The Effects of Gifts on Medicaid Planning

Medicaid is a healthcare program designed to help individuals with limited income and assets afford needed medical care. Importantly, Medicaid covers long-term healthcare services such as nursing home costs and costs for at-home personal healthcare. Because Medicaid is intended to benefit those with limited income and assets, there are strict eligibility requirements based on income and assets. Although Medicaid is a federal creation, it is jointly operated by the federal and state governments. As a result, the specific income and asset eligibility requirements for each state are different and you should consult with a Medicaid planning attorney in your area for specific eligibility advice.

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Steps to Take in Advance of Death or Disability

No one wants to face the fact that our loved ones will not be with us forever. Facing our own mortality is frightening as well. Although none of us wants to contemplate a time when we or a loved one might become disabled or die, it is important to be prepared. There are many steps families can take in advance of death or disability to avoid future conflicts or uncertainties:

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Working with an Attorney? Tell the Truth!

It will most likely be difficult or impossible to complete the tasks, if all the facts are not available.
When you go to visit an elder law estate planning attorney, it is important to tell the truth about all aspects of your family members and other potential heirs. If not, it is possible the estate plan may need to be revised or recreated, your assets may not go where you would like and conflicts can arise in the family, according to the Times Herald-Record in “What you need to tell the elder law estate planning attorney.”

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It Doesn’t Happen Frequently but Last Will and Testaments Can Be Contested

There are reasons for a Last Will and Testament to be contested and one is the mental capacity of the client.

The best way to avoid a Last Will and Testament contest, is to have a well-written Last Will and Testament prepared by a qualified estate planning attorney, who can help avoid legal contests. It is also important the client be of sound mind and body. However, there are times when this is not the case and a challenge may occur, according to The Huntsville Item in “Legal Corner: Last Will and Testament contests while rare are messy.”

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Myths and Facts About Probate

I just need a Will and a Living Will. This will avoid “probate” and allow someone to make medical decisions for me if I cannot express myself.

Not true. A Last Will and Testament is a “road map” that expresses how someone wants their estate (financial and personal belongings that exist at the time of their death) to be distributed by the person they appoint as their Personal Representative.

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