Tag: elder and estate planning attorneys

Key Estate and Elder Law Planning Tips You Need When Facing a Bone Cancer Diagnosis

Are you facing the challenges that come with a bone cancer diagnosis? We know that this diagnosis can be an overwhelming and challenging experience. As you go through the medical treatments and emotional stress, we gently remind you that it is important to be sure that your legal and financial affairs are in order. Why? Because when your estate and elder law plans are current you can have peace of mind knowing that the future is secure for you and your family. In the rest of our blog we have some key estate and elder law planning tips to assist you as you go through this process.

Do you have a Florida estate plan? Is it up-to-date? That is one of the first actions you should take after receiving a diagnosis of bone cancer; creating or updating your Florida estate plan. Your estate plan allows you to outline your wishes for the distribution of your assets and the care of your dependents. It is very important to regularly review and update your estate plan because then you will know that it remains aligned with your current situation and preferences. This process helps to prevent any potential disputes or confusion among your beneficiaries.

When it comes to your estate plan, communication with your family is good. If you are comfortable with this communication, consider having an open and honest conversation with your family about your goals and wishes. By having an open discussion you can help prevent misunderstandings and know that your loved ones are aware of your preferences. With your clear communication you can foster support and cooperation from your family members. You will be able to explain your goals for difficult topics. For example, asset distribution, care preferences, and any specific instructions you have. This will allow you to provide clarity that will help your family understand your decisions and support you in implementing your estate plan. In addition, involving your family in the planning process can help them feel more prepared and involved with your diagnosis.

Were you aware that the proper titling of your assets is another key aspect of an effective estate plan? It is. When your assets are titled correctly, you can prevent complications and know there will be a smooth transition of ownership. Sadly, incorrect or outdated titling can lead to unintended consequences and potential legal challenges. Be sure to make any necessary adjustments needed to align with your estate planning goals and avoid probate issues. Your Florida estate planning attorney will be able to help you identify and correct any discrepancies.

The time is now to begin considering the possibility of needing long-term care. This is another important part of your estate and elder law planning. Long-term care can include a range of services, from in-home care to assisted living facilities. By planning ahead you can avoid crisis-driven decisions and be sure that your care preferences are honored. We highly recommend that you choose to work with a Florida elder law attorney to discuss your long-term care options and preferences because they can help you make informed decisions. By planning now you can be sure that your care needs are met and that you have a plan in place to cover the associated costs including access to government benefits that may be much needed in the future.

We understand that going through the complexities of estate and elder law planning can be challenging, especially during a diagnosis of bone cancer. You need to know that an experienced Florida estate planning and elder law attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support. Their expertise can help you navigate the legal landscape with confidence. They can help you understand your legal options, draft and update essential estate planning tools, and create a comprehensive plan that aligns with your goals and needs. With their expertise you can be confident that your estate plan is legally sound and tailored to your unique circumstances. In addition, they can assist in making necessary adjustments as your situation evolves.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

5 Ways You Need to Know that Elder Financial Abuse Can Impact an Aging Parent

Elder financial abuse is a growing concern as the senior population increases. Did you know it involves the unauthorized or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets? As more elders seek support and care, they can become increasingly vulnerable to financial exploitation from unscrupulous individuals, including strangers, caregivers, and even family members. This type of abuse not only depletes an elder’s financial resources but also undermines their emotional well-being and sense of security.

Understanding how financial abuse can occur is essential in protecting your aging parents, especially during June when the world focuses on this importance on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). After all, awareness is the first step towards prevention. By recognizing the signs and methods of financial exploitation, you can take proactive measures to safeguard your loved ones’ assets. In our blog right here, we will explore five common ways elder financial abuse can happen and offer practical tips on how to prevent it, ensuring that your parents remain financially secure and protected from harm.

  1. Unauthorized access to bank accounts. Perpetrators may gain access to an elder’s bank accounts through stolen checks, ATM cards, or by gaining online banking information. They might make unauthorized withdrawals or purchases, draining the elder’s funds.

 

  1. Identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses the elder’s personal information, such as Social Security number or credit card details, to open new accounts, apply for loans, or make purchases. This can severely damage the elder’s credit and financial stability.

 

  1. Investment fraud. Elders are often targeted by scammers who pitch fraudulent investment opportunities. These scams can take the form of fake stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investments that promise high returns but result in significant financial losses.

 

  1. Telemarketing and charity scams. Scammers often use telemarketing calls or fake charities to solicit money from elders. They might pretend to represent a legitimate organization or create an urgent, emotional appeal to convince the elder to send money.

 

  1. Exploiting cognitive impairments. Elders with cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Abusers may take advantage of their confusion or forgetfulness to steal money, forge signatures, or manipulate financial transactions.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Your goal is to protect those you love most and an experienced elder and estate planning attorney can help you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

7 Questions to Ask Your Elder Law Attorney

As we age, the legal and financial landscapes we must navigate become increasingly complex. Elder law is a specialized area of legal practice focusing on the needs of Older Americans and their families, dealing with everything from estate planning and financial management to long-term care planning and end of life challenges. Choosing to engage with an experienced elder law attorney can be pivotal in securing not only your assets but also your quality of life in later years.

Finding the right Florida elder law attorney for you involves knowing what questions to ask to ensure they understand your needs and can offer comprehensive solutions. These attorneys not only provide legal advice but also guide you through planning your long-term goals, managing your assets, and ensuring your wishes are upheld. With the right guidance you can prepare effectively for the future, avoiding common pitfalls and leveraging opportunities you may not have previously considered.

We know firsthand that navigating the complexities of elder law and estate planning can be challenging. Whether you are planning for your own future or helping an aging loved one, consulting with an elder law attorney can provide clarity and peace of mind. If you are wondering just where to start, let us share seven crucial questions to bring to your consultation as you begin thinking about the future.

  1. Do I need a durable power of attorney? A durable power of attorney is an essential part of your Florida estate planning. It allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Ask your attorney about the benefits of this planning tool and how it fits into your overall estate plan. When you plan forward you can ensure your financial affairs and long-term care decisions are in trusted hands.

 

  1. What is long-term care? Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long timeframe. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. Understanding what constitutes long-term care in Florida and how to plan forward is crucial in planning for the future.

 

  1. How early should I plan for long-term care? Discussing when to start planning for long-term care is vital. Early planning can significantly impact the quality of care you or your loved one receives and the financial burden that comes with it. Your Florida elder law attorney can help you understand the timelines and the best strategies for early and effective planning.

 

  1. Is Medicare going to pay for long-term care? Many people assume that Medicare will cover all their long-term care needs, but this is not always the case. Medicare’s coverage of long-term care is quite limited. Your Florida elder law attorney can explain what Medicare covers and help you plan for the expenses that Medicare does not cover.

 

  1. What is Medicaid? Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible elderly adults and people with disabilities. In the context of elder law, it is crucial to understand how Medicaid can help cover long-term care costs, which are often not covered by Medicare.

 

  1. How do I plan for Medicaid eligibility? Planning for Medicaid eligibility is a complex process that involves understanding asset and income limits. It is important to ask your Florida elder law attorney about Medicaid planning strategies, which can help protect your assets while ensuring you qualify for benefits when you need them.

 

  1. How do I age in place safely? Aging in place refers to staying in the comfort of your own home as you age, rather than moving to a senior living facility or nursing home. Discuss with your elder law attorney about how to create a comprehensive plan that includes legal, financial, and community resources to support aging in place.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Asking the right questions during your consultation with a Florida elder law attorney can help ensure that your legal, financial, and healthcare needs are all addressed effectively. With their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of elder law with confidence, ensuring a secure and dignified future for yourself or your loved ones.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Proactive Estate Planning Measures You Can Take to Prevent Disputes Over Your Will

Were you aware that one of the key concerns people have when considering Florida estate planning and the drafting of a will, is how to avoid a will contest after their death? Sadly, a will contest can lead to prolonged court battles, strained family relationships, and can significantly deplete the estate’s assets. To avoid these risks, there are seven steps you can take now in your estate planning. We would like to share these steps with you below.

  1. Be sure to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. First and foremost, it is important to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. A skilled lawyer will be sure that your Florida estate plan is legally sound, adheres to state laws, and clearly articulates your wishes. Your attorney can also provide advice on strategies to minimize the chances of a will contest, including ensuring all legal formalities are correctly followed. Be sure to share any specific concerns you may have about potential contests with your attorney and ask for tailored advice to avoid those risks.

 

  1. Be sure to think about speaking with your loved ones. You will want to speak with your attorney first but be aware that transparency can help in avoiding misunderstandings and disputes. You may want to discuss your estate plan as well as your goals with your loved ones. This does not mean you need to divulge every detail, but explaining your decisions can help manage expectations and reduce the likelihood of surprises that could lead to future contests.

 

  1. Be sure to choose the right decision makers. It is absolutely essential that you select trustworthy and competent agents, personal representatives, and trustees. These are the individuals who will be responsible for working with an attorney to administer your estate and ensure your wishes are carried out. Their ability to handle the role effectively and communicate with beneficiaries can greatly influence the probability of a dispute. Also, you may want to discuss this important role with them to ensure they are willing to serve in this capacity before naming them in your estate plan. 

 

  1. Be sure to plan out what you want clearly. The clearer your estate plan, the less room there is for interpretation or contention. Work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to be explicit about your wishes, including the distribution of specific assets. Your attorney may even recommend you write a letter that could accompany your estate plan for specific family members.

 

  1. Be sure to consider using tools like trusts to avoid probate. One of the complications of using only a last will and testament in your estate plan is that your estate will need to go through the probate process. This process is public and could open your estate up to challenges. On the other hand, when you use a trust agreement and fund your assets into it, you can eliminate the need for probate and provide a more structured distribution through trust administration. 

 

  1. Be sure to update your Florida estate plan on a regular basis. Were you aware that life changes, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, the sale of a business, or acquiring significant assets, necessitates updates to your estate plan? They do. When you regularly review and update your plan to reflect these changes, you ensure that it accurately represents your current wishes and circumstances, reducing the potential for disputes.

 

  1. Be sure to think about the emotional impact of your plan. Of course your death, your estate plan and future inheritances will be emotional. Unequal distributions or perceived slights can lead to hurt feelings and disputes within your family. You cannot control how others feel and you do not have to consider this in your planning, but being as fair and thoughtful as possible in your approach can minimize negative emotions that might fuel a contest.

Finally, while it is impossible to guarantee that your Florida estate plan will not be contested, taking the steps above can significantly reduce the risk. By discussing your specific concerns with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney and seeking their advice, you can develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses potential challenges and works towards ensuring your final wishes are respected and your loved ones are cared for as intended.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Does Medicare Cover the Expenses of Long-Term Care in Florida?

Are you finding that navigating the landscape of healthcare costs in senior years is not easy? In fact, as the population ages, there are more and more individuals requiring long-term care services. In addition, whether due to chronic illness, disability, or the natural progression of aging, long-term care needs can quickly become complicated and complex.

It is a fact that long-term care can be expensive. Often many of the seniors we meet with wonder if Medicare will help bear the brunt of these costs. Are you seeking answers to how to pay for the care you or a loved one may need? We have some important information to share on what Medicare covers and what it does not. We will also discuss why early planning with an experienced Florida elder law attorney is crucial.

We will begin with understanding Medicare basics. Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals 65 and older and covers a broad range of healthcare services.  Medicare is divided into parts:

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance). This  covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.
  • Part B (Medical Insurance). Covers specific doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Often you will hear of Part A and Part B referred to as Traditional Medicare. 
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage). A type of Medicare health plan offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. It provides all of Part A and Part B benefits.
  • Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage). This covers the cost of prescription drugs.

However when it comes to long-term care, Medicare’s coverage is limited. Even though Medicare Part A does provide coverage for care in a skilled nursing facility, it is important to note the limitations that apply to most situations:

  • Coverage is only for short-term stays (up to 100 days) in a skilled nursing facility, and only after a qualifying 3-day hospital stay.
  • It does not cover long-term stays or custodial care, which includes assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and eating.

If deemed medically necessary, Medicare can cover part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and physical therapy. But again, it does not cover 24-hour care or purely custodial care as you would need in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Because of the limitations of Medicare when it comes to long-term care, it is vital for seniors to have an elder law financial strategy in place. Here are some concepts to consider:

  1. Research alternative options. Look into long-term care insurance, which is designed specifically to cover these costs. These policies can be tailored to your needs, but they are more affordable if purchased when you are younger and in good health.
  2. What about Medicaid? Unlike Medicare, Medicaid does cover long-term care services, but it is for individuals with limited income and assets. Proper planning can help seniors protect their assets while still qualifying for Medicaid.
  3. Find out about asset protection. Through trusts and other financial strategies, seniors can shield their assets from being completely depleted by long-term care costs.
  4. Meet now with an experienced Florida elder law attorney. Elder law attorneys specialize in helping seniors and their families navigate the complexities of long-term care, estate planning, and related financial matters. They can offer invaluable advice on protecting assets, qualifying for Medicaid, and ensuring that seniors receive the care they need.

The good news is that Medicare offers invaluable health coverage for seniors, but unfortunately its provisions for long-term care are limited. Because of the high costs of such care, seniors need to plan ahead as soon as possible and utilize the guidance of an experienced Florida elder law attorney who can help ensure that you or your loved one has access to the best care without the looming stress of exorbitant costs.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Estate Planning Considerations for Your Adult Children After Your Remarriage

As a Florida senior, are you considering remarriage? However, should there be estate planning considerations for your adult children once you remarry? As a senior adult you have experienced many important events like marriages, births, divorces, deaths, and separations and they play an important role in your daily life. While you think in depth about the ins and outs of each of these occasions, should you think about them in the context of your Florida estate planning? 

As you think about your remarriage, were you aware that statistics tell us that for 55 year olds, and older, the remarriage rate has grown from 24 percent in 1960 to 57 percent in 2013? This is now more than any other age group. As you plan for your future nuptials, have you considered how your  remarriage will impact your estate plan, including your planning for your adult children? Do you want to be sure the assets from your first marriage are available to them when the time comes that you are no longer here? Below are some considerations for you to think about when it comes to protecting your adult children in a second marriage.

  1. Take into consideration your existing asset structure and protect it. With seniors remarrying more often, they are usually the age group that has more assets coming into a remarriage. So when we remarry later in life, there are probably more assets to consider planning for. A senior adult may have assets ranging from homes, vehicles, and personal tangible goods, to retirement accounts, savings, life insurance policies, and brokerage accounts. Of course you will want to be sure the adult children of your first marriage are the recipients of your assets. When you work with your  experienced Florida estate planning attorney she will be able to show you careful planning considerations for your estate plan and may recommend a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can lay a foundation for understanding your goals for your previously owned assets at the time you entered into your marriage, and protect your existing adult children.
  1. Take into consideration a thoughtful plan for both your new spouse and your adult children. When you create your estate plan you are creating a legacy. Rest assured, even with a prenuptial agreement, that you can plan for both your new spouse and your adult children. You can discuss with your Florida estate planning attorney creating a last will and testament or trust agreement that details the distribution of specific assets you want your new spouse or your adult children to receive.
  1. Take into consideration the laws of your state. You should know that the state Florida rules will apply. Your spouse must receive the elective share, in Florida it is roughly thirty percent of your estate, unless you plan around this in advance in your prenuptial agreement. This could include at least a life estate of your home and other assets. If your primary goal is to provide for your adult children of a previous marriage you will want to work closely with your Florida estate planning attorney to make this a reality.
  1. Take into consideration open communication about your estate planning goals. Many of our clients want to keep their goals for their legacy private for as long as possible, however, open communication in this area may be critical to avoiding future legal challenges. If you are comfortable, discuss your goals with your new spouse as well as your adult children. Consider including them in your meetings with your Florida estate planning attorney so everyone knows, and has time to both adjust and respect, your wishes.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Congratulations are in order for Florida Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys!

Our firm is so excited to be included in the top three finalists for the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce Leadership Awards 2023: Small Business of the Year! We are honored to be included with the other local leaders in our community. This year’s Annual Leadership Awards celebrate Palm Beach North’s outstanding leaders and businesses making a difference in this community and we are excited to be a part of it.

Our goals at Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is to be a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We work with clients through Florida, specifically in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. 

Our elder law firm consists of seasoned attorneys in Florida with decades of experience in:

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Asset Protection
  • Advanced Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Veteran’s Benefits Planning
  • Medicaid Benefits Planning
  • Representation of Fiduciaries
  • Real Estate Services
  • Residential and Commercial Leases
  • Business Law
  • Litigation
  • Probate and Trust Litigation
  • Probate and Trust Administration

We work hard to ensure you will receive personal services as you make some of the most important decisions in your life. The extra benefit when you work with our law firm? You will have the assurance that your decisions will be for the best under the guidance of experienced lawyers.

Our firm is led by the exceptional Anne’ Desormier-Cartwright who, in 1985, began her practice as a real estate, landlord tenant and commercial trial lawyer.  Since 1994, her practice expanded to include guardianship, mental health, probate and trust administration, and trusts and estate planning, as well as Special Needs trusts, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits Planning.  More recently, she started helping clients with remedies for elder exploitation.

She is a Charter member of ElderCounsel, a nation wide association of elder law attorneys focused on the changing laws affecting the elderly.  She is also a member of WealthCounsel and Advisors Forum which focuses on how the laws affect wealth planning and distribution of assets throughout a client’s life and at death.  Ms. Desormier also enjoys active memberships in NAELA and AFELA, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, respectively.  These organizations lead the way for understanding and preparing legislation to address the complicated issues our elderly population faces as they age.

She is also a 30 year member of The Greater Palm Beach Chapter of National Association of Women in Construction and has served on the Board of Directors in various capacities.  She continues to be a member helping members in their business succession, estate planning, elder law and real estate needs.
We encourage you to take a minute out of your schedule to congratulate our entire firm on this tremendous achievement and let us know how we may help you. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and so much more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Is Protecting Your Digital Assets a Key New Year’s Resolution?

When you made your New Year’s resolutions did you include understanding how to protect your digital assets? Digital assets are a hot topic and data security is in the headlines.  In addition, digital privacy is on the mind of many Floridians making this month a perfect time to be sure that our digital assets are secure now and in the future, including after we pass on. 

As you create or update your Florida estate plan, did you know that digital assets can be included in your plan? One aspect of securing your digital assets in the future can be accomplished while creating or updating your estate plan. We would like to share some  guidelines that may assist you in understanding how to include digital assets in your estate plan while keeping them secure in the meantime.

A critical first step in addressing the security of your digital assets is to preserve and protect your passwords. Most of us protect our digital assets with passwords. That being said, it is often tough to keep track of all of the different passwords you use to access different accounts on a frequent basis.  In fact, you may have resorted to using a memory or list feature on your computer or on your cell phone to keep track of all your passwords. Saving to some type of device is, unfortunately, not the most secure of practices.  Remember, it is important to choose strong passwords that cannot easily be guessed, and to change them frequently, even if only once a year. Always check frequently to be sure that your passwords have not been compromised. Update them immediately if they have!  We suggest that you keep track of your passwords by making a written list and keeping it in a locked desk drawer or safe deposit box. Wherever you keep this list it should be somewhere you can access frequently, so that you can make updates to the list.

What assets can become part of your estate plan?  Financial digital assets, like a digital Paypal, Venmo, or bitcoin account. Also, sentimental digital assets, like a collection of photographs or videos of your children and grandchildren. With any and all assets like these, someone needs to be able to access these assets after you pass away.  How do you accomplish this?  You may want to consider picking a “password person” who can be trusted with this information and keep him or her informed of where you keep your password list so it can be accessed if and when the time comes. As stated previously, when you create or update your estate plan you may also wish to detail who should have access to your digital assets or leave your personal representative instructions with respect to your passwords. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Do You Know the Danger of Making Holiday Gifts When It Comes to Elder Law Planning

During the holidays are you considering giving gifts of money to loved ones? Are you aware that monetary gifts can impact Medicaid eligibility? Did you know that if you needed to apply for Medicaid in the next five years, these gifts could have significant consequences? If you answered yes to the previous questions, be aware that the impact could be on both the giver and receiver.

With respect to the gift giver, be aware that the IRS allows a tax-free annual gift per person with an unlimited amount of donees. However, this relates to tax law planning, not to Medicaid eligibility.

In regard to gifting, Medicaid takes a different stance. In applying for Medicaid eligibility, when a person’s assets are reviewed, there is a “Look-Back” period of sixty months, depending upon the state. If it is found that the Medicaid applicant gifted money, or made an uncompensated transfer in order to be eligible for Medicaid, the penalty may be Medicaid ineligibility. The length of time of ineligibility is determined by the amount of the gift and the average cost of a private pay nursing home in the area.

Are there any options for the person deemed ineligible for Medicaid due to gift giving? Possibly. The gifter could collect the gift back, or reimbursement, in order to “undo” the penalty. Even if possession of the money makes he or she ineligible for Medicaid, he or she can spend it down by temporarily paying for long-term care or making a home modification related to his or her disability until he or she reaches eligibility status. In addition, there may also be a possibility of an undue hardship waiver, if Medicaid ineligibility will cause the person to go without medical care, food or shelter.

There may also be important impacts on the gift receiver. All states have an asset limit to be Medicaid eligible and it is not very high. In fact, Florida allows a single person to only have two thousand dollars. Even a small gift can push a potential Medicaid recipient over the eligibility limit.

With the assistance of an experienced Florida elder law attorney, a potential Medicaid recipient does have some options if he or she receives a gift. Your elder law attorney may suggest paying off debts and/or purchasing a funeral plan or a Medicaid eligible annuity. If money is received before applying for Medicaid, the money can also be spent down in a similar fashion.

Do you have questions? Please contact our law practice to learn more. We are here for you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.

Woman of the Year Nominee, Anne’ Desormier-Cartwright

Did you know that Attorney Anné Desormier-Cartwright was recently honored as a Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce 2020 Woman of the Year nominee? She is among 25 nominees that were selected from 50 nominations from the community. In a year where there were a record-breaking number of nominations for this highly sought after award, Attorney Desormier-Cartwright finds herself among the highest caliber of women in the Palm Beach North community.

The Woman of theYear award recognizes women for their outstanding leadership as well as their demonstrated commitment to the Palm Beach North Region. It should come as no surprise that Attorney Desormier-Cartwright finds herself among such prestigious company. Her dedication to the community and to excellence is clear in everything she does. In addition to being appointed to the Guardianship Education Committee for the Palm Beach County Bar since 1998, she also serves on the Probate and Guardianship Practice Committee of the Florida bar.

While excelling in her capacity as managing partner of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA, Attorney Desormier-Cartwright is also a Charter member of Elder Counsel, which is a nation wide association of elder law attorneys who focus on how changes in the law impact the elderly. She remains dedicated to organizations that pave the way for both understanding and preparing legislation that impacts the elderly, such as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys. Additionally, she has been a member of The Greater Palm Beach Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction for the past 30 years and has served on the Board of Directors.

Do you have questions about elder law or estate planning? Please contact our law practice to learn more. We are here for you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.