What is a Pooled Trust?

Pooled trusts are those that contain the assets of numerous individuals and which are established and maintained by a non-profit organization. These are set up for disabled individuals so as not to jeopardize their receipt of public benefits or to render them ineligible. Funds transferred to a pooled trust are not considered disqualifying transfers for determining eligibility for MassHealth or SSI. Funds also may continue to be transferred after a MassHealth application has been filed and is under consideration.

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Guardianships and Conservatorships

Guardianships and conservatorships are legal appointments by a Court whereby someone assumes responsibility for an individual who is unable to make decisions or to communicate effectively regarding their medical and/or financial matters.  Both procedures can be used for minors or adults and are very similar in what they can accomplish.

Guardians fulfill roles that are similar to that of a responsible parent, making sure that the individual’s health and overall well-being are proper.

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Do You Need a Trust?

Trusts can be valuable instruments in an estate plan. They allow you to protect your assets from creditors, to channel them to designated beneficiaries and allow you control of assets during your lifetime. Trusts, however, are not for everyone and should only be used where you have substantial assets or have particular considerations in mind.

Most people’s estate plan consists solely of a Last Will and Testament. A Last Will and Testament is sufficient for many people who have modest assets while allowing them to pass their property to whomever they wish with a few exceptions regarding disinheriting spouses or children. You can name your own executor or administrator, guardians for your children and how you wish to be buried.   Last Will and Testaments do have to go through probate.

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Are You a Woman Going Through Retirement?

Whether you are looking forward to retirement or not, or already retired, estate planning should be on your mind. If you are a woman heading towards retirement, there are some essential legal documents you should seriously consider as part of your estate planning strategy.

More women are in the work force than ever before, but the stay-at-home female spouse is not an extinct species. If your husband was the one with the job outside the home, there are some differences in how you might approach your retirement.

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Unlicensed Medicaid Planners on the Rise

It is against the law for a non-lawyer to provide certain legal services or to give legal advice for compensation to someone. For instance, only lawyers can represent you in court, draft a trust or will or give advice on matters that touch upon legal issues. With millions of persons born during the baby boom generation–generally assumed as from 1946 to 1964–turning 65 every year, unlicensed lawyers are offering Medicaid planning advice and providing other services to Medicaid applicants that can constitute the unlicensed practice of law. In Massachusetts, Medicaid is also called MassHealth.

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