Posted tagged ‘power of attorney’

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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Changes to Connecticut Power of Attorney Law

August 3, 2015

Effective July 1, 2016, significant changes have been made to the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

Generally, under the revised act: (1) The agent under a power of attorney is granted broader powers than granted under the current Act; (2) Probate Courts will have broader authority over the application and interpretation of powers of attorney; and (3) the Act requires people to honor the agent’s use of the power of attorney in most circumstances.

Although most provisions of the Act are effective July 1, 2016, Probate Court proceedings will be governed by the new Act effective October 1, 2015.

For a thorough analysis of the Act, see the report of Connecticut’s Office of Legislative Research at the following link: An Act Concerning Adoption of the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

185775_1745456110853_1072275011_31952001_6630745_n[1]Posted on August 3, 2015
by Richard S. Land
Member
Chipman Mazzucco

Video Completed: Part 4 of Long Term Care Issues and Medicaid

May 8, 2014

 Video on Long Term Care Issues and Medicaid Finished with the Completion of Part Four

Part 4 (the last Part) of our video/slideshow presentation on Long Term Care Issues and Medicaid has been posted to YouTube.  Part 4 discusses home care benefits provided under Medicaid (or Title 19), long term care insurance and planning ideas.

Here is Part 4:

Parts 1, 2, and 3 discuss the following:  (1) What is long term care?  (2) Who and what does Medicaid cover?  (3) What are the income limitations?  (4) What are the asset limitations? (4) What are the rules related to transfers of assets made with the intention of qualifying for Medicaid?

Go directly to the YouTube Playlist.  Click on the image below:

We hope you find our Long Term Care video informative.

 If you have any questions, please contact us.
 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.

Basic Estate Planning Video Updated to Reflect ATRA

February 24, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“ATRA” effective January 1, 2013) will change everything about estate tax planning.  We recently updated our Basic Estate Planning Video to reflect ATRA and posted it to YouTube.

Background

April 30, 2013 (Updated April 20, 2015)

We offer seminars to our clients, their advisors, and other friends of the firm, every year.  One of the most popular has been our Basic Estate Planning Seminar.  On March 14, 2013, we offered our Basic Estate Planning seminar at the Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut.  The seminar covered the topics mentioned below.

Those who could not attend the seminar may be interested in taking a look at the Basic Estate Planning video that we recently finished updating to reflect the recently enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (effective January 1, 2013).

The presentation is in 15 parts.  Click on the red  “Basic Estate Planning after ATRA (15 Parts)”  heading below and then click “Play All” under “Basic Estate Planning” at the top of the YouTube page.

Basic Estate Planning after ATRA (15 Parts)

We describe each of the parts below with an individual link to each one. 

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).

 Posted on 2/24/2013 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.

Join Email List

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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.

Planning Question and Answer Sessions. Please Take This Survey!

May 15, 2012

When Do You Want an Estate Planning Q&A Session?  Please take this survey.

 May 15, 2012.

We recently published a Basic Estate Planning video on YouTube and DVD.  We hope that you will have a chance to see it if you have not already done so.

You can see the YouTube version here:  Basic Estate Planning Screencast on YouTube

We are scheduling group meetings so that interested parties can ask questions related to the subjects in the video.  There will be no charge or obligation. 

Location: Chipman Mazzucco, Attorneys, Matrix Corporate Center, 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Suite D-2, Danbury, Ct. o6810.

We ask you to click on the link below to complete this survey so that we know what will be convenient for you.  It will take only one minute.

Survey Link

 
Thank you for participating in the survey.  It will be a great help to us in our efforts to help you.
 
 
Posted on 5/15/2012 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.

     
  Join Email List  
     

Chipman Mazzucco | Promote Your Page Too

 

Basic Estate Planning Seminar

March 29, 2012

Our Basic Estate Planning Seminar is Now a Screencast

Background

March 28, 2012

We offer seminars to our clients, their advisors, and other friends of the firm, every year.  One of the most popular has been our Basic Estate Planning Seminar.  We offer it to you now as a screencast/podcast.  It is also available on DVD. If you would like the DVD, please contact us (via Chipman Mazzucco).

You can see all 15 parts.  Click on the red “Basic Estate Planning (15 Parts)” heading below and then click “Play All” under “Basic Estate Planning” at the top of the YouTube page.

Basic Estate Planning (15 Parts)

We describe each of the parts below with an individual link to each one. If the full screen button on the bottom right of the icon is not working, click on “For Full Screen Click Here.”

Part 1:  Introduction.  Wills and probate property vs. nonprobate property. For a Full Screen Click Here.

  

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

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

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.  For Full Screen Click Here.

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

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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. For Full Screen Click Here.

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). For Full Screen Click Here.

Posted on 3/29/2012 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.

     
  Join Email List  
     

Chipman Mazzucco | Promote Your Page Too

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.


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