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President Biden Proposes Billions in Increased Funding for Home Health Care

Lavelle & Finn


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 increasingly strained. The AARP found that in […]

Can Life Insurance Affect Your Medicaid Eligibility?

Lavelle & Finn


When applying for Medicaid many people often forget about life insurance. But depending on the type of life insurance and the value of the policy, it can count as an asset.  In order to qualify for Medicaid, you can’t have more than $2,000 in assets (in most states). Life insurance policies are usually either “term” life […]

Non-Borrowing Spouses of Reverse Mortgage Holders Receive Expanded Protections

Lavelle & Finn


The federal government has expanded access to protections for spouses of reverse mortgage holders who are not named in the loan document, allowing more such spouses the ability to stay in their home if the borrowing spouse dies or moves to a care facility.  A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to use the equity in their […]

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

Lavelle & Finn


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 current Medicaid law, states […]

Senators Propose Sweeping Changes to the Taxation of Estates and Inherited Gains

Lavelle & Finn


Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (D) has introduced legislation that would require more estates to pay estate tax and that raises the amounts they would pay. Another proposed law would eliminate the step-up in basis that inherited assets currently enjoy.   Taken together, the changes would “rock” the estate planning world, according to a leading attorney.  Under […]

Why an Irrevocable Trust May Be Superior to Gifting

Lavelle & Finn


Parents and other family members who want to pass on assets during their lifetimes may be tempted to gift the assets. Although setting up an irrevocable trust lacks the simplicity of giving a gift, it may be a better way to preserve assets for the future.  A trust is a legal entity under which one […]

The Vacation Home: Uniting the Family or Tearing It Apart?

Lavelle & Finn


Inheriting a vacation home with your siblings can be a great thing or it can cause huge problems within the family. Planning ahead can help prevent sibling disagreements.  When siblings co-own property and one sibling wants to sell, that sibling can demand to be bought out. If the other siblings can’t come up with the […]

Using a No-Contest Clause to Prevent Heirs from Challenging a Will or Trust

Lavelle & Finn


If you are worried that disappointed heirs could contest your will or trust after you die, one option is to include a “no-contest clause” in your estate planning documents. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will or trust and loses, then he or she will get nothing. A no-contest clause may […]

Medicaid Recipients Have a Little More Time to Spend Down Their Stimulus Money

Lavelle & Finn


The one-year deadline for nursing home residents on Medicaid to spend down their first round of stimulus checks is here, but they may have a little extra time.  In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized $1,200 stimulus checks to most Americans, including Medicaid recipients. Another round of $600 checks […]

IRS Announces That Face Masks and Related Purchases Are Tax Deductible

Lavelle & Finn


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 deductible, from long-term care to […]