This month, my elder law seminars will be focusing on “Honoring Choices” in regards to your health care planning, should you become ill or in case of emergency. Below is a listing of my upcoming presentations throughout the community.
- October 17: 1:30-2:30 pm
Marlborough Council on Aging, 40 New Street
To register: (508) 485-6492
- October 24: 5:30-6:30 pm
Tisbury Council on Aging, 34 Pine Tree Road, Vineyard Haven
To register: (508) 696-4205
- October 25: 12-1 pm
Ashland Department of Elder Services, 162 West Union Street, Upper Level. To register: (508) 881-0140
- October 31: 1-2 pm
Hudson Council on Aging, 29 Church Street.
To register: (978) 568-9638
Contact your local Council on Aging for more information and to register. If you miss a program, you may always watch them on your local cable access station or on my You Tube channel, Elder Law with Frank and Mary.
Consider how your assets can benefit, or perhaps complicate, the lives of your children or other loved ones when you pass away. You know your children better than almost anyone else, and your estate plan should take into consideration their circumstances, tendencies, and personalities. They may be trustworthy, but may not be financially responsible. They may be financially responsible, but in debt, or may work in a high-risk profession. A divorce may be on the horizon. Whatever the case, it is important that the assets that you have carefully stewarded during your life are safeguarded for your loved ones when your wealth is transferred to them. A trust can accomplish these goals. Continue reading
Check out “You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid” in The New York Times for an interesting read on the relevance of Medicaid.
Today the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in the cases of Nadeau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid and Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. In the unanimous decision, the SJC held that the ability of an applicant for benefits to reside in property that has been transferred into an irrevocable trust does not render the corpus of the trust a countable resource in a MassHealth long-term care benefit application:
“We conclude that neither the grant in an irrevocable trust of a right of use and occupancy in a primary residence to an applicant nor the retention by an applicant of a life estate in his or her primary residence makes the equity in the home owned by the trust a countable asset for the purpose of determining Medicaid eligibility for long-term care benefits.”
This decision also clarifies that Federal law is controlling in a state’s eligibility determination, an issue which had been challenged by MassHealth over the past several years. Attorney Lisa Neeley represented the Plaintiff, Mr. Lionel Nadeau, before the SJC. For the full decision, click here.
The NAELA Journal Spring 2017 issue includes Lisa Neeley’s article Limiting State Medicaid Agency Attempts to Expand the “Any Circumstances” Test: An Analysis of Massachusetts’ Multiyear Legal Battle Over the Use of Irrevocable Trusts in Long-Term Care Planning. The article explores the use of irrevocable trusts as a Medicaid long-term care planning tool, highlighting key Massachusetts cases to provide a thorough history of the litigation surrounding such planning and its current legal implications.
Recently, there has been much discussion in the news about the possibility of Congress radically altering the Medicaid program by converting it into a block grant system. Such a change would convert Medicaid into a system in which each state would receive a finite amount of funds to administer its individual Medicaid program. These funds are referred to as “block grants.” Continue reading
What do Medicaid cuts have to do with divorce? Read Lisa Neeley’s thoughts in Jordan Rosenfeld’s article “The GOP plan to roll back Medicaid might force more couples to get divorced” published today in The Washington Post.
Promissory notes are a tool that attorneys have relied on in MassHealth planning. A promissory note is essentially a written promise to pay someone a certain amount of money at a certain time. In this post, I use one of our recent successful appeals of a MassHealth decision to illustrate the regulatory requirements that a promissory note must meet to avoid being deemed a disqualifying transfer. In our case, “Glenda” applied for MassHealth long-term care benefits but was denied because MassHealth determined that a promissory note between Glenda’s husband and her son was a disqualifying transfer. Continue reading