Courts Disqualify Special Needs Trusts

In two recent cases, courts in Alabama and New York have deemed that the assets in Special Needs Trust which they have reviewed are available resources and must be spent down entirely prior to the beneficiaries of same receiving Medicaid or other needs based government benefits. In  Alabama Medicaid Agency v. Hardy (Ala. Civ. App., No. […]

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A Will’s A Will But A Deal’s A Deal

Jean M. O’Mealia died on April 21, 2014. She was predeceased by her husband, William Francis Xavier O’Mealia (“Francis”), who died on July 13, 2001. The couple had been married for thirty (30) years. It was the second marriage for both. They had no children together. Each had children from a prior marriage. Upon her […]

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Challenges to the Caregiver Exemption

By Brittany A. Verga, Esq. The child caregiver exemption is an important exception to the five year lookback rule in Medicaid planning. For many years, it has allowed children to retain the homes of parents for whom they have provided long-term care. However, the ability to qualify for this exemption is being severely limited. The […]

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Scam Alert: You Don’t Need a Certified Deed

All of us want to make sure we keep important original documents. Problems certainly can arise if one loses bonds, stock certificates or their Will.  However, one document which can be lost without any negative repercussion is a Deed. When an individual takes title to a home, his or her deed is recorded in the […]

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Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Not Just For Divorces Anymore

Pre-nuptial agreements have been around for many years.  Historically, they have rightly been viewed as a creation to provide assurance to individuals about to enter marriage that their assets would be protected in a manner they deemed fit in the event of a divorce.  To some extent, there has often been attention provided to the […]

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But I Did Spend Last Night At A Holiday Inn Express

Years ago, there were a series of commercials in which ordinary folks would go into operating rooms to perform surgeries, fly helicopters and ride bulls.  Of course, they would have no training or qualifications.  Yet when asked if they were a doctor or a pilot, etc, they would also respond, “No, but I did spend […]

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Banks Gone Wild – Beware Where You Store Your Will and Other Estate Planning Documents

Any adult should have three core estate planning documents: (a) a will, (b) an advance directive (commonly known as a living will and/or health care power of attorney) and (c) a general durable power of attorney.  To the extent, personal and financial factors warrant it, one or more trusts may be advisable.  After they are […]

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It’s Not Just A Deed – The Possible Pitfalls Of Transferring The Home To The Children

As parents age and become acutely aware of the potential specter of long term care costs, there is a strong desire to preserve the assets which they have accumulated over the years. The most significant of these assets for many of them is the family home. More often than not, many parents believe that the […]

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Equalize It!

Mike and Carol have three adult daughters – Marcia, Jan and Cindy.  Each of them are married and have children as well.  When both of them die, Mike and Carol want to treat all three daughters equally.  In the event one of their daughters dies before, they want that daughter’s share to pass to that […]

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Who Gets the House?

This week’s article is written by associate attorney and contributing author Douglas M. Nelson, Esq. Frequently, disputes arise between the executors and beneficiaries of an estate concerning the disposition of a deceased individual’s home.  (The content of this blog applies to administrators of intestate estates and trustees of revocable living trusts as well.  However, to […]

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