Preparing for a Natural Disaster

       With all the news stories about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the destruction caused to Texas, Florida and Caribbean islands, and their aftermath, one story caught my eye.  The deaths of 8 nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida highlights the especially vulnerable position that the elderly face in times of crisis and public […]

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Medicaid and Annuities (Part 2)

       In last week’s blog, I started to tell you about annuities and how unique they are when we are considering Medicaid.  In order to achieve Medicaid eligibility, I must spend down my assets to below $2000 (married couple rules permit assets up to, in some cases, $120,900).        Remember that […]

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Medicaid and Annuities (Part 1)

       The topic of annuities comes up regularly when we get a call regarding the need for Medicaid benefits to pay for long term care.  Sometimes the caller has questions about whether it is a good idea to buy an annuity in anticipation of Medicaid.  Other times someone has been sold an annuity […]

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What to Do with Your Pet After You’re Gone (Part 2)

          Last week I was talking about options when considering estate planning for pets. One is to leave your pet to someone or some organization along with a sum of money to provide for the pet’s care.  I leave my dog Casey to my friend George, for example, with $15,000 to care for her.  But, […]

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Estate Planning for Your Pet (Part 1)

                Everyone loves their pet.  We spend millions in pet products and vet bills each year and that number seems to increase every year.  A question I increasingly am asked is what happens to my pet when I pass away?  What are my options in terms of providing a safe home for him or her […]

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Health Care Directives and HIPAA Releases

     It’s a common mistake, confusing a health care directive and a HIPAA release.  Both are necessary but they are not identical.      First let’s look at a health care directive.  There are actually two types of directives, an instruction directive and a proxy directive, both of which are important.  An instruction directive is commonly […]

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Medicaid’s Confusing Treatment of Trusts (Part 2)

                Last week I wrote about trusts and how they are treated by Medicaid.  Specifically, I am talking about irrevocable trusts.  Most people assume that if they have placed their assets in an irrevocable trust, that by itself is enough to protect the assets from having to be spent down before achieving Medicaid eligibility.                 […]

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Medicaid’s Confusing Treatment of Trusts

                Not a week goes by in which someone doesn’t call us about Medicaid eligibility as it relates to trusts.  The question is usually some version of the following, “I transferred assets to an irrevocable trust.  Can you confirm for me that those assets are protected and not countable by Medicaid?”                 Trusts are very […]

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What is a QLAC? (Part 2)

       In last week’s post I told you about QLACs, qualified longevity annuity contracts.  This week I’ll delve into the pros and cons.  As I stated last week distributions under a QLAC begin at a specified starting date that you choose but no later than age 85.  There are no benefits under the […]

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What is a QLAC?

       Chances are a QLAC is not something you’ve heard of but over time that may change. It stands for Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract and it’s a relatively new investment option. The term “qualified” may be a tip off to some that it is a type of retirement account investment. That is true. It was […]

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