NEWSFLASH

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LISTEN TO LAWRENCE Dear clients and friends, News Flash: I just learned that the New York Legislature and the Governor have settled on a budget and my predictions seemed to have been proven true. First the good news……SPOUSAL REFUSAL remains intact! Now, the bad news……the no look back for Medicaid …

Answers to your Questions – Listen to Lawrence

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LISTEN TO LAWRENCE… Dear clients and friends, When I put a call out yesterday for questions, I had no idea what I was tapping into! So many people responded either with questions or simply wanting to thank us for reaching out and helping during this unsettling time. I encourage you …

Client Alert – Some Good News

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A MESSAGE TO OUR CLIENTS – SOME GOOD NEWS NEW YORK STATE ALLOWS REMOTE NOTARIZATION OF ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS IN AN EFFORT TO GET YOUR DOCUMENTS DONE AT HOME! This pandemic has made many of us aware of the crucial need to BE PREPARED by having the proper estate planning …

CLIENT ALERT: THE SECURE ACT IMPACTS MOST ESTATE PLANS

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The SECURE ACT was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on  December 20th,  2019, with an effective date of January 1, 2020.  The act makes significant changes to all retirement plan benefits, like 401ks, 403bs, all IRAs and all other retirement plans.  For the curious, the …

STEEP HIKES IN LONG TERM CARE PREMIUMS JOLTING MANY CONSUMERS

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Davis resident John Rundin is outraged that his insurer wants to raise the premium for his long-term care coverage by 60 percent, and he’s convinced that this sharp increase, paired with the company’s admonition about more hikes in future, is a harbinger that long-term care insurance is on its last …

PROBATE VS. NON-PROBATE: What is the difference?

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  When planning your estate, it is important to understand the difference between probate and non-probate assets. Probate is the process through which a court determines how to distribute your property after you die. Some assets are distributed to heirs by the court (probate assets) and some assets bypass the …

FINANCIAL ABUSE OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

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Financial fraud is among the fastest growing types of abuse, and individuals with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. In most cases, it involves exploitation by someone known to the victim, but in plenty of scams strangers target individuals with disabilities and the elderly online, by phone and through other means. In …

TAX LAW CHANGES FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

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Late in 2017, Congress passed a sweeping new tax law. You may have noticed some of its effects in your take-home pay, and a lot has been written about the changes. As we all get ready to file our first tax returns under the new law, you might wonder what …

A Glossary for the Emerging Democratic Health Care Debate

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Reprinted from The New York Times, 2/19/19, written by Margot Sanger-Katz Democrats, the many running for president as well as energized members of Congress, are talking big about health care again. Among other things, that means brace yourself for some jargon. Here’s your neighborhood health care nerd to help define …

Selecting a Trustee: Some Things to Consider

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Parents and grandparents often have a pretty good sense of when they may want to create a special needs trust (“SNT”) for their child or grandchild with atypical needs. They also understand, perhaps after discussion, when their family’s circumstances warrant a need for money management, or if an inheritance will …

Estate and Gift Tax System Update for 2019

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Federal Gift and Estate Tax The 2019 exclusion amount is now $11,400,000; this is a $200,000 increase from last year. New York Gift and Estate Tax New York has no gift tax and for people dying on or after January 1, 2019, actual gifts made will not be taxed as …

2019 Medicaid Resource and Income Allowances

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  The New York State Department of Health has issued resource and income allowances for the year 2019.  All updated numbers are effective as of January 1, 2019.   Institutional/Nursing Home Care Resource Allowance:  Applicant – $15,450; Community Spouse – $126,420 (maximum) Income Allowance:  Applicant – $50; Community Spouse – …

SENIORS SLOW TO EMBRACE ONLINE ACCESS TO DOCTORS

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Many doctors have internet portals to help patients manage their care. But that doesn’t mean older folks will use them. A University of Michigan poll found only about half of patients 50 to 80 years old have set up an online account with their health care provider. “The health care …

VETERANS AID AND ATTENDANCE UPDATE

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A few years ago, the VA suggested changes to its requirements for qualification for the Aid & Attendance pension benefits.  As of September 18th, the new rules were decided on and will take effect on October 18th, 2018.  They are as follows: There will now be a Three-Year Look-Back For …

Seniors Slow to Embrace Online Access to Doctors

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Many doctors have internet portals to help patients manage their care. But that doesn’t mean older folks will use them. A University of Michigan poll found only about half of patients 50 to 80 years old have set up an online account with their health care provider. “The health care …

New Tax Law Doesn’t Change Need for Estate Review

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The new tax law roughly doubled the federal estate-tax exemption to about $11.2 million per person, meaning most people will not be subject to the tax. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for estate planning.   The sharp increase in the exemption amount, for example, means that old wills and …

Can a Senior Put Himself Up For Adoption?

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Hank is one of 11 million Americans who lives alone, without family or friends nearby. He lost his wife, is estranged from his daughter, and lives more than 1,000 miles away from his son. He is lonely and scared of dying alone, so he did the only logical thing he …

How to Identify Elder Abuse and How to Report It

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When an elderly person loses the ability to care for her or himself, there is often a network of people collaborating to provide the level of attention and care they need. For people who live in their own homes, this could include family members, nurses or professional at-home caregivers. Others …

21 BEST APPS FOR SENIORS

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Seniors are embracing technology in droves. According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of seniors age 65 and older use the Internet and 42% own smartphones today.   Apps for smartphones or iPads can make life easier and more interesting. But with tens of thousands of apps on the market and more coming out …