Protect Your House When You Want to Qualify for Medicaid

         Medicaid is a public assistance program that provides millions of individuals nationwide with health care coverage. For certain qualifying Medicaid recipients, the program also covers nursing home care. To be eligible for Medicaid, you typically must meet a specific income limit. You generally do not have to sell your home to qualify for Medicaid nursing […]

Be Aware of the Dangers of Joint Accounts

         Many believe that joint accounts are an excellent way to avoid probate and transfer money to loved ones. While joint accounts can be helpful in certain circumstances, they can have dire consequences if not used properly. Adding a loved one to a bank account can expose your account to the loved one’s creditors and affect […]

What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

         Everyone has heard the terms will and trust, but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning tools, serving different purposes. They can work together to create a complete estate plan. Will vs Trust: When They Go Into Effect One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes […]

What You Should Know About Prepaid Funeral Plans

         How Much Are Funeral Costs in the United States? Funerals rank among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. As of 2023, the median cost of a traditional funeral, with casket and burial, was $8,300. The average cost varies depending on where you live as well. Data from 2024 shows that average funeral costs (for […]

End-of-Life Care Decision Making

Just as we create estate plans for our eventual demise, we also need to plan ahead for the possibility that we could become sick and unable to make our own medical decisions. Medical science has led to much-improved technology that can keep patients alive longer. As a result of many well-publicized “right to die” cases, […]

Could Medicaid Payback Rules Come to an End?

         The idea of ending this practice altogether has resurfaced amid recent reports from prominent news outlets such as The New York Times and the Associated Press about the negative impact of Medicaid estate recovery on families. What Is Medicaid? Medicaid is a public assistance program that seeks to provide health insurance coverage for Americans with limited means. To […]

Older Adults Are Failing at Retirement Planning, Study Shows

         Research by the American College of Financial Services illuminates the need for improving retirement financial literacy. The 2023 Retirement Income Literacy Study revealed that most adults ages 50 to 75 lack knowledge about retirement income, which can lead to a lack of confidence about achieving the best possible retirement outcomes. Just 15 percent of […]

The Five Components of a Good Estate Plan

      Many people believe that their estate planning is complete if they have a will, but there is much more to a solid estate plan. A good plan should be designed to avoid probate, save on estate taxes, protect assets if you have to move into a nursing home and appoint someone to act for you […]

What To Do When a Loved One Passes Away

While the exact rules of estate planning differ from state to state, the key actions include: While some of these steps can be avoided through trusts or joint ownership arrangements, whoever is left in charge still has to pay all debts, file tax returns, and distribute the property to the rightful heirs.  We have created […]

Medicaid Estate Recovery and Medicaid Payback Rules

         Federal law requires each state to attempt to recover long-term care benefits from Medicaid recipient’s estates after their death. This is known as Medicaid estate recovery. If a Medicaid recipient had failed to protect their house, it may need to be sold to settle the claim. Who Does the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) Affect? […]