According to a recent report published by the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2017, approximately 5.5 million individuals have “Alzheimer’s dementia”. If you consider those figures, together with the many other neurological diseases (ALS) and physical ailments (strokes) that impact our physical and cognitive abilities, you can understand why planning should be done to contemplate these matters….

  For 2017, the federal lifetime estate and gift tax exemption have increased to $5,490,000.  This means that you can gift this amount over your lifetime without incurring a federal gift tax and to the extent you haven’t done so, any exemption remaining at death can be applied against the value of your estate for…

  Leaving assets to your children gives rise to many considerations.  For instance, if the child is a minor, you do not want assets passing to that minor child outright.  Even if the child is not a minor, there is a widely accepted sentiment that most children should not take total possession and control of…

The look-back period is very different from the penalty period and as always the rules are different depending on whether you are seeking Medicaid to cover the cost of homecare or nursing home care. Conceptually, the look-back period is the period where asset transfers may impact your eligibility for Medicaid. The penalty period is the…

Second to the house, an individual retirement account (“IRA”) is usually the largest asset when looking into someone’s financial portfolio. The tax and Medicaid rules dealing with IRAs are very different yet related, quite complex and often misinterpreted or misapplied. It is important to have a general understanding of these rules in order to avoid…

Estate planning documents need to be regularly reviewed. I often tell clients to review their estate plan every three to five years or upon the occurrence of a significant life event such as a birth, marriage, divorce or death. Documents should also be reviewed for changes in the law. One of the benefits to connecting…

If there is one unavoidable consequence of life and relationships, it is that our loved ones may fall ill at some point, whether it be a parent, grandparent, child, aunt or uncle. Sometimes it could be a tragic accident or disease that affects them, and other times it is simply part of the aging process….

Nearly every aspect of estate planning and elder law requires an attorney to assess a client’s legal capacity. As elder law attorneys, we are regularly working with individuals who have some form of cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. A common assumption is that someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s cannot sign a Last…

I recently entered the world of beekeeping. When contemplating this new hobby, I obviously vetted my ideas with friends and family (not the neighbors). Their responses were comical and in all cases, far from the truth. Sitting down to write this piece I thought, this is no different than the practice of elder law. So…

Many people are unsure as to whether a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is sufficient to accomplish their estate planning goals and objectives or if a Revocable Trust (“Trust”) is the more pertinent planning technique. Adding to the uncertainty is the plethora of propaganda disseminated by attorneys who promote trusts. Both serve a purpose but…

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