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Federal law requires the state to attempt to recover the long-term care benefits from a Medicaid recipient's estate after the recipient's death. If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house, it may need to be sold to settle the claim. For Medicaid recipients age 55 or older, states... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Fong Law Group
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When it comes to retirement planning, many Americans find themselves underprepared. A majority of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X’ers (born between 1965 and 1978) often end up without retirement savings or don’t have realistic expectations about post-retirement costs. According to the Insured Retirement Institute, only... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Fong Law Group
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Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don't let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you. During this period you may enroll in a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Granting someone power of attorney means that you are giving them the authority to make important decisions on your behalf should you be incapable of making them yourself. The scope, duration, and other specifics are up to you. While the laws vary in each state, it’s usually as simple as... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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An annuity can be a useful tool for long-term care planning, but annuities are also complex financial products that are hard to understand. If purchasing an annuity, you need to consider your options carefully. An annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the consumer pays the company... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Congratulations, you have finally signed your estate planning documents. Now, where do you keep them? Most people prefer for their attorney to hold the original documents. This prevents these important documents from being misplaced in your house. It also keeps the documents away from meddling family members and nosy house... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Reports of elder financial abuse continue to increase, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams or to financial abuse by family members in need of money. It is hard to ascertain the exact numbers of people affected by elder abuse because studies show that elder abuse is underreported. However,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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A new report finds that almost no retirees are making financially optimal decisions about when to take Social Security and are losing out on more than $100,000 per household in the process. The average Social Security recipient would receive 9 percent more income in retirement if they made the financially... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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I have received a question from a reader lately. My mom is 93 years old and living at home with 24-hour care. We applied for Medicaid and have spent down her funds. We are awaiting financial approval and an opening at the nursing home to place her. Can we take... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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With careful Medicaid planning, you may be able to preserve some of your estate for your children or other heirs while meeting Medicaid's low asset limit. The problem with transferring assets is that you have given them away. You no longer control them, and even a trusted child or other... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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I have received this question from a reader: What can I do if I believe that my brother used undue influence on our 95-year-old mother to get her to amend her trust? He took her to a lawyer to change the original trust, which split everything evenly between my brother... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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While the new tax law doubled the federal estate tax exemption, meaning the vast majority of estates will not have to pay any federal estate tax, it doesn't mean you should ignore its impact on your estate plan. In December 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump increased the federal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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What subjects in a will are interchangeable among all states? Is guardianship the same no matter where you live? How about real estate? If I move frequently due to my company, is there anything in my will I know will always be valid or do I have to make changes... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Raising a grandchild can be tough financially, but grandparents should be aware that there is a tax credit available that could help them. Working grandparents who are supporting their grandchildren may qualify for the earned income tax credit, which could reduce the amount they pay in taxes by thousands of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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It may become harder for Medicare beneficiaries to find home health care due to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although the rule changes the way home health care providers are reimbursed, it could affect patient care as well. Starting in January 2020, Medicare... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to move into a nursing home on Monday, give all your money to your children (or whomever) on Tuesday, and qualify for Medicaid on Wednesday. So it has imposed a penalty on... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you happen to be is important. If you move to a different state or split your time between one or more states, you should make sure your advance directive is valid in all the states you frequent. An advance directive... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Hospice care is supposed to help terminally ill patients maintain their quality of life at the end of their life, but two new government reports find that serious problems in some hospices may be actually causing harm to hospice patients. The reports propose that additional safeguards are needed. Medicare provides... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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The Trump administration is officially rolling back a ban on the use of arbitration agreements by nursing homes that was initiated under President Obama. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule that once again allows nursing facilities to use arbitration to settle disputes with residents. Historically,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which transferring a house will not result in a penalty period. One of those... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Older Americans with a life insurance policy that they no longer need have the option to sell the policy to investors. These transactions, called "life settlements," can bring in needed cash, but are they a good idea? If your children are grown and your mortgage paid off, you may decide... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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Thinking about your funeral may not be fun, but planning ahead can be exceedingly helpful for your family. It both lets them know your wishes and assists them during a stressful time. The following are steps you can take to plan ahead: Name who is in charge. The first step... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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At the doctor's office and want to know if a procedure is covered by Medicare? There is an app for that. Medicare has launched a free app that gives beneficiaries a quick way to see whether the program covers a specific medical item or service. The "What's Covered" app allows... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at Fong Law Group
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We’ve all heard that it’s better to give than to receive, but if you think you might someday want to apply for Medicaid long-term care benefits, you need to be careful because giving away money or property can interfere with your eligibility. Under federal Medicaid law, if you transfer certain... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Fong Law Group