Being the executor of an estate can be a time-consuming job, depending on the size and complexity of the estate. While a simple estate can take a few months and not require a huge time commitment, if there are problems, the job can drag on for years.

Can I transfer my interest in a house my parents own in a Life Estate without affecting their Medicaid?

QUESTION:

My parents have a life estate in a home that they gifted to me six years ago. I want to transfer the home to my brother. My parents own a dog that has been deemed dangerous, and I don’t want the liability of owning the home. If we transfer the house, will the Medicaid look-back include this change? 

PETER’S ANSWER:

There are two issues here. First, the basic question is whether you have any liability if the dog were to bite and harm someone. The answer is no. It’s their problem.

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by Pierro, Connor, & Strauss, LLC.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread through the country, more people are realizing the importance of getting their estate planning documents in order. Those over the age of 60 are particularly at risk for developing complications from the novel coronavirus infection. Having in place documents — including a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a medical directive, a HIPAA release and a will — is essential in the event that illness strikes.

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With Coronavirus dominating news coverage and creating alarm, it is important to know that Medicare and Medicaid will cover tests for the virus. 

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The 2020 census is starting soon, and seniors need to be counted. This may be more of a challenge this year because for the first time, the census will be completed largely online.

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Federal law requires that beginning on April 1 of the year after you reach age 70 1/2, you must begin withdrawing a minimum amount from your non-Roth individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) accounts. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions (RMDs).

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JANUARY 9- IF MEDICAID IS ON THE FEDERAL CHOPPING BLOCK, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

With the recently-passed tax bill in the news, many are fearful Medicaid funds will be cut. That’s been a goal for Congressional Republicans for many years. Lou explains that the tax bill is estimated to add 1.4 trillion dollars to the deficit, which is also an impetus for cuts in the entitlement prorams. Medicare, a health care program for the elderly, could face cuts. Medicaid, which is a Federal-State health insurance program for low-income and needy people, may be cut as well. Eligibility rules for the program could also change. Lou’s biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead and soon! If you do legal planning under current eligibility rules, you will be grandfathered in, meaning that Medicaid can’t revoke your assistance down the road.

Give us a ring to get started. Pierro, Connor & Associates offers a free consultation at any of our locations or by phone. Call 1-518-459-2100 or email us at info@pierrolaw.com

Each week iHeartMedia radio station, WGY, invites local experts to share their knowledge on a range of topics. Recently, they invited attorney Lou Pierro to share his biggest tips on Estate Planning. Listen below!

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Each week iHeartMedia radio station, WGY, invites local experts to share their knowledge on a range of topics. Recently, they invited attorney Lou Pierro to share his biggest tips on Estate Planning.

Dec 19. A Will is something everyone should have if they are age 18 or older. A Will requires probate – a court process – which can take a long time and cost a substantial amount of money. As an alternative to a trust, a ‘Living Will’ does not require a court process. It’s a faster way to pass your assets on to your beneficiaries. The only way to know which one would work best for you is to ask an experienced Estate Planning lawyer. Lou also suggests that people review their documents every 1-5 years. Life can move fast, so staying on top of your assets is very important.

In the next podcast on Dec. 26, Joe asks Lou about long-term goals people should be considering.  Today, people are living longer and want to age in place. To do this successfully, you need to plan for the type of care you want to receive, and how to cover those expenses. The cost of a nursing home is about $150,000 dollars a year. Many people will not be able to sustain this, unless they plan in advance. Pierro, Connor & Associates offers free consultations to generate options customized for each family’s needs. Call us at 518-459-2100.

Each week iHeartMedia radio station, WGY, invites local experts to share their knowledge on a range of topics. Recently, they invited attorney Lou Pierro to share his biggest tips on Estate Planning.

In the first podcast, Lou and Joe discuss tax reform in Washington. Although it is not final, the elimination of income tax deductions is likely to be included in the final bill. It will affect blue states the most, which tend to have higher income taxes. Because of this, Lou recommends being proactive in your spending habits. Take advantage of the deductions by the end of the year and pre-pay property taxes and mortgage. 

In the second podcast, Lou talks about the misconceptions with Medicare. Many seniors rely on Medicare, but are unaware of the gaps in coverage that it can leave. Medicare pays for no long-term care, so it’s important that you plan to protect yourself and assets as you get older. Ask yourself: what is my liability? Then, plan to anticipate that risk. Examples of this are setting up a trust, so that if you do need to go on Medicaid, your assets will be protected, and you can avoid the ‘spend down’.

Call (518) 459-2100 today to set up a free consultation and learn more!