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“Last Will and Testament” Origin

Have you ever wondered why the dispositive instrument in which you express your wishes is called a “Last Will and Testament?” Few people, including Estate Planning attorneys, know the reason. In fact, the history is a little muddy. Occasionally, clients will ask this question. Now you’ll know the answer! It’s…

Saying Medicaid Estate Recovery Keeps Families in Poverty, Advocacy Groups Call for Abolishing It

To qualify for Medicaid coverage of long-term care, you must satisfy very complicated financial eligibility rules—rules that often can be traps for the unwary. One of the most significant traps is Medicaid’s right to recover its expenses from your estate after you die – a practice known as “estate recovery.” Under…

Fair Isn’t Always Equal and Vice Versa

When deciding how to split your assets among your children at death, there are many different factors to consider. Equality is certainly one of those factors. But it’s not the only factor. Fair doesn’t always mean equal and vice versa. Here are some situations in which some parents might think…

President Biden Proposes Billions in Increased Funding for Home Health Care

President Biden has introduced a plan to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities. The money would go to expand access to care and support higher-paying caregiving jobs.  As the elderly population grows, our long-term care system is becoming…

Use It Before It’s Gone

April 20, 2021 by Steve Hartnett The current estate tax exemption is $11.7 million. This is a record high. The “permanent” exclusion is $5 million and is adjusted for inflation from a 2011 base year. Then the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act temporarily doubled it. At the end of 2025, the doubling…

Rockland Resident Victim Of Grandparent Scam: Ramapo Police

Plus there’s a new twist. Tell the senior citizens of your acquaintance to beware. Lanning Taliaferro, Patch StaffPosted Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 2:44 pm ET RAMAPO, NY — A Ramapo resident was recently the victim of the now-classic grandparent scam, police said. The con artist took a significant amount from a senior…

How an Irrevocable Trust Is Superior to Gifting

If you would like to pass on your assets during your lifetime, you may want to consider an Irrevocable Trust. While simply giving something now to someone you love sounds best, an Irrevocable Trust has proven to be a better way to preserve those assets for the future.  Trust Me…

IRS Announces That Face Masks and Related Purchases Are Tax Deductible

The IRS has announced that the tax deduction for medical expenses includes amounts spent on face masks, sanitizer and other products purchased to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  If you have significant medical expenses, you may be able to deduct them from your taxes. Many types of medical expenses are…

How to Dispose of “Stuff”

March 9, 2021 by Steve Hartnett  Even wealthy clients are often most concerned about the possessions which they have around them. They may have financial accounts with lots of zeros, yet they are most concerned about the things which they have collected or been given over the years. At first glance, this…

How to Use Estate Planning to Prepare for Medicaid

Long-term care involves not only a loss of personal autonomy; it also comes at a tremendous financial price. Proper planning can help your family prepare for the financial toll and protect assets for future generations.  Long-term care can be very expensive, especially around-the-clock nursing home care. Most people end up…