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When a Social Security Recipient Dies, Survivors May Be Eligible for Benefits

2/4/2022When loved ones pass away, there are lots of considerations, including what happens to their Social Security. The decedent’s payments need to be stopped, but survivor’s benefits may be available to the spouse or, in certain cases, children. Social Security benefits stop at death. If a loved one who was…

Court Rules Medicare Beneficiaries Can Appeal Switch to Hospital Observation Status

A federal court has ruled that hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who were switched from inpatient to observation status can appeal the decision, making it easier for them to receive coverage for subsequent nursing home care. The ruling appears to bring to an end more than a decade of litigation on behalf…

When Can Someone Be Declared Legally Incompetent?

January 24, 2022 If a loved one is experiencing memory loss or suddenly making poor decisions, you may want the court to appoint a guardian, which requires a declaration of incompetence. Determining whether someone is incompetent to make their own decisions is a complicated process. If a loved one is…

The Evolution of our Unified Estate and Gift Tax System

January 19, 2022 Estate planning attorneys often tell clients that even if you don’t have an estate, you need an estate plan. Estate planning involves more than planning to avoid the estate tax, although understanding the estate tax and its impact on a plan are certainly required. Until 1916, the…

Double Your Gifting with Spousal Gift-Splitting

It may be possible to double your gifting by using spousal “gift-splitting.” Spouses may elect to split gifts made to others. If they do so, they must split all the gifts made by the other spouse to others for that year. For example, let’s say John made gifts of $30,000…

Start 2022 the Right Way

Welcome to 2022! Most of us will leave 2021 without hesitation – many had high hopes that 2021 would bring the end of COVID-19 and a return to normalcy and yet we face another variant as we usher in 2022. While things may not have gone the way we hoped…

Tax Planning for 2022

As 2021 draws to a close and the New Year dawns, we need to think of…tax planning! Some years Congress tweaks the laws more than other years. While 2021 held plenty of events: a coronavirus vaccine, new coronavirus variants, a new President, etc., it was a relatively quiet year for…

The Sky Isn’t Falling

September usually brings the start of a new school year, cooler temperatures, football, and a time for reflection in the final quarter. This year, September brought concern, bordering on panic, over proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) when Congress released legislation containing several proposals eliminating the benefits of…

It’s Better to Give Than to Receive

As this year ends and you plan for the next, it’s a great time to tie up loose ends and position yourself in the best way possible for your individual income taxes for the tax year 2021. Certain tax benefits end on December 31, 2021, so it’s important to take…

You Can ‘Cure’ a Medicaid Penalty Period by Returning a Gift

Anyone who gifted assets within five years of applying for Medicaid may be subject to a penalty period, but that penalty can be reduced or eliminated if the assets are returned. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to…