Category: Newsletters

The Basic Rules of Nursing Home Medicaid Eligibility

For all practical purposes in the United States the only “insurance” plan for long-term institutional care is Medicaid.  Medicare only pays for approximately 7 percent of skilled nursing care in the United States.  Private insurance pays for even less.  The result is that most people pay out of their own pockets for long-term care until they become eligible for Medicaid  While Medicare is an entitlement program, Medicaid is a form of welfare-or at least that’s how it began.  So to

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The Probate Process

What is the Probate Process? Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s property, known as the “estate,” is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will).  The entire process, supervised by the probate court, usually takes about a year.  However, substantial distributions from the estate can be made in the interim. What property is subject to the probate process? The probate estate includes all property held in the decedent’s name.  Certain kinds of

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Estate Planning Terms

No one likes to think about one’s own death.  However, planning ahead can help your family avoid unnecessary complications, delay and expense.  This may be done through wills, trusts, joint ownership, and life insurance.  In addition, modern estate planning also includes “life” planning through powers of attorney and health care proxies.  These enable someone else to act for you in the event of your incapacity.  Understanding the following terms is the first step toward planning your estate.  However, no estate

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Back to School Time

It’s that time of year where students head back to school.  If you’re like me and your oldest is heading off to college, you might want to take some time to familiarize yourself with FERPA.  FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).  It is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of

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Estate Planning – Estate Tax Marital Deduction

First, an explanation about why this letter discusses the estate tax marital deduction at all. Technically, the estate tax marital deduction is no longer available for 2010 because there is no estate tax, period, currently on the books for 2010. Consensus, however, is that this interim 2010 period with no estate tax will be repealed by Congress retroactively, to January 1, 2010. In its place, the estate tax will be revived and the estate tax marital deduction once again becomes

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