You’ve just turned 65, but you feel 20 years younger. You’re at the age where people enroll in Medicare, but you’re also pretty healthy.
Do you really need to sign up for Medicare’s supplemental coverage? You might not realize it, but not signing up can have a negative effect on your financial health regardless of your physical wellbeing.
Continue Reading Don’t Make the Mistake of Not Signing up for Medicare Supplemental Coverage
The IRS has increased the amount of income taxpayers can deduct in 2019 if they’ve purchased long-term care insurance.
“Qualified” long-term care insurance premiums are tax deducible as long as they – along with other unreimbursed medical costs – do not exceed a certain amount of your adjusted gross income.
In the last two years, that amount was 7.5 percent of AGI, but the number has jumped to 10 percent in 2019.
Continue Reading IRS Issues New Long-Term Care Deductibility Rules for 2019
When planning your estate, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is a power of attorney.
Bucks County, PA residents can use these documents to appoint another person – referred to here as their “agent” to act on their behalf if they become disabled or incapacitated.
Powers of attorney come in two varieties: financial – which lets the agent handle your finances, including paying bills and cashing checks – and health care, which enables the agent to make medical decisions for you.
Continue Reading Dealing with Sibling Disputes Over Powers of Attorney
It’s important to shop around when you make a major purchase, whether you’re buying a new car, a new appliance…or a new Medigap policy.
It’s something we have learned after years of working with clients seeking the advice of an elder law attorney: Doylestown, Bucks County PA, like much of the country, is filled with people struggling to find the right policy.
Continue Reading Looking for a New Medigap Policy? You Need to Shop Around
A big concern among people moving into nursing homes is that they’ll lose their homes as they try to qualify for Medicaid.
It’s something we hear all the time in the world of Doylestown, and other Bucks County areas in Medicaid planning, and it’s understandable that you might have this fear. No one likes the thought of the government or some giant nursing home chain swooping down to seize your house.
However, this fear is based on a misconception that potential nursing home residents have to automatically divest themselves of their homes in order to qualify for Medicaid.
In Pennsylvania, your home isn’t considered a countable resource by Medicaid if you plan to return to it after your nursing home stay.
Continue Reading Are You Afraid of Losing Your Home When You Apply for Medicaid? Don’t Be
It’s a pretty common question: “How do I apply for Medicaid?”
And it’s actually fairly simply to apply for Medicaid. PA residents essentially just need to fill out an application and send it to their county assistance office.
While it’s a long form, it’s pretty straightforward. The question really isn’t “How do I apply for Medicaid?” It’s “How do I qualify for Medicaid?”
Continue Reading How to Apply for Medicaid
When the legendary singer Aretha Franklin died earlier this year, she left behind an astonishing musical legacy, an estate reportedly in the neighborhood of $80 million…but no will.
Continue Reading Aretha Franklin Dies Without a Will
We’re thinking a lot these days about gifting, and not just because the holiday shopping season is upon us.
Gift giving is an act of kindness, a way to demonstrate our love and affection for people, but it’s also an essential tool in the world of estate planning.
What do we mean? Well, you might want to give away assets while you’re still alive so that they aren’t included in your estate and open to taxation after your death.
We understand this impulse. It not only makes financial sense, but you’ll get to see your loved ones enjoy your gifts. However, it’s important to think about the tax implications that might apply before you act.
Continue Reading The Gifting Season is Here: What to Know Before You Give
Every time you go home, you notice your Dad is changing. It starts with him forgetting names. Then you see that he’s struggling to find the right words for things. Then he stops remembering to pay bills.
Continue Reading How to Get Guardianship of a Parent
Although the concept of the living will has been around for decades, there are still many misconceptions when it comes to this legal document.
Sometimes referred to as an “advanced healthcare directive“, a living will permits you to express your wishes and instructions for healthcare and healthcare directions when you are incompetent and are in an end stage medical condition or are permanently unconscious. It is not the same as your last will and testament, which permits you to control the disposition of your assets after your death. Nor does a living will address decision making in your day-to-day medical care if you become incompetent.
You can create a living will if you are of sound mind and one of the following applies:
– 18 years of age or older
– A high school graduate
– An emancipated minor
To be valid, a living must be signed and dated by you, and witnessed by two individuals, each of whom is 18 years of age or older.
Your living will goes into effect when a copy of it is provided to your attending physician, and the attending physician determines you to be incompetent and to have an end stage medical condition or to be permanently unconscious. Once made, your living will is valid, notwithstanding the passage of time, until you revoke it.
A significant benefit of making a living will is that it removes any ambiguity as to your wishes if you are in an end stage medical condition or a permanent coma. This can be helpful to your love ones, especially your children, in removing the burden of making a life and death decision for a parent.