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Elder Law

January 11, 2022ALF Medicaid vs. SNF Medicaid

Assisted living facilities are a housing option for people who can still live independently, but who need some assistance with their daily activities. Costs can vary greatly depending on location and services offered. Medicare won't pay for this type of care, but Medicaid will, subject to the assisted living resident meeting certain requirements....

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January 7, 2022ABLE Accounts vs. Special Needs Trusts: Why Not Have It All?

If you have a child with disabilities, it is crucial to set money aside for the child's future. At the same time, you need to consider your child's access to public benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as the state and federal tax implications. The two major vehicles to accomplish these goals, ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs), each have their advantages and limitations. Using them in tandem may be the optimal strategy for your child with special needs....

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December 27, 2021What Are a Special Needs Trustee's Record-Keeping Duties?

One of the most important roles in a special needs plan is that of trustee, the person who administers a special needs trust (SNT). Of a trustee's many responsibilities, record-keeping is perhaps the most crucial. Because the trustee is managing accounts on behalf of someone else, every decision must be recorded with a paper or digital record. Here's a detailed look at the types of records the trustee must maintain....

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December 23, 2021Supportive Housing Programs Offer Integrated Solutions for People with Mental Disabilities

Since the 1960s there has been steady reformation of mental health care in the United States. One of the most visible signs of this effort is the movement away from treatment in large state mental hospitals and towards community care. But "community care" encompasses a great number of programs, from treatment provided in group homes to interaction with a social worker to job training and other vocational training centers. One of the programs on the cutting edge of community mental health is called "supportive housing," and it incorporates not only housing but social services and medical care as well....

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December 22, 2021IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2022, and They Look Pretty Familiar

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amounts taxpayers of different ages can deduct from their 2022 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance, and the figures are almost the same as in 2021. Many types of medical expenses are deductible from your taxes. To claim the deduction, your total unreimbursed medical expenses (which can include premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies), have to be more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income in 2022....

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December 16, 20215 Estate Planning Tips for the Non-Traditional Family (Which Odds Are Includes Yours)

Is your family of the "Leave It to Beaver" variety -- opposite-gender parents, the first marriage for each, one or more kids, all healthy and thriving? If so, your estate plan will probably be pretty straightforward. But if not, it's not as simple and you have a lot of company. The percentage of married households in the United States fell from 75 percent in 1960 to 49 percent in 2020. About 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Nearly 80 percent of people who divorce remarry -- accounting for a pretty large proportion of the 49 percent of American households that are married....

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December 20, 2021Can You Be Buried With Your Pet?

Pets are often regarded as a part of the family and increasingly their needs are accounted for in planning decisions. There is health insurance for pets, and most states allow for "pet trusts" to ensure that a cherished animal will be cared for after the owner's demise. But can you and your pet spend eternity with each other as well? The answer depends on what state you are in and on the meaning of "with." Most states either have laws specifically prohibiting pets and humans to be buried together or are silent on the issue. But a growing number of states are adopting laws allowing some form of combined burial....

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December 13, 2021The Affordable Care Act's Estate Recovery Catch-22

Medicaid is a federal program administered through the states at the county level, and created under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1396 to 1396 w-5. The various Medicaid programs in New Jersey all fall under the umbrella of "NJ Family Care." The most recent major expansion of the Medicaid program at the federal level occurred on March 23, 2010 when the Affordable Care Act a/k/a "Obamacare" was signed into law....

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