Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

C19 UPDATE: EMERGENCY LIFE, HEALTH & ESTATE PLANNING DECISIONS TO MAKE RIGHT NOW

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Tue, Mar 31, 2020

P42.Sullivan.DecBlog1

C19 UPDATE: Emergency Decisions to Make Right Now: 

Though it may be hard not to panic when the grocery store shelves are empty, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 keeps rising, and we see sobering statistics across the globe … we will not overcome this challenge with a panicked response.

Nonetheless, there are certain things we all need to be doing right now – and your public health officials are the best resource on how to stay personally safe and help prevent the virus from spreading.

When it comes to the seriousness of this outbreak, however, there also are some critical estate planning decisions you should make – or review – right now.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who will make medical decisions for me should I become severely ill and unable to make these decisions myself?
  2. Who will make my financial decisions in that same situation — for example, who will be authorized to sign my income tax return, write checks or pay my bills online?
  3. Who is authorized to take care of my minor children in the event of my severe illness? What decisions are they authorized to make? How will they absorb the financial burden?
  4. If the unthinkable happens – what arrangements have I made for the care of my minor children, any family members with special needs, my pets or other vulnerable loved ones?
  5. How will my business continue if I were to become seriously ill and unable to work, even remotely … or in the event of my death?
  6. How can I protect my home, spouse and life savings if I needed a nursing home? 

These are the most personal decisions to make right now to protect yourself and your loved ones during this emergency. Now is also a good time to ask yourself if you have plans in place for the smooth transfer of your assets and preservation of your legacy.

We are here for clients as well as friends, family, neighbors and the community in which we live and serve to help you discover where problems exist now as well as your opportunities for improvement. With our unique counseling you will understand the ramifications of your choices, so you are confident to sign your critical life, disability, estate, elder law and asset protection plans with the mandatory legal documents.

ALL OF OUR clients receive a wallet card for 24/7 emergency health care access for who to call in and emergency as well as the electronic 24/7 access to the required legal documents for EMTs and emergency health workers to speak with them on you’re and your family’s behalf. This applies to any one 18 years of age and older. We are currently providing BOTH remote education and counseling discovery sessions conferences for your convenience. Schedule a call now and let us help you make the right choices for yourself and your loved ones.

We are ready to help walk you through these decisions, understand the ramifications of your choices, and memorialize your plans in binding legal documents. We are currently providing BOTH remote discovery education and counseling sessions for your convenience. Schedule your unique 19-point discovery and personal counseling session now.

It is our goal to provide our clients with the highest level of legal services in the areas of Last Will and Testaments, Living Trusts, Protective Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate, Asset Protection, and complete Business Planning. If you or someone you know needs information on Massachusetts Estate, Elder Law and Asset Protection Planning, please register today for your personalized discovery and review counseling  sessions at 800-964-4295 or on line at DSullivan.com. Now is the time   to gain control and peace of mind with your unique 19 Point Trust Estate and Asset Protection Review Discovery Counseling and Protection Process. You will even be eligible for our Lifetime Protection Program, developed and improved over 14 years of service for Massachusetts and Metro West families helping them protect their home, spouse, family, legacy and life savings for generations.

Tags: Estate Planning, Elder Law, Elder Law Attorney, Estate Planning Attorney, covid-19

Critical Estate Planning Considerations In The New Year

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Jan 24, 2020

P42.Sullivan.JanBlog1January is an exciting time when we can come together with our loved ones and set our goals for the upcoming year. From healthy lifestyle changes and setting new financial goals to spending more time with family or planning for retirement, the New Year holds special meaning to each of us. As you already know, this year is special as this New Year marks not just the start of a new year, but the start of a new decade. 

As you reflect on the resolutions you have set for yourself for 2020, we ask you how many of them, if any, focus on your estate planning? Unfortunately, we see year in and year out that many of our clients do not make their estate plans a priority. Instead, they treat their planning as a “one time” issue and do not revisit it each year to ensure that it reflects their goals.

There are significant issues with this type of thinking. While the goal is for your estate plan to help you through any and all circumstances, things change. These could be changes in your personal life or your financial planning, but they could also originate with both the federal and state laws that govern your planning. The key is to be proactive and frequently check in with your estate planning attorney to ensure that your goals for yourself, your loved ones, your business, and your legacy, may still be achieved.

In fact, you may not realize that over 86% of trust agreements do not work. You may find this to be a staggering statistic, and we would agree with you. What could, perhaps, be the bigger question is: Why do they fail? This New Year, we want you to make it a priority to learn the issues behind many trust agreements that we see. In fact, you may discover where problems typically exist and the opportunities you have to improve your planning with our free guide. Just click this link to access it right now, at no charge!

We know this can be concerning to read. After all, when you worked with your estate planning attorney you invested a significant amount of time and money to your plan. You want it to work, and to learn it may not is devastating. This is just one of the reasons why we have developed our own unique estate planning process that combines both education and counseling so that we may understand your planning goals and ensure your estate plan will not fail. You may contact us to schedule a meeting to speak with us personally about your goals and your estate plan.

You do not have to wait, however, for your first meeting with us. You can get started right now. We can provide you with our unique, proven, 19-point analysis of your existing estate plan. Our unique 19-Point Trust, Estate and Asset Protection analysis provides you with the ability to identify and fix hidden mistakes in existing planning. It may surprise you to learn that during this review, either on your own or with us in our office, we often find more than 9 mistakes! 

If you do not have a plan, we will help you develop a plan based on your personal goals and objectives. The key is to not put off this critical planning this New Year. We do not just create trust documents. Instead, most importantly, we help people discover, review, and analyze estate plans to make sure that their existing plan can provide them with peace of mind and the level of protection that they would like for themselves and their family.

We even go one step further because we are committed to ensuring that you are protected in all circumstances. We provide Discovery Workshops that you may register for to learn more about our unique process and what you truly need. These are free workshops on trust, estate, and asset protection. You are welcome to register by calling 800-964-4295 or registering on www.DSullivan.com. 

Do not let these opportunities pass you by. Start the New Year by taking control of your estate planning and your legacy and lifetime protections.

Tags: Estate Planning, Elder Law, estate tax, New Year's Resolutions, Metro West Estate Plan, 2020

Key Considerations for Your Aging Parents in Their First Estate Planning Meeting

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Mon, Dec 16, 2019

P42.Sullivan.DecBlog1Is your parent’s estate plan current? Does it reflect their wishes for what they want for their person, their family, and their legacy, should they become incapacitated or pass away? Unfortunately, today, many estate plans for us, as well as our parents, are not frequently updated and, as a result, are not an accurate reflection of our wishes.

This can be a dangerous proposition. Perhaps even more concerning, however, is when your parents, or you, do not have any estate planning at all. Without planning your parents may be at risk of not being able to choose their decision makers for healthcare and financial decisions, or make plans that create the legacy they want to leave to those they love.

There are numerous reasons why your parents may not have completed their estate planning but we often find it is because people simply put off planning. They get busy, it is not a priority, and they do not realize they need it until it is too late. Our goal is to encourage you to work with your parents to create their estate plan with their attorney, and to address any concerns they may have about this first meeting early on.

The first question your parents may want to ask their attorney is his or her experience in estate planning for elderly clients. Many attorneys do not specialize in estate plans that are designed to meet the special legal needs of elderly couples. Let us share an example with you here.

For instance, the majority of your parents’ assets may be invested in separate Individual Retirement Accounts. If this is a second marriage for your parent, it may not be advisable for the parent to simply name the surviving spouse as the beneficiary of the IRAs. This is because the surviving spouse may not understand the need for naming all of the children of both marriages as the beneficiaries of the survivor’s IRA. Instead, the surviving parent may simply leave all of the first spouse’s IRA with the survivor’s IRA to his or her children as the beneficiary of the combined IRA’s.  Your parents need an attorney experienced in drafting specialized IRA trusts to protect all involved and to reach your parents’ goals.

The second question you parents may want to ask their attorney is about his or her specialized education and training in estate planning. How many years has the attorney specialized in estate planning? What does his or her practice focus on? What about his or her focus on elder law? While initially you may only think of estate planning, bear in mind, elder law encompasses the special needs of the elderly such as Medicaid planning for married couples.  

These are just a few of the questions and ideas we want to share with you as you work with your parents on their estate planning goals. There is never a wrong time to talk to your parents about these issues and the plan forward for the future.

At Dennis Sullivan & Associates we help family plan for the future, and with our lifetime protection program, and our Unique 19 point Trust, Estate & Asset Protection Analysis, we emphasize making sure the estate plan continues to meet the needs of all involved.

To discover what your estate planning options are, attend a free Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Seminar, and speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your goals for yourself, your loved ones, and for your parents.

Tags: Estate Planning, Lifetime Protection Program, Elder Law, seniors, family, trusts, Estate Planning Tip, estate

Tips to Prevent Elder Abuse in Honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sat, Jun 08, 2019

 

Did you know that elder abuse impacts millions of Americans every year, and millions more across the globe? It is a reprehensible problem, and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Especially as our senior populations continue to grow both in Massachusetts and across the United States, and as life-expectancy rates increase, incidents of elder abuse can only be expected to rise.

One of the best ways to fight the growing epidemic, is to educate the public about the reality of elder abuse together with the risk factors and causes, and ways to prevent it. This is exactly what business like ours, governments, human rights organizations and many professionals are doing in association with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, let us share a list of tips with you to help prevent elder abuse from harming a loved one in your life right here in our blog:

 Educate senior members about elder abuse and make sure they know to report it immediately.

 If an aging loved one suffers from dementia or is unable to speak up for themselves, then actively pay close attention to signs of abuse and neglect.

  • Keep senior family members engaged in community activities and social groups. This can decrease isolation, and reduce their vulnerability to abuse.
  • Make sure an elder family member has a phone, or a way to communicate promptly.
  • Older Americans should not give out personal information on the internet or over the phone.
  • Obtaining a durable power of attorney allows for a trusted person, like an adult child, to make important decisions on the elder person’s behalf even when they are ill.
  • Know your rights. If an aging loved one lives in a nursing home, he or she has every right to contact a Long Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is the advocate and has the power to intervene.

If you suspect an elder loved one is the victim of abuse, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual harm, in addition to neglect and financial exploitation, do not wait to report it. You can click this link to learn how to report abuse in Massachusetts. We can only stop the epidemic of elder abuse by making an effort together to stop it. Do not wait to contact us with your questions on this or any elder care issues.

To learn more about Elder Law, Estate Planning and elder care issues attend one of our free discovery sessions. 

Tags: Elder Law, elder care journey, elder care, elder abuse

5 Care Tips to Help Out-of-Town Senior Loved Ones This National Older Americans Month

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, May 30, 2019

P42.Sullivan.Blog.May1

National Older Americans Month began in 1963 and is now observed every May. At the time of its creation, about one-third of all American seniors lived in poverty, and there were few government programs to assist them. In fact, Medicare had not even been created. Thankfully, seniors are faring much better today and there are more abundant resources available to help them, although there is still much work to be done.

https://acl.gov/oam/2019/older-americans-month-2019

This month-long celebration involves honoring senior adults and the many ways they contribute to society and to the lives of others. National Older Americans Month also calls for communities and adult family members of older adults to get involved. What if, however, your senior loved one lives out of town? Let us share five tips to help you support them.

  1. Maintain Good Communication. Call often and visit as often as you can. Encourage other family members and friends to do the same. It is not just a nice thing to do, but regular communication helps prevent isolation, and can identify unmet needs. If your Older American does not like to have prolonged telephone conversations or has a hard time beginning them, consider trying some leading questions. For example, you could ask: “What’s on the agenda for this afternoon?” or “How was your appointment with Dr. Smith?”
  2. Keep a Caregiver Notebook. Create an online digital notebook of doctors, health providers, insurance agents, friends, neighbors, and other important contacts for an elder loved one. Do not wait to share it with other family members and your loved one. Be sure to let him or her know how valuable this can be and work with him or her if the technology side of this caregiver notebook is hard for him or her to use at first. After you become familiar with working together on this project, keeping an up-to-date online calendar can also be helpful.
  3. Enlist Local Support.  One way to hedge against emergencies is to develop relationships with key individuals who are in regular contact with an older family member. These people can include neighbors, care providers, doctors, support group members, and even church members. Try to develop a friendly, two-way communication along with developing a plan for communication in a crisis.
  4. Daily Assistance. Long distance relationships are difficult at any age. For out-of-town seniors, however, it is important to build up their care network in their community. Consider coordinating with various organizations and individuals to schedule frequent assistance, such as meal deliveries, driving to appointments, social visits, and check-ups from home health aides.
  5. Other Family Members. Keeping up with an out-of-town senior loved one can be a lot for any single person to handle. If possible, involve other family members to help with communication, health care, financial, and legal responsibilities. As a team, you can accomplish so much more than you can alone. This also will ensure you have a back-up in the event you take a vacation or are sick for a period of time.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. In our experience, planning forward to help Older Americans navigate the challenges they might face now or in the future is essential to ensure everyone has peace of mind. Do not wait to contact our practice and schedule an appointment to learn how we may work together to find the right solutions for you and your family.

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

If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

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. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $900 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)

Tags: Elder Law, seniors

Elder Law or Estate Planning: What is the Difference?

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, May 23, 2019

P42.Sullivan.MayBlog2

Do you know the difference between Estate Planning and Elder Law? Often, when a potential client comes to us, they are unaware that Estate Planning and Elder Law are two different practice areas. Understanding the difference between these two areas is crucial to determining the type of attorney you need to accomplish your goals and needs. We know it can be overwhelming to plan for the future, which is why we want to share with you a few of the key differences between Estate Planning and Elder Law to help prepare you for this challenging task.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the overarching term for the process of creating a plan for the distribution of your assets upon your death. A common misconception about Estate Planning is that only aging adults and seniors need to seek the guidance of an Estate Planning attorney. In reality, this is not true. Through Estate Planning, anybody, regardless of age, can create a plan to determine who will make decisions on your behalf in the event that incapacity occurs.

An Estate Planning attorney can also help create important legal documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, and a Trust, to further your unique planning goals. These documents hold significant value, and should not be created without the advice of an experienced Estate Planning attorney.

 Elder Law

 Elder Law, while similar in some aspects, differs from Estate Planning as it mostly focuses on protecting you and your assets as you age. An Elder Law attorney, for example, can help you prepare for the rising costs of long-term care, as well as the protection of your assets should you choose to reside in an assisted living facility.

Also, an Elder Law attorney is likely to be more familiar with the challenges seniors face while aging than an Estate Planning attorney is. With this knowledge and experience, an Elder Law attorney can help determine your eligibility for certain benefits, such as Medicaid and VA benefits, and complete the application process for those benefits on your behalf.

 Planning ahead for aging or a time when you are no longer here can be overwhelming, but it is key for protecting your assets and your loved ones. Remember, we are here to help guide you through each step and can help you evaluate the best planning options for you and your family. If you are ready to discuss your legal planning needs, do not wait to contact our office.

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.

If you would like more information on Elder Law, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

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: Elder Law

Understanding the Correlation Between Dementia and Elder Abuse

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Tue, Apr 09, 2019

P42.Sullivan.Blog.April1Nearly every American family has been touched in some way by dementia, especially in its most common form of Alzheimer’s Disease. It cuts across every social and economic demographic, and currently affects more than five million Americans. What you may not know, however, is that dementia is also the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and has no known cure.

Unfortunately, recent research has revealed that there is an unsettling correlation between dementia and elder abuse. Elder abuse is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.'' It can include physical, emotional, or sexual harm, along with neglect and financial exploitation.

Similar to other types of abuse, victims may become confused, terrified and even embarrassed of the crime perpetrated against them. Seniors especially may often fear retaliation, either in the form of physical abuse, neglect, or isolation. This may cause them to attempt to keep their abusers from getting in trouble, which can be a particular problem when family members behave abusively.

Reports now show that there is an increased correlation between dementia and elder abuse. A few of the reasons why are that seniors with dementia are vulnerable because of impaired memory, communication skills, and judgment. They are also less likely to report abuse, and might not even be aware that abuse is happening. According to the University of California, Irvine Center on Elder Abuse and Neglect, nearly one in two aging adults with dementia has experienced some type of abuse.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop this cycle. It is important to know what to be on the lookout for when it comes to your loved ones. Let us present a few of the steps we share with our friends, family, and community on this critical topic.

 1. Know Your Rights. Every state has resources to help stop elder abuse and our state is no exception. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, “ Elder Abuse reports can be filed 24 hours a day either online or by phone at (800) 922-2275”. We encourage you to learn more on this website or ask us for more information, especially if you are concerned that an elder loved one with dementia is suffering from abuse.

2. Recognize the Warning Signs. Unexplained injuries, bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration are just a few of the telltale signs. Others may include suspicious caregiver behavior, and sudden adverse changes to an older person’s financial resources.

 3. Report, Report, Report. One of the most effective ways to combat elder abuse is to report it to agencies and authorities who can do something about it. Studies routinely show that elder abuse is chronically under-reported. Again, check out the website we referenced above for more information.

4. Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney creates the legal authority for a trusted family member or confidant to act on a senior’s behalf, it can even work when the senior is unable to make his or her decisions. This legal document needs to be obtained proactively and an experienced estate planning attorney can help you craft one that is right for your specific situation.

 We encourage you to ask us your questions. Whether you are concerned about how to manage a dementia diagnosis or are worried about the potential of elder abuse in the future, we want to help answer your questions. For more information on protecting yourself or a family member, attend a free, informational seminar. 

Tags: Elder Law, durable power of attorney, elder care, incapacity, elder abuse

5 Questions to Ask When Updating Your Estate Plan in the New Year 2019

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Mon, Jan 07, 2019

P42.Sullivan.Blog.Dec1Creating a personalized estate plan may be the single most important thing you can do to make sure your decisions are honored if you become incapacitated or when you pass away. If you do not have an estate plan right now, or it has been years since you reviewed it, the new year may be the right time to ensure you are able to protect yourself and those you love most.

Much of estate planning deals with protecting and distributing property. A Last Will and Testament, for example, provides instructions for how a deceased person’s possessions should be distributed. Similarly, a Revocable Trust can direct the distribution of assets upon one’s death, although it can also manage the creator’s assets while he or she is alive.

There is much more to estate planning than Wills and Trusts, however, and your estate planning attorney can provide plenty of guidance. Let us share five questions to ask not only when you are considering crafting an estate plan but if you are updating an existing plan in the new year.

 

  1. Did you move to a different state? Every state has its own laws governing estate planning. Some features in an existing plan will be unaffected, while some key items may need to be revised. Do not wait to review with an estate planning attorney in your new state to ensure your plans can be fulfilled as you originally wanted them to be.

 

  1. Do any of your beneficiaries have special needs? If a special needs loved one is named in your estate plan, then it is worth exploring ways of specifically providing for them, especially after you are gone. Unfortunately, without planning that contemplates the needs of your disabled loved one, he or she may be at risk of losing valuable government benefits.

 

  1. Do you need to update a power of attorney? A power of attorney document gives someone else the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. The document can be tailored to meet your specific needs, or provide for general decision making authority. Talk to your attorney to ensure there is a durability provision to cover the possibility of your incapacitation.

 

  1. Have you considered advanced healthcare directives? Advanced healthcare directives, including tools such as the living will, are legal documents in which a person specifies what actions are to be taken regarding his or her health if he or she is no longer able to make decisions. You may want to review any existing plans to ensure you have the right person named to make your healthcare decisions.

 

  1. Do you want to change beneficiaries? A marriage, a death in the family, a divorce, or the birth of new child or grandchild, are only a few reasons to update beneficiary designations in estate planning documents. You may also want to add a charity or a cause you care about. The new year is a great time to do so.

 Do not wait to think about the estate planning you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Although the new year can be a great time to get things in order, remember, there is never a “wrong” time to ensure you have the planning you need. Do not wait to contact us with your questions and to schedule your attendance at one of our free Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Workshops.

Tags: asset protection, long term care, Retirement, Estate Planning, Baby Boomers, Elder Law, HIPAA, durable power of attorney, Health Care, health care proxy, seniors, estate tax, family, New Year's Resolutions, Estate Planning Tip, 2019

Understanding Long Term Care Planning

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Jan 19, 2018

Facing the enormity of long term care, whether it is the financial, healthcare, emotional or psychological issues, it is so overwhelming. 

It's needs a team effort!  With the help of family, friends and our team here at Dennis Sullivan and Associates you can make the enormity of long term care manageable 

 

What exactly is "Long Term Care Planning" ? 

Here's one way to look at long term care planning: 

In today’s world, the question is no longer only, “What happens when I die?, but now we need to plan for “What happens if I live?” An estate plan covers the scenario of, What happens when I die.  But long term care covers a large variety of other factors and scenarios that sometime families forget to consider such as what happens if I live but am not healthy and have increased health-care costs and need to rely on others for assistance, either temporarily or on a permanent basis. The estate plan does not address this need. An estate plan can help you answer the first question, but a long-term care plan can help you answer both the first and second questions. Let’s put it another way. An estate plan insures that if you have assets when you die they will be passed in the manner you wish. The key word is “if.” The plan will not, however, guarantee that there will be anything left at that time to pass. Your assets could be mostly or entirely wiped out by a lengthy illness, hospital, and/or nursing home stay, leaving your spouse and other heirs with nothing.

 long Term Care and Medicaid:

I had a conversation last week with a married couple for whom we are preparing a Medicaid application. John is in a nursing home, and Mary is healthy and living at home. I explained to them that Mary can keep half of their countable assets, in their case $75,000, but that they must spend down to below that dollar amount by the last day of the month directly preceding the month we want to qualify John for Medicaid. I have had this conversation numerous times with clients in John and Mary’s situation, and know all too well that this simple instruction is not always followed. The largest part of most spend downs typically goes to the nursing home. But, as most people do, myself included, we wait until we get a bill before we pay it. If I owe you money, I’m not going to chase after you for a bill. Whenever you get around to it and invoice me, then I’ll pay it. The longer the money stays in my bank account, the happier I am. However, this can get you into big trouble and cost you tens of thousands of dollars if you wait for the nursing home bill. If we want John to be eligible for Medicaid next month and we know that he owes the nursing home $20,000 for the past two months of care, but the nursing home hasn’t yet presented Mary with a bill, it does not matter that Mary and John legitimately owe the facility the money. If that $20,000 is still sitting in their bank account next month, causing their account balance to exceed $75,000, John cannot qualify for Medicaid. Even worse than that, he can’t even qualify for next month. He has to wait until the following month, which means they will owe the facility another $10,000, leaving Mary with $65,000 to live on.


So Much to Discuss

For more information on Long Term Care Planning we encourage you 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. January sessions are filling up fast call or register on line to reserve your seat today.  

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


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

Tags: Retirement, Estate Planning, Baby Boomers, Elder Law, Attorney, GST tax, Massacusetts Estate Tax, Financial Planning, taxes, coverage, tax liability, tax exemption, Tax Savings, tax deductions, tax reform, New estate tax law, IRS, federal, Estate Planning Tip, Massachusetts, senior, Estate Planning Recommendations, Dennis Sullivan, tax, Capital Gains Tax, new regulations, New Tax Bill, Tax Bill, 2018 Tax Bill

New Tax Bill: What you need to know

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Jan 05, 2018

How does the new tax bill affect you and your family now and in the future?

The new tax bill has officially been passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, what does this mean for us?  The answer to this depends on many variables discussed here. 

 

First of all, these changes don’t apply until you file your 2018 taxes, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the new law when filing your 2017 income tax returns this spring.  That being said, still we will be experiencing the greatest overhaul of the tax laws in more than 30 years.  The last major changes having been made under President Reagan in 1986. 

One change you can expect to see is that both corporate tax rates and personal income tax rates will drop.  There are also other changes which limit or eliminate personal deductions.   The changes that affect corporate tax rates are permanent, and the changes that affect individual tax rates and deductions are not.

Also in the new tax bill you will find a “sunset” provision, meaning that the new law – as it applies to individuals – will expire on December 31, 2025.   That is, unless Congress agrees to extend the law.  That, of course, will depend on the political and economic climate 8 years from now, including whether the economy responds the way Republicans say it will

       Now let’s take a look at the changes that are likely to affect the average senior.  Good news, the tax rates have been lowered a bit.  There are still 7 tax brackets but the rates have changed with the top rate lowered from 39.6% to 37% and the threshold at which each rate is reached has been altered. (The corporate rate reduction is much greater, from 37% to 21%).

       Some of the most significant changes relate to deductions.  The standard deduction has been doubled to $12,000 for a single person and $24,000 for married couples but personal exemptions have been eliminated.  The deduction for state and local taxes will be capped at $10,000, something that could hurt many Massachusetts residents and especially homeowners because we have high real estate and state income taxes.  


So Much to Discuss:

For the first time in decades major overhauls to the tax system are happening! This is an enormous change that can affect your estate planning and asset protection as well. Be sure to stay tuned as we will discuss more about this new tax bill in our next blog post!    

For more information 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. January sessions are filling up fast call or register on line to reserve your seat today.  

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


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

Tags: Retirement, Estate Planning, Baby Boomers, Elder Law, Attorney, GST tax, Massacusetts Estate Tax, Financial Planning, taxes, coverage, tax liability, tax exemption, Tax Savings, tax deductions, tax reform, New estate tax law, IRS, federal, Estate Planning Tip, Massachusetts, senior, Estate Planning Recommendations, Dennis Sullivan, tax, Capital Gains Tax, new regulations, New Tax Bill, Tax Bill, 2018 Tax Bill

Sign-Up Below To Receive Your Free Report

Follow Me

Browse by Tag



Follow DennisBSullivan on Twitter