Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

The Costs of Dementia: For the Patient and the Family - Part I

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Mar 24, 2017

A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association states that one in ten Americans age 65 or older currently have Alzheimer’s. With the baby boomer generation aging and people living longer, that number may nearly triple by 2050. Alzheimer’s, of course, is just one cause of dementia—mini-strokes (TIAs) are also to blame—so the number of those with dementia may actually be higher. A 2011 study by the Alzheimer's Disease International and the World Health Organization found that 50% of people over 80 years old have some form of dementia.

Caring for someone with dementia is more expensive—and care is often needed longer—than for someone who does not have dementia. Because the cost of care in a facility is out of reach for many families, caregivers are often family members who risk their own financial security and health to care for a loved one.

In this three-part blog, we will explore these issues and steps families can take to alleviate some of these burdens.

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Cost of Care for the Patient with Dementia—And How to Pay for It

As the disease progresses, so does the level of care the person requires—and so do the costs of that care. Options for care can range from $40,000 to $140,000 and more. Levels of care include in-home care, adult daycare, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

 Care for a person with dementia can last years, and there are few outside resources to help pay for this kind of care. Health insurance does not cover assisted living or nursing home facilities, or help with activities of daily living (ADL), which include eating, bathing and dressing. Medicare covers some in-home health care and a limited number of days of skilled nursing home care, but not long-term care. Medicaid, which does cover long-term care, was designed for the indigent; the person’s assets must be spent down to almost nothing to qualify. VA benefits for Aid & Attendance will help pay for some care, including assisted living and nursing home facilities, for veterans and their spouses who qualify.

Those who have significant assets can pay as they go. Home equity and retirement savings can also be a source of funds. Long-term care insurance may also be an option, but many people wait until they are not eligible or the cost is prohibitive. 

However, for the most part, families are not prepared to pay these extraordinary costs, especially if they go on for years. As a result, family members are often required to provide the care for as long as possible. To learn more about how to protect your home, spouse and life savings from the increasing cost of nuring home care, register today for a free educational workshop.

Click on the button below to get our FREE report "The Plain Truth About Alzheimer's Disease" which includes the 9 Steps You Need to Take Right Now to Care for Your Loved One and to Protect Your Family’s Finances.

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At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we provide a unique education and counseling process which includes our original 19 Point Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Review to help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life savings, and legacy for their loved ones. Attend a free workshop to discover where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as you implement plans for a protected future.

You may register now for a free educational workshop - call 800-964-4295 or click the button below, to register and learn more about what youcan do to protect your spouse, your home, and your life savings.

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Tags: Alzheimer's, alzheimers care, dementia, care costs

Can Your Will Protect You When You Don't Die?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Thu, Aug 07, 2014

 

What Happens When You Don’t Die?

medicare, medicaid, wills, spouse

 

Is your “I love you” will capable of protecting you or your spouse from long-term care costs?

You know the kinds of wills we’re talking about: The husband leaves everything to the wife, the wife leaves everything to the husband and after they both die, everything goes to the kids. This works well in situations where the spouses are healthy one day and are deceased the next. 

However, as most of us know, life usually doesn’t work that way very often. Research indicates that nearly 70% of individuals over 65 will require some kind of long-term care in their lifetimes.

Thus, many spouses worry that if they predecease an ill spouse who is currently in a nursing home or will require long-term care at some point in the near future, there will be insufficient funds available to provide for their institutionalized spouses’ needs. This is an especially relevant concern for expenses that are not covered under Medicaid such as: care managers, private nurses, single rooms, as well as certain therapies and drugs.

Another concern is that the availability of funds from “I love you” wills and trusts will disqualify the surviving ill spouse from eligibility for Medicare benefits. As you know from prior articles, Medicare (MassHealth in Massachusetts) is the only long-term-care governmental program in the United States and does not cover long-term custodial care.

To solve this problem many of our clients rely on a “testamentary trust”. This is a trust built into the will of each spouse. For many estate planners, this is counterintuitive because much of the estate planning occurs within the context of a revocable living trust. In order to preserve access to Medicaid eligibility without requiring that the surviving spouse spend down the assets and lose the chance to maintain a “rainy day fund”, creating a testamentary trust in the will of the pre-deceasing spouse is essential.

What this means is that around age 55, you have to completely revise your wills and trusts to accommodate a different paradigm of thought. The thinking process is no longer “What happens when I die?” Now the question becomes “What happens if I don’t die and live a long time with expensive long-term care?”

The new paradigm requires a new estate plan. If you consider yourself middle-class (meaning that your net worth will be significantly impacted by the cost of long-term care for you and/or your spouse) and are over age 55, we suggest that you revise and update your estate plan to reflect your current and future needs as soon as possible.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

 Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

Tags: will, living will, Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Alzheimer's Disease, Elder Law, asset protection, long term care, Medicaid, in-home care, Health Care, estate reduction, estate, elder care journey, hospice, Alzheimers Disease, medicaid qualification, Wills, assets, Medicaid penalties, alzheimer's activities, in home, incapacity, Elder Law, Attorney, myths, Alzheimer's, alzheimers, financial, Attorney, income, Alzheimer's, federal, health, surviving spouse, in-home care, long term care insurance

Increase Your Brain Power!|Massachusetts Alzheimer's Attorney

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Fri, Feb 07, 2014

Estate, Asset, Brain Power, Alzheimer's

 

We've all been through those scary moments.

 We see a familiar face in an old movie on TV, and we frantically try to remember the name. Or we start walking to another room...and we suddenly forget why we're walking there.

 Well...relax. Incidents like these are quite normal. But, in addition, there are steps we can take to slow down cognitive decline. The brain is like the rest of the body - it responds to exercise!

 Here are a few things you can do...

  •  NEVER STOP LEARNING! - Stimulating our brains is the best protection against dementia and Alzheimer's. 
  •  GET ENOUGH SHUT-EYE - If you get less than six hours of sleep a night, your risk of stroke is greatly increased. 
  •   EAT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! - Most of your plate should be filled with green, leafy vegetables. Eat plenty of fish, nuts and olive oil. And avoid refined carbs. Studies show the "Mediterranean Diet" helps people live longer, healthier lives.
  •  WELCOME NEW CHALLENGES - The biggest memory complaint of Boomers and Seniors is difficulty in remembering names. So try memorizing three names a day - of celebrities, someone you met at the pool, TV personalities, athletes, etc.
  •   MOVE YOUR BUTT! - It's a great cardiovascular workout. And if you do it with a friend, it enhances stress-relieving social interaction, and brain-stimulating conversation.
  •   TRY MEDITATION - Reducing stress and anxiety generates improved blood flow to the brain. Try something simple. Inhale for a count of seven, hold for a count of seven, exhale for a count of seven. And repeat seven times.

If you've got questions about Alzheimer's or dementia, we've got answers.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

 

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, alzheimer's activities, Alzheimer's, Massachusettes, 2014, Brain Power

Early Signs That You May Be Getting Alzheimer's | Massachusetts Alzheimer's Attorney

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Mon, Jan 13, 2014

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Alzheimer's: Just hearing the word strikes fear into anyone over 50.

 The statistics are chilling. Already, more than five million Americans have Alzheimer's. And by the time the last Baby Boomer passes away, that figure will be over ten million.

Prior to the past few decades, it was simply called dementia. It wasn't until recent years that Alzheimer's became classified as a disease in itself...and as just one of a number of forms of dementia.

Most of us tend to think of memory loss as the chief distinguishing characteristic of Alzheimer's. And, realistically, it probably is. But it's often not the first way in which Alzheimer's manifests itself. In fact, there are a number of signs - prior to any noticeable memory loss - which could indicate the onset of this disease.

Unfortunately, most of us (and, often, even doctors) miss these early signs - because we're too focused on memory loss as the most significant indicator.

 In 2011, research in Spain indicated that more than a third of adults who go on to develop early-onset Alzheimer's (before age 65) display a number of other symptoms, before memory loss becomes obvious. Interestingly, they're also the same symptoms that often appear first in patients who develop the disease after 65.

 In Part 2, we'll give you the list of early symptoms which could possibly indicate the onset of Alzheimer's.

 With all this talk about Alzheimer's and dementia, it's wise to remember that estate planning isn't something you do after you become sick. It's something to do before you ever get sick!

 

We can help. We've been planning Massachusetts families' estates for the past 25 years.

 

We can help your family, too. We're just a phone call away.

To gain free online access to our Senior and Boomers Guide to Healthcare Reform and Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty, which contains care tips as well as other useful information , please Click the link here:

Seniors and Boomers Guide 

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, we help people and their families concerned with losing their homes and life savings to increasing medical and nursing home costs, taxes and the costs and time delays of probate. We also protect clients from losing control of their own health and financial decisions.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops to learn more about our process and what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. To register for a seat at an upcoming workshop call (800) 964-4295 (24/7) or register online at www.SeniorWorkshop.com

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimers Disease, alzheimer's activities, Alzheimer's, alzheimers, Nursing Home, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving From Dennis Sullivan & Associates | Massachusetts Alzheimer's Attorney

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Tue, Nov 26, 2013


Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!  

Turkey Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. This year we thought we would mention a concern that may affect some families and friends whose loved ones are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  In an article by CNN, it was reported that “Alzheimer’s ‘will become the defining disease of the Baby Boomer Generation.’” This is a difficult disease to live with and watch people live with. Below are some facts about the disease and some tips on how to celebrate this joyous holiday with the ones you love.


The Facts:
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those 65 and older. This disease is the only one in the top ten causes of death in America that has no way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll not only on those with the disease, but also on their caregivers. In 2012, 15.4 million family and friends provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias; this care valuing at $216.3 billion... 

Thanksgiving Tips:

  • While preparing the food, reminisce about past Thanksgivings. But don’t ask, “Do you remember when…” something happened, since you don’t know how much has been forgotten. Instead, try starting your memories with “Wasn’t it fun when we…”

  • Limit the number of people you invite this year. Too many people may overwhelm someone with Alzheimer’s. Also make sure that there is a place for them to rest when things get to be a little too hectic.

  • Fill your home with familiar holiday scents, such as vanilla, which is considered to be calming. The smell of cooking food may also trigger memories and put them at ease.

  • Allow the person with Alzheimer’s to participate in cooking, but make sure that it is in a safe environment. Maybe stirring batter or mashing potatoes (See recipe below) at the kitchen table would be a good idea.

  • Sing or play familiar music. Music has a unique place in the human memory.

  • Watch TV or a movie together. You could watch a Football game, a Thanksgiving Day parade, or the Westminster National Dog Show.  

Family Thanksgiving

Recipe:

Kraft’s Whipped Sweet Potato Bake

what you need:
3 cans  (15 oz. each) sweet potatoes, drained
¼ cup  butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
1 tsp.  ground ginger
¼ tsp.  ground nutmeg
3 cups  JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows  
make it:
HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT potatoes, butter and spices with mixer until blended.
SPOON into 1-1/2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with marshmallows.
BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until potato mixture is heated through and marshmallows are lightly browned.
kraft kitchens tips:
SIZE-WISE
Enjoy this classic side dish on special occasions, but keep portion size in mind.
USE YOUR MICROWAVE
Mix all ingredients; spoon into microwaveable 1-1/2-qt. dish sprayed with cooking spray. Do not top with marshmallows. Microwave on HIGH 8 to 10 min. or until heated through, stirring after 5 min. Top with marshmallows; let stand 2 to 3 min. or until marshmallows begin to melt.
SUBSTITUTE
Substitute 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, we help people and their families concerned with losing their homes and life savings to increasing medical and nursing home costs, taxes and the costs and time delays of probate. We also protect clients from losing control of their own health and financial decisions.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops to learn more about our process and what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. To register for a seat at an upcoming workshop call (800) 964-4295 (24/7) or register online 

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

CNN Artcle: Here Tips: Here Recipe: Here

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimers Disease, alzheimer's activities, Alzheimer's, Alzheimers Disease. Massachusetts, Thanksgiving, Recipes, family

Massachusetts Elder Law Lawyer | Alzheimer's vs. Dementia: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Fri, Feb 15, 2013

Alzheimer's, Dementia, Lawyer, Massachusetts, Elder LawWe recently saw a large-type headline about a woman who was supposedly "cured" of Alzheimer's. There is of course, no cure for Alzheimer's. As it turns out that this woman had been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She actually had a rare thyroid condition that can sometimes mimic the characteristics of Alzheimer's.  

Alzheimer's now affects nearly 6 million Americans, some of them at surprisingly-young ages (like University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summit, who was diagnosed at 59). And experts are saying that, by the year 2030, the number of people with the disease will double.  

Did you know, Alzheimer's accounts for only 70% of dementias...not all of them!  

Some forms of dementia, believe it or not, can be caused by physical illness, such as vascular dementia, strokes, Parkinson's, medications that don't interact well together, urinary tract infections, fluid on the brain, thyroid or other endocrine illnesses, or metabolic problems.  There may also be other hidden villains as well, that only a series of extensive and invasive medical tests can reveal. If a doctor diagnoses you or a loved one with dementia, perhaps you should consider a having battery of tests conducted just to make sure. Misdiagnoses can result in tragedy, especially for seniors.  

For more information on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, we encourage you to visit

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

Alzheimer's Care, Demetia Care, Lawyer, Elder LawTo gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com.  We also invite you to visit (insert domain name from list below) for more information on (pick one of three topics).

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique education and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

 

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

 

Nursing home care is more than $140,000 per year! Attend this FREE educational seminar to learn:

  • How to protect your home and assets from the costs of long-term care

  • How to stay out of the nursing home and access in-home care

  • How to make sure your spouse is not left financially ruined if you need nursing home care

  • How to access Veterans benefits to pay for long-term care

Tags: Elder Law, Medicaid, dementia, Alzheimers Disease, Alzheimer's, Alzheimers Disease. Massachusetts, adult day center

Massachusetts Alzheimer's Lawyer | How Beneficial is a Dementia Care Unit for Someone with Alzheimer's?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Fri, Feb 01, 2013

How Beneficial is a Dementia Care Unit for Someone with Alzheimer's?

As an Elder Law attorney, I get asked this question a lot. And I tell my clients that it can be very beneficial...if the unit is designed and staffed appropriately.

The goal of such a unit, of course, is to provide specialized care. Personnel should have specialized training for dementia. The unit itself should have smaller spaces, so patients don't feel overwhelmed. It should be a quieter environment, to prevent over-stimulation. It should be locked securely, as many Alzheimer's patients move around or pace.

I tell my clients to pay attention to the design of the unit at which they're looking. Good dementia units are designed to provide more specialized care and less stimulation. In fact, many no longer have intercoms or p.a. systems.

A dementia unit should also have its own Activities Director, who designs specialized programs. Staff are often trained in how to help the seniors participate and enjoy themselves more.

Your state's Department on Aging might provide you with a list of facilities in your area, or else point you toward the proper agency.

Another thing I tell my clients: Visit at least three facilities! Take a friend who can be objective. Then...

  • Meet the staff - and observe their interaction with the patients.
  • Is the facility clean? Are the grounds well-tended? (And secure??)
  • Ask to see their most recent state survey.
  • If the survey indicates deficiencies., what were they?
  • Were they addressed? How?

After speaking with the friend who accompanied you, make a list of pros and cons. AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!!

If you have a loved one with dementia, you'll be asking yourself new questions every day.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.comlawyer

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Tags: dementia, Massachusetts, Elder Law, Attorney, senior, Alzheimer's, care unit

Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney | Beware: Scammers are Targeting Seniors

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Tue, Jan 01, 2013

Small wonder that seniors are the biggest targets of frauds and scams.

They were born and grew up in a different world. Because of that - and because, by nature, seniors tend to be more trusting - every senior today has a red target on his/her back.elder law, attorney, Massachusetts

Many seniors receive e-mails stating they've won a prize, often in a contest they haven't even entered. Others receive notice of free goods or services. To these types of e-mails, the experts all say the same thing. DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK!! If you didn't enter the contest, you didn't win anything. And if it sounds too good to be true - it is!

Another frequent tactic is to "notify" seniors that they're eligible for free Medicare services. The only thing "free" about this is the opportunity for scammers to get their hands on your personal information, so they can bill the government for services they never provided.

Unfortunately, many seniors are embarrassed to report they've been the victim of a scam.

One of my clients was recently targeted by one of the newly-popular schemes. She received a call from her "grandson," saying he was stranded in England and needed her to wire money. However, this client had paid attention to what I had told her about scammers. And when she asked for her "grandson's" last name...he hung up quickly.

At restaurants, pay with cash whenever possible. Giving credit cards to a server is never a good idea. And you should never use a debit card at a restaurant, either, because an unscrupulous employee can end up emptying your bank account.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

Tags: seniors, Massachusetts, Elder Law, Alzheimer's, frauds, scams

Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney | My Dad's In a Nursing Home...

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Thu, Dec 13, 2012

My Dad's In a Nursing Home...And Constantly Losing His Glasses, Wallet, And Dentures. What Can We Do?

Well, the first thing I tell clients in this situation is to remember why he's there in the first place - he may have memory problems.

Then, I advise them to speak with the director of his unit, and find out why this keeps happening. Then you have to determine whether the item is worth replacing. Obviously, glasses and dentures need to be replaced. But other items may not need to be.describe the image

Wallets, for example, may be more of a comfort/reassurance item to him than anything else. And, if that's the case, you don't have to replace each one with a fancy wallet; an inexpensive one may do. In fact, it may pay to keep a few on hand.

Replacing lost or broken items can be expensive. But there are still ways you can save. For example, you can compromise on the frame of his glasses. Or, if he just uses them for reading, perhaps an inexpensive pair of reading glasses - available at any drug store - would suffice.

Even with dentures - which are obviously a necessity - it may be possible to save some money. If they're broken, consider fixing them rather than replacing them. And if they're lost, chances are, they'll be lost again. It's conceivable that they just don't fit right...and your loved one may be removing them. If that's the case, a dentist may suggest alternative measures...including re-fitting the dentures to; make them more comfortable.

If your loved one's in a nursing home, you probably have a million questions - every day. But we can help.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Tags: family, Nursing Home, Elder Law, Alzheimer's

Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney | Does MassHealth’s Penalty Apply Only to Gifts?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Wed, Dec 12, 2012

Does MassHealth’s Penalty Apply Only to Gifts?

MassHealth, gifts, elder, law, attorney

When considering the MassHealth penalty elder law clients usually think only in terms of gifts.  However, the penalty is triggered by much more than simply gifts.  The penalty is triggered by a transfer for less than fair value that causes a penalty. Fair value is not measured subjectively, but rather objectively based on fair market value. When there is a transfer of assets out of the applicant’s name, the applicant has the burden of establishing, by documentary evidence that the transfer should not be subject to a penalty.  If it cannot be  prove it – and, again, it is not sufficient to tell MassHealth what the money was spent for – then it is treated as a transfer for less than fair value.  MassHealth requires documentation to prove the fair value.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

Tags: Estate Planning, gifts, MassHealth, gifting, tax, Elder Law, Alzheimer's

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