Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates

Recent Posts

How Can the CARES Act Can Help You and Your Family?

Posted by The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, Apr 16, 2020


As you know, the U.S. Congress recently passed the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This law, which provides wide-ranging financial and regulatory relief related to the ongoing Covid-19 public health crisis, represents a response of unprecedented scope and scale. Below we have given a summary of highlights that may be relevant to you and your family. We hope this helps clarify how you can receive assistance during this pandemic.

  1. Direct payments to individuals and families – Individuals receive up to $1200 and married couples receive $2400 if you file a joint income tax return. Families with children receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child.  You qualify for the full payment if your adjusted gross income as shown on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 return if you haven’t filed 2019 yet) is $75,000 or less ($150,000 if married filing jointly).  You can qualify for a smaller amount if your AGI exceeds $75,000 but you get nothing when you reach $99,000 annually and $198,000 if married filing jointly.
  2. Deferring mortgage payments and renter protection – If you have a federally backed mortgage you can write to your lender to ask for a 6 month deferment on making your payments (you may also request an additional 6 month extension as you approach your first 6 month deadline).  There are no penalties allowed by your lender when deferring this loan. It is simply added to the end of your mortgage term. The Act also provides for a 120 day moratorium for eviction proceedings if you are a tenant in a federally subsidized housing unit or a dwelling covered by a federally backed mortgage loan.
  3. For Americans age 59 ½ and younger who have directly been affected by the coronavirus and are experiencing financial hardship, the CARES Act waives the 10-percent penalty for withdrawing funds from IRAs and defined benefit contribution plans, like 401(k) plans. Taxes must still be paid on these withdrawals, however, they may be paid evenly over the next three years. Contact your plan provider to verify that your plan has been updated to allow these revisions before you withdraw to prevent future headaches.
  4. You can also now borrow up to $100,000 from a 401k if you take the loan no later than 9/22/20 but there are tax ramifications if you then are unable to pay the loan back before you leave your employer or lose your job.
  5. The need to take required minimum distributions (RMD) is waived for 2020.  This may be helpful to retirees who don’t need the money which is just accumulating in a non-retirement account.  However, for those needing the money to pay bills, this will not be helpful since you are still required to pay taxes on the withdrawals.
  6. Payments on federal student loans have been suspended through 9/30/2020.  This is helpful for parents and grandparents who are making payments on student loans for a child or grandchild. The Department of Education automatically will enact the temporary suspension on federal student loans that are owned directly by the Federal Government for the six-month reprieve so there is no need to shut off any automatic debits. Be wary of scams that ask for payments to start the suspension. Borrowers who are able to continue making payments on the principal during the six-month pause will whittle down the balance that much faster. Those wishing to continue any automatic debit they have set up or who have any questions about how this affects their loans should contact their servicer.

Please take care to be extra cautious about fishy scams that prey on seniors with investment schemes. Listen to trusted financial advisers and check with loved ones if it sounds too good to be true. As always we are here to help you and your family plan for the future and get through this difficult time in our country.


To Register for our upcoming Webinar: Click HERE or Call 1-800-964-4295

Did you know 86% of life, health & estate plans fail? Are you protected?

Online Workshops:       April 16 @ 10am & 2pm

                                        April 18 @ 9:30am

                                        April 30 @ 10am & 2pm


Tags: living trusts, Elder Law Attorney, Estate Planning Attorney, CARES Act, Stimulus, Mortgage deferment

Due to the Pandemic, Should I Move My Parent/Grandparent?

Posted by The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Tue, Apr 07, 2020

images (7)

In this difficult time, with the risk to the older population on everyone’s mind, we have been receiving many calls asking us what the best way to protect their loved ones. Should people consider moving their family members to a facility or perhaps move them from a facility into their own home. The answer to this question varies of course as each family’s situations vary. As we approach what medical experts predict will be the apex in the number of new cases, we wanted to go over some items to consider as you contemplate what works best for your family.

If you are considering moving your loved one into your home. The most important detail to consider is whether or not the entire family is able to stay socially distanced. If, however, a family member is part of an “essential business” and continues to be out in public, interacting with others, this could increase the risk of becoming infected. This point is especially a risk if the family member is working in the medical field and therefore coming into contact with infected patients daily. It is also a higher risk if the worker is among the public, working in a supermarket for example. Another question to consider when deciding to move a loved one into your home would be whether or not you have an appropriate area in your home where you could isolate an infected family member if the need arises. This can be challenging when, for example, shared spaces are necessary such as a bathroom that must be sanitized continuously throughout the day.

Another question that comes up is whether or not to move your loved one from one facility to another if you find out their current facility has a known case of Covid-19 on site. This may not be wise, as the virus continues to spread rapidly and puts each facility at risk, so circumstances might change. It is also a difficult time to get thorough information about a potential new facility given that most are currently unwilling to allow outsiders in, which precludes you from touring and meeting with staff and assessing the care your loved one would receive.

What about the type of care your loved one needs? If moving home, would you need to hire an outside aid to assist in their care? This would require yet another person from the outside coming into your home regularly. These outside health aids are another group of front-line workers who are coming into contact with people from various households during their workday. This not only is an added risk to your loved one, but a risk to the entire family as well. Also, keep in mind that the original facility may have policies and concerns about allowing your loved one back into their location once they have been exposed to others, and it may be a complicated process to receive permission to allow your loved on back in.

Financial concerns are also a consideration. If you have the funds to pay for care that’s beneficial. However, if not, the complicated process of applying for Medicaid and awaiting that decision could be impacted if you decide to move your loved one even temporarily. It’s possible your loved one could lose their spot, and these issues would need to be discussed directly with the facility.

We understand these are very difficult times, and very important decisions. As always, our team is here to talk with you and guide you through this. Please reach out, we are here to help protect you and your family.

  • The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates


To Register for our upcoming Webinar: Click HERE or Call 1-800-964-4295

Did you know 86% of life, health & estate plans fail? Are you protected?

Online Workshops:       April 16 @ 10am & 2pm

                                        April 18 @ 9:30am


Tags: power of attorney, lawyer, revocable living trust, applying for medicare, healthcare proxy, living trusts, Estate Planning Attorney, covid-19

Sign-Up Below To Receive Your Free Report

Follow Me

Browse by Tag

Follow DennisBSullivan on Twitter