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Category: Estate Planning

Medicare Launches Hospice Compare Website

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Patients looking for hospice care can now get help from Medicare’s website. The agency’s new Hospice Compare site allows patients to evaluate hospice providers according to several criteria. The site is a good start, but there is room for improvement, experts say. Medicare’s comprehensive hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing … Continue reading

For Better or for Worse, States Are Turning to Managed Care for Medicaid Long-Term Care

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More and more states are switching to a managed care model when dealing with Medicaid long-term care patients, a change that has resulted in a loss of services in some cases. Many states use managed care to deliver care to their regular Medicaid populations, but until recently, the care needs of the elderly and disabled … Continue reading

Three Reasons Why Giving Your House to Your Children Isn’t the Best Way to Protect It From Medicaid

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You may be afraid of losing your home if you have to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. While this fear is well-founded, transferring the home to your children is usually not the best way to protect it. Although you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for … Continue reading

GOP Tax Plan Could Deal Blow to Seniors Paying for Long-Term Care

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The tax plan put forward by the Republican-led House of Representatives would eliminate many current deductions, and getting rid of one of them in particular could deal a serious financial blow to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The plan proposes eliminating the medical expense deduction, a change that will especially affect those needing long-term care. … Continue reading

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2018

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2018 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of … Continue reading

Estate Planning in the Age of Stepfamilies

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More than 4 in 10 Americans have at least one step-relative in their family – either a stepparent, a step or half sibling or a stepchild — according to the Pew Research Center. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research estimates that about one-third of all weddings in America create stepfamilies. A recent trust case from North … Continue reading

Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive a 2 Percent Increase in 2018

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In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means recipients … Continue reading

Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Your Debts

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The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally heirs cannot inherit debt, debt can reduce what they receive. Spelling out how debt should be paid can help your heirs. … Continue reading

New Yorker Article Highlights Abuses in the Guardianship System

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Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker titled “How the Elderly Lose their Rights.” Court-appointed guardians can take control of an elderly person’s finances and life and become wealthy while doing so. One expert interviewed describes the guardianship system as “a morass, … Continue reading