Monthly Archives: October 2013

Annuities Assisting with Medicaid Qualification

Annuities are often used when a married couple attempts to qualify one spouse for benefits and the spouse living at home (the “Community Spouse”) may have more assets than are allowed.  This strategy enables one spouse to receive the care … Continue reading

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Trust Decanting: Now Authorized in Massachusetts

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Earlier this year the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Morse v. Kraft, 466 Mass. 92 (2013), that under certain circumstances a Trustee has the ability to decant as part of the Trustee’s power to make discretionary distributions to the trust … Continue reading

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DOMA Overturned: Justice and Its Effect on Your Planning

See Jason Port’s newest client alert regarding “DOMA Overturned: Justice and Its Effect on Your Planning.” 

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Transfers With Retained Life Estates: Estate Tax Consequences

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A recent Tax Court case is a useful reminder about the estate tax treatment of life estates.  The tax rule involved has been in place for decades:  if you give away an asset but retain the use of the asset … Continue reading

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SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: IT’S A PLANNING MATTER

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I just read an interesting article from AARP that provided information to help you determine when and how to take your Social Security benefits and how you should relate that decision to your broader financial planning for retirement.  I regularly … Continue reading

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More on Drafting for Flexibility: Providing Guidance to the Trustee

Most Trusts give the Trustee broad discretion in making investments, dealing with Trust assets, making distributions to beneficiaries, etc. Usually the Grantor of the Trust has strong opinions about how the Trust should be used for the beneficiary. Distributions can … Continue reading

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Working with Social Security on behalf of a Loved One

Even when the federal government is not in a financial shut-down, dealing with the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) can require extreme patience.  A frequent question from clients is how to deal with the SSA on behalf of another individual … Continue reading

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Pay on Death Accounts: Proceed with Caution

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For the past fourteen years, Massachusetts has allowed owners of brokerage accounts and stocks and bonds to add a “pay on death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) beneficiary designation to their accounts and securities.  The POD beneficiary designation causes the … Continue reading

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A Proposed Senate Bill May Help Seniors Stay At Home

There is a bill presently pending in the Committee on Health Care Financing of the Massachusetts State Legislature. The bill (Bill S. 517), sponsored by Senators James B. Eldridge of Acton, Massachusetts and Michael O. Moore of Millbury, Massachusetts, and … Continue reading

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More on Drafting for Trust Flexibility: Powers of Appointment

One of the best tools to provide flexibility for the future is the use of powers of appointment. These can be “general” (appointees can be anyone, including your creditors, your estate and your estate’s creditors) or “special” (limited to a … Continue reading

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