NURSING HOME RESIDENT PROTECTIONS

  • Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz a Democrat from Florida and Congressman Tim Wahlberg who is a Republican from Michigan introduced protections for residents in nursing homes during emergencies.
  • The house bill (H. R. 4704) provides in pertinent part that skilled nursing facilities shall meet certain emergency preparedness requirements.
  • The facility must have in place alternative sources of energy capable of powering heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for at least 96 hours.
  • Failure to comply with these provisions would subject the facility to a civil money penalty not to exceed $100,000.

 

THE CHALLENGES OF JOINT BANK ACCOUNTS

  • Usually, joint accounts are held with rights of survivorship.
  • Often times, joint accounts are made merely for convenience purposes.
  • This means that the account will not necessarily pass later in accordance with a will or trust that was created by a deceased account holder.
  • This problem most often arises when one child has their name as a joint account holder to help parent pay their bills.
  • While some children may feel they have a moral obligation to allocate funds as expressed in a will or trust, others will not.
  • This arrangement also exposes the account to potential attack or forfeiture from creditors of the added account holder.
  • In the ever-changing tax world, there can also be tax related issues in these arrangements including income/capital gain/gift tax issues.

 

Sandra D. Glazier Presents “Joint Representation: Conflicts, Waivers, Privileges, and Retention Agreements” at 27th Annual Drafting Estate Planning Documents Seminar

Lipson Neilson shareholder Sandra D. Glazier has been selected by ICLE to present “Joint Representation: Conflicts, Waivers, Privileges, and Retention Agreements” at the 27th Annual Drafting Estate Planning Documents seminar at The Inn at St. John’s conference center in Plymouth (MI) on February 15, 2018. Stacked with top Probate and Estate Planning speakers from across Michigan, this seminar provides 5.5 intermediate level CLE credits for eligible attorneys. Ms. Glazier made this presentation at the same seminar in Grand Rapids (MI) on January 18, 2018.

An attorney for more than 35 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country.

She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course.

TELEHEALTH TREATMENT PRACTICE CONTINUES TO GROW……

• Transportation to medical appointments is often a problem, particularly for infirm and older patients or those who are ill.
• There are often times long waits in physician offices.
• Transportation can be difficult if not inconvenient.
• Patients often need to contact their a local physician team in the event they have health problems occur while they are out of town, traveling, etc.
• Telehealth treatment removes a lot of these obstacles by allowing patients to consult with doctors and fill prescriptions over the Internet or by mobile        phone.
• In Michigan, this type of healthcare service was recognized by statute enabling patients to access their Michigan medical specialists from their own living room or while they are out of town.
• This trend is sweeping the country via the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact that is considered a new component of future medical treatment.

MAKING A WILL

A person eighteen (18) years or older who is of sound mind may make a will. If a person dies without a will they are considered to have died intestate in which case there are special guidelines on the distribution of the deceased’s estate according to state law.

ASSISTED-LIVING COSTS

  • The Assisted Living Federation reports the average age of an assisted living resident is 86 years of age.
  • According to a recent Consumer Reports study, the national median cost of a private one-bedroom in assisted-living costs 43,000 a year, actual nursing home costs can double the expense.
  • Studies have shown more than half of the residents suffer from some form of dementia impairment.
  • Dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society. In 2017 total payments for all individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are estimated at $259 billion.

Lack of Coordination: The Potential for Best Laid Plans to Go Awry

By: Martin S. Shenkman and Sandra D. Glazier[1]

This article was originally published in Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI).

In 1786 Robert Burns wrote his insightful poem commonly referred to as “Mousie”. In it he reflects that upon plowing his fields he undoes the foresight of mice who unfortunately built their nest in Burns’ field. He pens the oft used phrase that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.[2] In the realm of estate planning, a lack of coordination in the designation of agents, assets and/or beneficiaries frequently causes even the best laid plans to go awry. While subsequent changes to designations made by a client may be beyond our control, attention to the potential difficulties arising from conflicting directions and designations of agents may be a discussion worth having. At least the client who is “forewarned is forearmed”.[3]

Generally, clients come to us with some general, or perhaps even specific, ideas of how they wish to dispose of their property upon death. As part of a comprehensive approach to the client’s estate plan, it’s incumbent upon us to ask who they want to be responsible for administering those assets, not only upon death but also in the event of incapacity. Because the issue of asset management and control can fall under the auspices of different fiduciaries, consideration of who they will be and how they might interact and relate can be extremely important. Creating a comprehensive plan for clients often goes beyond simply drafting estate planning documents.

Planning for aging (and incapacity) requires more than just the traditional preparation of a Will, durable power of attorney (“DPOA”) (and perhaps a revocable trust). The multitude of fiduciary and quasi-fiduciary appointments clients make, almost entirely without professional input, can create conflicts and inconsistencies in the administration of the client’s affairs. Practitioners can provide great assistance to their clients when they expand the scope of their inquiry and client discussions to address issues relating to such appointments and the importance of coordination of fiduciaries named under primary legal documents. Doing so can forewarn the client of pitfalls that could undermine the safeguards the planning team is endeavoring to create. As estate planning remains extremely relevant in implementing client desires, it’s important for practitioners to evolve and consider a broader range of practical, non-technical, considerations that can make our services beneficial to all spheres of client echelons.

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Four Myths about Medicaid Eligibility

  • You must sell all your assets to qualify

FALSE: Certain assets are classified as exempt, such as your home, personal and household items, certain funeral contracts, a burial plot, and income producing real estate. Also, countable assets like cash, certificates of deposit, as well as stocks and bonds can also be converted to exempt assets with no penalty. For married individuals, additional exemptions apply.

  • If you have a Medicare Card, you are not eligible for Medicaid.

FALSE: Though both pay for essential health care services, their eligibility requirements, administration and coverage are different. Medicare does not require financial needs test for those 65 and over, US citizens or permanent residents who worked at least 10 years in covered employment. Medicaid, on the other hand, is based in significant part on financial need.

  • If all your assets are transferred to a trust, you can qualify for Medicaid immediately.

FALSE: The State looks back about 5 years at any transfers made to a trust before granting eligibility. These transfers may cause Medicaid eligibility for a period of time. The only exception to this is the Spousal Annuity Trust, which when setup in compliance with the rules, allows a couple to exempt all their excess assets from being counted and lets applicants become eligible nearly overnight.

  • Once Qualified for Medicaid, the State will pay for all nursing home care.

FALSE: Medicaid covers almost all expenses needed while living in a certified nursing home, except for incidentals. Recipients must use part of their monthly income to help pay their nursing home costs. This amount is called “patient pay amount” and is calculated by an established formula used by Medicaid.

To find out more about the firm visit www.lipsonneilson.com

PLANNING AHEAD FOR THE FAMILY BUSINESS

Planning the future of a family business is as important to a family as any other essential event. As such, it is important to plan for the future of the company once its founder is no longer able to run it. Business owners are faced with difficult decisions. Do you pass the company on to your children? If so, do not do it all at once but rather in portions of stock to avoid facing an enormous gift tax. Depending on the circumstances, estate taxes may also become part of the equation.

If the children have no interest or desire to run the company or perhaps lack the skills essential to doing so, it may be beneficial to consider a “buy-sell agreement”. This would dictate how this business is to be sold and what kind of payments you would like to receive. A lump sum? Smaller payments made over an extended period of time? Either way, it is important to start planning now. Experts caution procrastinators that the IRS is likely to question last minute transactions