May Spell Significant Changes to Estate Tax and Stepped-Up Basis Rule for Those with Even Modest Estates

A new administration usually means that tax code changes are coming. While it remains unclear exactly what tax changes the Biden administration will usher in, two possibilities are that it will propose lowering the estate tax exemption and eliminating the stepped-up basis on death. Both could have an impact on modest estates and their heirs.  In […]READ POST »

What Are the House Ownership Options When Parents and Adult Children Live Together?

Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, 64 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population, live in households containing two adult generations. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership. Multi-generational households may include “boomerang” children who […]READ POST »

How Your Estate Is Taxed, or Not

Congress sets the amount that an individual can transfer tax-free either during life or at death. The current estate tax exemption is so high that very few estates will have to pay an estate tax. In 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption and indexed it for inflation. In […]READ POST »

How to Create an Estate Plan That Includes Your Pet

Pets are members of the family, so it is important to consider how to provide for them in your estate plan just as you would the human family members.  While we may think of pets as part of our family, the law considers them to be property. This means that you cannot leave anything in […]READ POST »

husband wife social security benefits

Husbands Usually Do Not Consider Their Wives’ Future When Deciding When to Take Social Security Benefits

The amount of Social Security benefits a surviving spouse receives depends, in part, on when their deceased spouse began claiming benefits. However, husbands usually do not take survivor’s benefits into account when claiming benefits, according to a recent study, meaning that many widows will needlessly experience a significant drop in income. Because women typically live […]READ POST »

How to Divide Up Personal Possessions Without Dividing the Family

Allocating your personal possessions can be one of the most difficult tasks when creating an estate plan. To avoid family feuds after you are gone, it is important to have a plan and make your wishes clear.   When passing on possessions to your heirs, savings and investments are easy to divide up, since they […]READ POST »