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Some Social Security Beneficiaries Can Get Retroactive Payments — But at a Cost

Lavelle & Finn


If you need a lot of cash on hand upon retirement, Social Security offers a lump-sum payment option that’s worth six months of benefits. However, it comes at a cost. It is important to understand the details before agreeing to the payment. If you have waited beyond your full retirement age (66 for those born […]

Stop Using Unsafe Portable Bed Rails Immediately, National Safety Commission Warns

Lavelle & Finn


An advisory issued in June warns people against using a series of adult portable bed rail models after at least three people — including one in a nursing home and another in an assisted living facility — were entangled in them and died of asphyxia. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission named the following 10 models of […]

What to Do If You Want to Leave Your Children Unequal Inheritances

Lavelle & Finn


Parents usually want to leave their children equal shares of their estate, but equal isn’t always fair. If you plan to provide more (or less) for one child in your estate plan, preparation is important.  It is natural for parents to want to treat their children equally in their estate plan, but there are some […]

The Tax Consequences of Selling a House After the Death of a Spouse

Lavelle & Finn


If your spouse dies, you may have to decide whether or when to sell your house. There are some tax considerations that go into that decision.  The biggest concern when selling property is capital gains taxes.  A capital gain is the difference between the “basis” in property and its selling price. The basis is usually […]

Using an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust to Transfer Assets

Lavelle & Finn


An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is a common estate planning tool that is used by wealthy families to transfer assets from one generation to the next while achieving significant tax savings. IDGTs are especially useful if you have assets that will appreciate significantly over time.   An IDGT is “intentionally defective” because it purposely […]

How Community Property Affects Estate and Tax Planning

Lavelle & Finn


In most states, spouses can purchase and own property separately from one another. However, in certain states – called community property states – if one spouse purchases property, it is considered the property of both spouses. How marital property is owned has implications for both estate and tax planning.  There are currently nine community property […]

Medicare Enrollment Period Extended for Those Who’ve Been Getting a Busy Signal

Lavelle & Finn


Medicare is part of the Social Security Administration (SSA), so if you need to enroll in Medicare, that’s whom you contact. But in recent months, phone lines at the SSA were experiencing major technical issues, preventing some individuals from being able to reach the SSA via telephone in a timely manner. These issues affected the SSA’s […]

Medicare Advantage Plans Often Wrongly Deny Necessary Care, Study Finds

Lavelle & Finn


In an alarming number of instances, private Medicare Advantage plans are denying coverage for medical services that would be covered under original Medicare, according to a federal investigation. These denials are likely preventing or delaying medically necessary care for tens of thousands of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries each year. The investigation by the Department of Health and […]

Requiring Adult Children to Pay for Aging Parents’ Care

Lavelle & Finn


Did you know you could be responsible for your parents’ unpaid bills? More than half of all states currently have laws making adult children financially responsible for their parents, including their long-term care costs. However, these laws are rarely enforced. Filial responsibility laws obligate adult children to provide necessities like food, clothing, housing, and medical […]

Which States Have Been Hardest Hit by the Nursing Home Staffing Crisis?

Lavelle & Finn


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nursing home staffing shortages across the United States, even forcing facilities to close, but some states have been hit harder than others. A new analysis looks at which states are confronting the worst staffing problems.  Overwhelmed by the stress of long hours, low pay and exposure to the COVID-19 virus, nursing home […]