Posted tagged ‘living wills’

Thank You, From All of Us

May 16, 2020

The Chipman Mazzucco Emerson attorneys and staff would like to thank all of the Health Care Providers and First Responders who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Frontline Estate Plan Package

Just as you are helping all of us, we would like to help you. A link at the end of the video will bring you to information about our special Frontline Estate Planning Package offered at a well-deserved savings for health care providers and first responders. We sincerely hope that you will forward this within your organizations or to anyone close to you on the frontlines.

Posted by Alyson R. Marcucio, Attorney, Chipman Mazzucco  Emerson LLC, Attorneys at Law, Danbury, CT, 06810, 203-744-1929 x40, arm@danburylaw.com.

Seminar: How Resilient is Your Estate Plan? Will Your Plan Work as Things Change?

October 8, 2019

Estate Planning Seminar!

October 17, 2019

We invite you to a free seminar on October 17, 2019, at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, Connecticut (21 Lake Avenue Ext).

Topic: How Resilient is Your Estate Plan?

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM.

To register, call 203-744-1929 (please provide your email address) or email us at dvv@danburylaw.com.  You also can register here: Seminar Registration.

Informative and fun. Come learn and have a great time.

We intend to cover changes of all kinds (not just law and taxes) that will most affect your estate plan.

Reconnect with all the attorneys in our estate planning and probate practice group.

Topics include:

  • Probate Courts
  • Issues related to Change of Residence
  • Coping with the Surge of Conservatorship Proceedings
  • How Estate Planning Changes with Each Stage of Life
  • Changes in Law that Could Affect Your Estate Plan.

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

To register, click below or call us at 203-744-1929 or email us at
dvv@danburylaw.com.

REGISTER HERE


The Presenters and Their Topics:

Richard L. Emerson

Topic: Insights from a Former Probate Judge

The Probate Courts have been affected by important changes. Attorney Richard L. Emerson will inform us about the workings of the Probate Courts as only a former Probate Court Judge can.

Attorney Richard L. Emerson served as the Probate Judge in Redding, Connecticut, for over thirty years. His legal practice concentrates on estate administration, probate, estate planning, trust and estate disputes and general corporate representation. He also has mediated contested probate matters and has appeared as an expert witness for other attorneys.

James J. Flaherty, Jr.

Topic: Thinking About Moving Out of Connecticut? Consider
This.

We often hear about people moving out of Connecticut. Is this merely a case of “the grass is always greener…”? James J. Flaherty, Jr., will discuss issues related to a change of residence. Whether you stay or go, if you are wondering about leaving, this is information you need.

Attorney James J. Flaherty, Jr., practices from the firm’s Southbury office and is a member of the estate planning and probate group. Jim’s practice focuses on assisting high net worth individuals, including closely held business owners, in the creation of wealth succession plans. In addition to estate planning, Jim works with individuals on Medicaid (Title 19) and asset protection planning.

Alyson R. Marcucio

Topic: Coping with the Surge in Conservatorship
Proceedings

The increasing number of conservatorship proceedings creates additional demands on our Probate Courts. Alyson R. Marcucio will discuss planning steps to work around crowded court dockets and long wait times.

Attorney Alyson Marcucio is a member of the firm’s estate planning and probate group, with an emphasis on elder law and
planning for those who have chronic disabilities. Alyson’s practice includes long term care, incapacity and special needs planning, eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits, and conservatorship proceedings.

 

Elizabeth J. Hartery

Topic: Estate Planning for Each of Life’s Stages

Life is often thought of as having twelve stages. Estate planning starts with the sixth stage and ends with the twelfth: late adolescence; early adulthood; midlife; mature adulthood; late adulthood; and death and dying. Liz Hartery will discuss how the planning focus changes as we pass through each stage.

Attorney Elizabeth J. Hartery is an associate in the firm’s estate planning and probate group, assisting with estate planning, estate settlement, probate matters, and elder law issues.

 

Richard S. Land

Master of Ceremonies

Attorney Richard S. Land heads up the firm’s estate planning and probate group, helping individuals from all walks of life to manage and dispose of their assets in an orderly fashion through lifetime transfers and through transfers at death by wills and trusts.

Richard has authored and produced dozens of educational videos on estate planning and trust and estates topics, authored several computer generated estate planning document assembly systems and authored an online estate plan review program.

No Admission Charge

Our seminars are always strictly educational and well attended.  Space is limited so please let us know if you plan to attend.

Light snacks, desserts and beverages will be offered.

To register, click on this link: Seminar Registration.

Please join us at the Ethan Allen Hotel (21 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT) on October 17, 2019.

We look forward to seeing you.

Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC
Attorneys at Law
44 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite 320
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

 

Estate Planning for Beginners; Elder Law in a Nutshell; How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes

September 30, 2018

FREE Estate Planning Seminar!

October 25, 2018

We invite you to a free seminar on October 25, 2018, at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, Connecticut (21 Lake Avenue Ext).

Topics: Estate Planning for Beginners and Elder Law in a Nutshell

Including: How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes (including Trump Tax Changes)

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM. For more information, click here:  Seminar October 25.

To register, call 203-744-1929 (please provide your email address) or email us at dvv@danburylaw.com.  You also can register here: Seminar Registration.

The presenters and their topics:

Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes

As everything around you changes, you may not recognize the impact the changes have on your estate plan.

Laws change; your health and financial condition change; the health and financial condition of your beneficiaries change; maybe your beneficiary designations change as your assets change; and the fates of the people you are depending on to act as your Executors, Trustees, agents under a power of attorney and health care representatives change.

Attorney Richard S. Land will discuss how to make certain that such changes will not interfere with, or totally disrupt, your estate plan.

Elder Law in a Nutshell

Alyson's Favorite Photo

What is Elder Law and how can an Elder Law attorney help you through the complex issues associated with aging?

The special needs of the elderly are not unique to the elderly, however. Persons of all ages may suffer from chronic conditions resulting in special needs requiring specialized legal help.

Attorney Alyson Marcucio will cover legal issues and solutions related to the special needs of the elderly and all others with special needs.

Estate Planning for Beginners: Features of Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney

 

What is the difference between a will and a revocable trust? What are the powers in a Power of Attorney? Do I even need an estate plan?

Attorney Elizabeth J. Hartery will answer those questions and many others in her presentation, which will explain the basic features of wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney, living wills and more.

 

No Admission Charge

Our seminars are always strictly educational and well attended.  Space is limited so please let us know if you plan to attend.

Light snacks, desserts and beverages will be offered.

To register, click on this link: Seminar Registration.

Please join us at the Ethan Allen Hotel (21 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT) on October 25, 2018.

We look forward to seeing you.

Chipman Mazzucco
Attorneys at Law
44 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite 320
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

 

Video of October 5, 2017, Seminar Posted to YouTube

November 26, 2017

On November 19, 2017, we posted to YouTube the video of our annual fall estate planning seminar (held on October 5, 2017).

senior couple in parkIn Part I (How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes), Richard S. Land covers the reasons why an estate planning review might be necessary. Approximately 40 minutes.

In Part II (Senior Autonomy: A Guide to Families as Roles are Reversed), Alyson Marcucio covers planning to maximize autonomy throughout the elder care continuum: health and ability issues (powers of attorney, living trusts, conservatorships, living wills and other health care directives); home care and alternatives (independent living, assisted living, retirement communities, nursing homes); the cost of care and how to plan for it; and public benefits to help pay for care. Approximately 40 minutes.

Both Part I and Part II include planning strategies for the prevention of financial elder abuse including properly structured estate planning powers of attorney, living trusts and related documents.

Although the turnout was great (as usual), many of you could not attend. Here is your chance to find out what you missed. Click on the images below to go to the presentations.

We hope these videos are helpful.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chipman Mazzucco
Attorneys at Law
Matrix Corporate Center
39 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite D-2
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

Estate Settlement and Trust Administration Seminar

August 6, 2015

LocationEthan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06811

Date:  September 24, 2015

Time:  7:00 to 9:00 (Doors open at 6:30)

Register here:  Seminar Registration.  Or, call 203-744-1929 for reservations.  For more contact information, go to the end of this post.

No admission charge.  Our seminars are always strictly educational.

Description

We will cover the topics listed below.  Each listed Part corresponds to a Part in our Estate Settlement and Trust Administration video which you can see on YouTube here:  Estate Settlement and Trust Administration Video.

To get the most out of the seminar, attendees should view the whole video before attending.  We understand that time may not permit that, however, and we are structuring the program to make certain it will be well worth your time even if you do not view the video.

Send Us Your Questions

If you think of a question before the seminar, let us know right away before you forget.  If the question is appropriate for a group educational program, we will try to answer it during the program.  Send your questions here: rsl@danburylaw.com (Richard S. Land) or here ksg@danburylaw.com (Kasey S. Galner).

 Seminar Topics

Part 1:  Introduction.  Estate settlement steps starting with the probate application and the inventory.

Part 2: A continuation of estate settlement steps including problems relating to real estate, tangible personal property and estate and income taxes.  The importance of identifying problems early.  A description of our estate settlement letter and estate settlement checklists.  A discussion of the importance of post mortem tax planning.

Part 3:  Accounting requirements and fees and costs including the fees of the Probate Court, Executor fees and attorneys.

Part 4:  A description of trust administration, the duties of a trustee and the related risks.

Part 5:  The most common problems related to being a trustee including accounting, investing and self-dealing.

Part 6:  A continuation of a description of the Trustee’s most common problems including personal liability for contracts entered into as trustee and claims based on a trustee’s negligence and torts including claims related to contaminated property.  Trustee compensation is also discussed.

SEMINAR LOCATION AND TIME

The seminar will be on September 24, 2015, at the Ethan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06811 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The doors will open at 6:30. Refreshments will be served.

These seminars are always well attended and space is limited. If you wish to attend, or if others you know are interested in attending, to reserve space call us (203-744-1929) or send an e-mail message to me (Richard Land at rsl@danburylaw.com) or Kasey Galner (at ksg@danburylaw.com) or Deb Jewell (at doj@danburylaw.com) containing your name, number attending, telephone number and e-mail address.

You may also register here: Seminar Registration.

 Posted on 8/6/2015 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.

We frequently post articles relating to estate planning, estate settlement and elder law issues to this blog. We also post notices about our client seminars here. When we do, we send out notices to clients and friends of the firm. If you would like to get our notices, please join our mailing list by clicking below.

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Basic Estate Planning Seminar With Extended Q&A Format

July 5, 2012

LocationMatrix Corporate Center, Sunset Vista Room, Fourth Floor, 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, CT

Directions:  Directions to Chipman MazzuccoDon’t rely on your GPS.  Please read and follow these directions.

Date:  July 26, 2012

Time:  5:30 to 7:30 pm (Doors open at 5:00)

Register here:  Seminar Registration.  Or, call 203-744-1929 for reservations.  For more contact information, go to the end of this post.  

No admission charge.  Our seminars are always strictly educational.

Description

We will cover the topics listed below.  Each listed Part corresponds to a Part in our Basic Estate Planning Video which you can see on YouTube here:  Basic Estate Planning Video.  If you would like to have the video on DVD, please let us know and we will send you one.

The Seminar will have four sections.  Each section will summarize topics covered in the video.  Q&A will follow each section.

To get the most out of the seminar, attendees should view the whole video before attending.  We understand that time may not permit that, however, and we are structuring the program to make certain it will be well worth your time even if you do not view the video.

Send Us Your Questions

If you think of a question before the seminar, let us know right away before you forget.  If the question is appropriate for a group educational program, we will try to answer it during the program.  Send your questions here: rsl@danburylaw.com (Richard S. Land) or here ksg@danburylaw.com (Kasey S. Galner).

 Seminar Topics

Part 1:  Introduction.  Wills and probate property vs. nonprobate property.

Part 2: Beneficiaries, mistakes with nonprobate property, trust basics, guardian appointments, life insurance beneficiary designations, and estate taxes.

Part 3:  Wills, the estate taxation of life insurance death benefits, tax issues and asset protection issues relating to Wills, and disclaimer Wills.

Part 4: Formula marital deduction Wills, exemption trusts, risk of disinheriting the surviving spouse as estate tax exemptions increase, the portable estate tax exemption, and asset protection bypass trusts.

Part 5:  Formula marital deduction Wills (and exemption trusts) vs. disclaimer Wills (and disclaimer trusts), and common estate planning mistakes.

Part 6:  Common estate planning mistakes continued, the duties of an Executor, the duties of the Trustee, the duties of a guardian, planning for post-death cash needs, and the generation skipping tax.

Part 7: Retirement plan accounts (IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) accounts, etc.), estate taxation on retirement plan accounts, the risk of a circular tax on tax problem at death of account owner, life insurance and irrevocable life insurance trusts as a solution.

Part 8: Retirement plan accounts and related income tax issues, effects of beneficiary designations on deferral periods, spouse as beneficiary and tax deferred rollovers, required minimum distributions, and tax treatment of inherited IRAs, and the five year payout rule.

Part 9: Revocable living trusts, the living trust as a Will substitute, probate avoidance, planning for incapacity, and establishing a revocable living trust.

Part 10:  Comparison of revocable living trust plan with non-living-trust plan, treatment of lifetime issues, powers of attorney as an alternative to the revocable living trust, and what it means to avoid probate.

Part 11:  Comparison continued, avoiding ancillary probate in other states where real property is located, creditors’ claims and safe harbors for the Executor, and income and estate taxes.

Part 12:  Comparison (continued), accounting requirements, releases from liability, continuing trusts and continuing probate court jurisdiction, reasons for considering revocable living trusts, management during incapacity, and real property in other jurisdictions.

Part 13:  Reasons for considering a revocable living trust (continued), controversial estate plans, probate notice requirements, disruption of support for third parties, probate and related delays, simplifying estate settlement for survivors, nonreasons for considering revocable living trusts, the living trust as tax neutral, and probate court fees.

Part 14: Gift planning, gift and estate tax exemptions, exclusions for small gifts, gifts to education funds (529 plans), exclusions for qualified tuition and medical costs, gift tax marital deductions,  gifts to U.S. citizen spouse, and gifts to noncitizen spouse.

Part 15: Gifts of life insurance policies, incidents of ownership, irrevocable trusts as owner, three year rule relating to transfers of life insurance policies, and sophisticated gift techniques (qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, valuations for gift tax purposes, gifts to charities and charitable trusts).

SEMINAR LOCATION AND TIME

The seminar will be on July 26, 2012, at the Matrix Corporate Center, Sunset Vista Room, Fourth Floor, 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, Connecticut from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The doors will open at 5:00. Refreshments will be served.

These seminars are always well attended and space is limited. If you wish to attend, or if others you know are interested in attending, to reserve space call us (203-744-1929) or send an e-mail message to me (Richard Land at rsl@danburylaw.com) or Kasey Galner (at ksg@danburylaw.com) or Lynn D’Ostilio (at lsd@danburylaw.com) containing your name, number attending, telephone number and e-mail address.

You may also register here: Seminar Registration.

 Posted on 7/4/2012 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.

Notice: To comply with U.S. Treasury Department rules and regulations, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction, tax strategy or other activity.

We frequently post articles relating to estate planning, estate settlement and elder law issues to this blog. We also post notices about our client seminars here. When we do, we send out notices to clients and friends of the firm. If you would like to get our notices, please join our mailing list by clicking below.

March 10, 2011, Seminar. Is it time to review your estate plan? Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

January 29, 2011

Is It Time To Review Your Estate Plan?

Please  join us at the Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut, on  March 10, 2011.

Call 203-744-1929 for reservations.  For more contact information, go to the end of this post.

We will be discussing whether clients should be reviewing and changing their estate plans in light of changes Congress recently made in the U.S. estate law and in light of all the other changes that may have occurred in your life and the lives of your beneficiaries and fiduciaries (Executors, Trustees and Guardians) since the last time your plan was reviewed.

For a summary of the topics we plan to cover, including a short explanation of the new U.S. estate tax rules, see the videos (Part One and Part Two) below.

For a good Wall Street Journal summary of the new U.S. estate and gift tax provisions, click here:  WSJ Article.

You can find a short written summary of the seminar topics in the text after the videos.

Estate Planning Seminar Summary Video Part One:

Estate Planning Seminar Summary Video Part Two:

Federal Estate Tax Changes: As 2010 came to an end, the U.S. Congress enacted another set of temporary estate tax changes which will apply in 2011 and 2012 with retroactive application to 2010.  Under the new set of temporary rules, the U.S. estate tax exemption is increased to $5,000,000 and the top estate tax bracket is 35%.  In 2013, however, the U.S. estate tax exemption is scheduled to be $1,000,000.  The top U.S. estate tax bracket in 2013 is scheduled to be 55%.  Under the new rules, for the first time, one spouse may give his or her unused $5,000,000 estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.  In effect, this means married couples may take advantage of each spouse’s $5,000,000 exemption (for a total exemption of $10,000,000) without including complicated tax provisions in their Wills.

Connecticut Estate Tax: The Connecticut estate tax “exemption” is currently $3,500,000.  Because the U.S. estate tax exemption is larger than the Connecticut estate tax exemption, married clients who have wills with marital deduction formula provisions that are pegged to the U.S. estate tax exemption may incur an unnecessary Connecticut estate tax of approximately $122,000.

As we have stressed in previous seminars, the application of many types of estate tax formula provisions in Wills after exemptions have been increased could result in the disinheritance of the surviving spouse unless there has been careful planning.

In addition, many types of estate tax formula provisions in Wills may be difficult to interpret after exemptions have been increased.  This could increase the risk of litigation between beneficiaries.

For many, it may be time to use Wills that are much simpler than the complicated estate-tax-formula Wills of the past.  The temporary nature of the estate tax changes and the estate tax rules of Connecticut and other states, however, make the analysis less simple.

Our March seminar will help you determine whether you should review your estate plan to take into account the tax changes that have already been made and the changes that will be coming.

Other Reasons to Review: The other reasons for review continue to apply.

Have the circumstances of your Executor, Trustee or Guardian changed significantly?

Has the life of a beneficiary changed significantly? If a beneficiary becomes disabled, dies or is divorcing, perhaps you should change the estate plan as it relates to that beneficiary. A beneficiary’s good fortune may also be a good reason to make changes.

Have your assets changed significantly? If your assets have grown, you may now need tax planning. If your estate has decreased in size, the tax planning you did many years ago may no longer be appropriate.

If your health is failing, or if that possibility is now more real to you, you may wish to consider different approaches for dealing with incapacity.

If a substantial part of your estate consists of IRAs and similar retirement accounts (including life insurance), it may be time for you to consider specific planning strategies for such accounts.

We will cover the most common approaches for dealing with these issues and more.

SEMINAR LOCATION AND TIME

The seminar will be on March 10, 2011, at the Maron Hotel, 42 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, Connecticut from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The doors will open at 6:30.  Refreshments will be served.

These seminars are always well attended and space is limited.  If you wish to attend, or if others you know are interested in attending, to reserve space call us (203-744-1929) or send an e-mail message to me (Richard Land at  rsl@danburylaw.com) or Kasey Galner (at ksg@danburylaw.com) or Lynn D’Ostilio (at  lsd@danburylaw.com) containing your name, number attending, telephone number and e-mail address.

Posted on 1/29/2011 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC

We frequently post articles relating to estate planning, estate settlement and elder law issues to this blog. We also post notices about our client seminars here. When we do, we send out notices to clients and friends of the firm. If you would like to get our notices, please join our mailing list by clicking below.

 
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Elder Law—Basics of Planning for Incapacity

January 5, 2010

Caution: The following applies to residents of Connecticut and reflects the law as it exists on January 1, 2010. The law relating to long term care frequently changes. Before any planning decisions are made and implemented, it is important to consult with a professional who keeps current on changes in the law and policies of the agencies that administer long term care programs.

Delegating Authority to Caregivers

If you become incapable without the necessary documents in place, the court will have to become involved and appoint someone to act on your behalf. Three documents can minimize the need for court involvement when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

1. Durable Power of Attorney

The durable power of attorney is a document in which you designate one or more people to act as your agent (to pay your bills, manage your finances, etc.) if you become incapacitated. It is important to note that even if you already have a durable power of attorney in place, banks and financial institutions may be hesitant to accept old documents. Therefore, you should re-execute your power of attorney every couple of years to ensure it will be effective when you need it.

2. Health Care Instructions (“Living Will”)

Your Health Care Instructions (frequently called an Advance Directive or “Living Will”) is a document in which you designate someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It can include instructions about life support, end of life decisions, and organ donation.

3. Designation of Conservator

If, for any reason, the previous two documents are deemed invalid, the court will look at your Designation of Conservator to see whom you have chosen to be the agent of your property and your person when you are incapacitated.

Planning for Long Term Care Costs

Most U.S. residents will need home care or nursing home care (or both) during the course of life. Many people, however, are unaware of the actual cost of long term care services. For instance, the average monthly cost for nursing home care today is $9,959 ($119,508 annually). The actual costs of more desirable nursing homes will be quite a bit more. Without proper planning, you may find yourself in a difficult situation when you or your spouse need long term care.

1. Medicare (Not a Solution)

A common misconception is that Medicare will cover the cost of long term care. While Medicare will cover some nursing home care (up to 100 days only) and home care for acute needs, it will not cover you indefinitely. After 100 days in a nursing home or after your acute needs are met through home care, you will have to find another way to pay for your long term care needs.

2. Medicaid (Provider When Assets Exhausted)

Another common misconception is that when you need long term care you can qualify for Medicaid (sometimes referred to as Title XIX) relatively easily. However, it is not easy to become eligible for Medicaid. The Department of Social Services (“DSS”) has strict asset and income guidelines that an applicant must meet before qualifying for benefits.

For example, a single individual applying for Medicaid home care benefits can have a maximum of $1,600 in assets (DSS excludes certain assets such as the value of the home) and a monthly income of $2,022 and still be eligible. If both spouses are applying for Medicaid home care benefits, they can each keep $1,600 in assets ($3,200 total plus the home) and a combined monthly income of $4,044. If the actual income exceeds the income limits, trust arrangements can be made to assure eligibility while protecting the interests of the state.

If an unmarried individual needs long term care in a facility, the monthly income maximum drops to $69 (with certain exceptions). For married couples, if only one spouse is applying for benefits, the other spouse (the “community spouse”) may be able to keep additional assets of up to $109,560 plus the home and a monthly income of at least $1,821.25 and as much as $2,739 (adjustments may be obtained through the Fair Hearing process).  If the actual income exceeds the income limits, excess income will be applied to the cost of nursing home care.

DSS not only looks at your assets as of the date of your application, but it also looks at any transfers you have made for less than fair market value within the last five years. This includes transfers to a trust (with some exceptions), the purchase of certain annuities, and gifts to your children. Any such transfer will result in a period of disqualification (a “penalty”) from Medicaid eligibility, based on the value of the property you transferred. The penalty period does not begin to run until you have met the asset and income requirements, at which time you will be required to cover the cost of care until the penalty period ends.

Anyone who may need Medicaid to cover long term care services within the next five years should be aware of these transfer rules before making any gifts. Certain transfers, if well-planned, can be made without causing a penalty.

Keep in mind, if you or your spouse may need Medicaid to cover your long term care needs you should re-examine your Wills and any beneficiary designations you may have on life insurance policies or other accounts. Once you have qualified for Medicaid, any assets you receive (through inheritance or otherwise) could disqualify you.

3. Long Term Care Insurance

Many people think that long term care insurance is unnecessary or not worth the expense. However, long term care insurance, while not suitable for everyone, can be extremely beneficial. People with middle-incomes, who might otherwise spend down their assets to apply for Medicaid, may find long term care insurance is a worthwhile alternative.

Connecticut has created the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care whereby private insurance companies sell state-approved insurance policies that cover long term care costs (both home care and nursing home care). A key feature of this program is the built-in Medicaid asset protection that applies if you ever need state assistance. The Medicaid asset protection allows you to qualify for Medicaid benefits without meeting the usual asset limitations (stated above). DSS allows you to keep one extra dollar of assets for every dollar that your policy has paid for your long term care. This can protect a large portion of your assets that you would have otherwise spent down to become eligible.

Posted on 1/4/2010 by Kasey S. Galner, Associate, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.

Chipman Mazzucco Land & Pennarola’s Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

December 31, 2009

We recently told our clients that we expected Congress to take action before the end of 2009 to prevent repeal of the U.S. estate tax in 2010. We were wrong. Congress failed to take action.  As a result, estate planning is more difficult than ever.

For the first time since 1915, until Congress acts to re-impose an estate tax, there will be no estate tax on estates of those who die in 2010.

You might expect that the absence of the U.S. estate tax would make life simpler. Look a little under the surface, however, and you begin to understand that absence of the U.S. estate tax leaves behind certain provisions relating to capital gain taxes which will adversely affect everyone who has assets (and I literally mean everyone) while the estate tax, before repeal, adversely affected only a very small group.

The planning for long term care is also constantly changing in an environment where deficits resulting from a weak economy, bank and auto company bailouts, overseas commitments and entitlement programs create pressures to cut programs for those who have the least political muscle.

The planning environment is rapidly changing.  This blog is to help you keep track of the changes that affect you.

As the estate planning scene develops, stay tuned here for summaries of law changes, notices of seminars we will be offering to our clients and their advisors and other new content regarding estate planning and elder law issues.

Our next seminar (entitled “Is it time to review your estate plan?”) is scheduled for January 28, 2010, at the Ethan Allen Inn, Danbury, Connecticut, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.  Space is limited.  If you wish to attend, contact me at rsl@danburylaw.com or Lynn D’Ostilio at lsd@danburylaw.com to make reservations.

Posted on 12/30/2009 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.


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