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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hospice Care

Hospice care can be very difficult for families to come to terms with, but can be a beneficial care option for those caring for a terminally ill loved one.
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Medicare and Medicaid: Unlocking the Mystery

Medicare and Medicaid have long been a mystery to many consumers. In fact, it can baffle and confuse even some of the smartest citizens.
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

What the New Tab Bill Means for Seniors

Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December of 2017 which is aimed at cutting taxes for corporations and all Americans. While the bulk of the legislation went into effect January 2018, most taxpayers will not see much of a difference in their taxes until 2019, when they file their 2018 taxes. However, there are several important changes seniors need to be aware of now that could affect not only their tax bill, but other items such as their health care premiums. 



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Monday, November 27, 2017

Need Help Understanding Medicare?

Here are tips and resources for assistance with Medicare.


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Friday, November 25, 2016

Ongoing Controversial Debate Over Veterans' Long-Term Care in Michigan

As practitioners of veteran’s benefits law in Michigan, we routinely meet with the valiant and courageous former service members as they embark on the process to obtain much-needed benefits from the federal and state governments. One of the most pressing issues – both in our state and elsewhere – is the pressing need for affordable, quality long-term care for veterans. Currently, proposed legislation drafted to supposedly “fix” this problem has many concerned that the state may be leaning towards privatization of the veteran’s long-term care industry – which raises further concerns of consistency & proper oversight.


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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Planning Ahead for Medical Care


What are advance medical directives?

Estate planning is simply a matter of getting your affairs in order, and while no one wants to think about dying, it is crucial to protect your assets, provide for your loved ones and ensure your wishes are carried out. It is also essential to have a plan for the type of medical treatment you would like to receive if you are injured in an accident or suffer an illness and become incapacitated. By putting in place a health care proxy, a living will and other documents - also known as advance medical directives, you can plan in advance for the type of treatment you should receive if you cannot make decisions or speak for yourself.

What is a durable power of attorney for healthcare?

This legal document, or healthcare proxy, enables you to select someone you trust to make medical care decisions if you become incapacitated. This person, referred to as your agent, will collaborate with your doctors to ensure the medical care being provided agrees with your wishes.


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Avoiding Financial Ruin through Medicaid Planning

If you had to pay for long-term care in a nursing home, could you afford to?

In the past, much elder care was handled informally at home. However, as more and more women started to work outside the home, wives and daughters were not available to care for aging parents or in-laws in addition to all their other responsibilities to work and family. Also, as modern medicine has improved, people are living longer with chronic medical conditions. However, in the last years of their lives, many seniors may have complex medical issues and care needs that only can be met by professionals.
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Life Insurance and Medicaid Planning


Many people purchase a life insurance policy as a way to ensure that their dependents are protected upon their passing. Generally speaking, there are two basic types of life insurance policies: term life and whole life insurance. With a term policy, the holder pays a monthly, or yearly, premium for the policy which will pay out a death benefit to the beneficiaries upon the holder’s death so long as the policy was in effect. A whole life policy is similar to a term, but also has an investment component which builds cash value over time. This cash value can benefit either the policy holder during his or her lifetime or the beneficiaries.


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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Federal Court Considers Annuities in Context of Medicaid Eligibility


I purchased an annuity several years ago. Does this asset impact future Medicaid eligibility?

When it comes to planning for long-term care, many Americans are beginning to consider the option of applying for Medicaid benefits – which, unlike Medicare, provide coverage for the staggering costs of full-time skilled nursing care. Also unlike Medicare, in order to qualify for Medicaid, certain asset and income criteria must be met.
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Medicaid


The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the estate tax exclusion amount will increase to $5,450,000.00 for the estates of people dying in 2016.  The exclusion amount is the amount a deceased person can own without there being a federal estate tax that must be paid out of their estate before it is distributed to the deceased person’s heirs or beneficiaries.  Some states have a state estate tax, but the State of Michigan does not have a state estate tax.

The annual gift tax exclusion will remain at $14,000.
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Funeral Planning for Medicaid Eligibility


Are there any other less common ways to protect assets during the Medicaid planning process?

When it comes to planning for long-term care, many couples and individuals opt to pre-plan to eventually qualify for Medicaid coverage. While the thought of applying for need-based Medicaid coverage may seem unlikely for many middle-class individuals, the rising costs of long-term care – particularly for couples needing care together – is enough to deplete a sizable nest egg in just a few short years. 

The keystone of Medicaid planning is reducing one’s assets to the allowable threshold in order to reach the financial-need eligibility criteria. However, planners must be careful when transferring assets as Medicaid will impose a penalty period to address any transfers made during the five years immediately prior to the application for benefits. Fortunately, there are several other financial options to accomplish the “spend down” of assets other than outright transfers, sales or gifts, such as pre-planning for a memorial service, funeral, and/or burial plot.
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Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate attorney Andrew Byers helps people in Troy, MI and throughout Oakland County, MI including Royal Oak, Clawson, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Rochester Hills, as well as throughout the metro Detroit area, including Macomb County and Wayne County, Michigan.



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