‘Tis the season! Yes, the season for holiday cheer. But it’s also engagement season! As the planning begins for your big day in the new year, remember to include estate planning on your list. From the moment you “kiss the bride (or groom),” break the glass, or bind your hands together, your relationship with your partner is going to take on a new financial and legal meaning. Before you take the step into this new Read More
Maryland Elder Law: Understanding the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid
The issue of healthcare has been a thorn in the back of American taxpayers for a long time. The United States spends a staggering $10,348 per person on healthcare, amounting to about 18% of its GDP. This is far more than any other country on the planet. In fact, it is 8 percentage points clear of the average of the industrialized members of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The good news Read More
Why Do I Need a HIPAA Authorization?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), was enacted by the US Congress to help workers get insurance coverage and prevent discrimination. A key protection in HIPAA is the Privacy Rule which aims to keep your medical records as private as possible so that only you, your treating physicians, and the insurance companies that pay for your medical treatments know what is in the records. Read More
Long Term Health Care – the Costs Just Might Kill You!
You simply can not afford to grow old in Maryland - not with what it costs for long term health care i.e. assisted living or nursing home care. That is unless you do a heck of a lot of financial planning now, hit the lottery, or work until you die. One is not desirable, one is not likely, and one seems difficult. But you have to do it because nobody else is and the crisis is getting worse. Every year Genworth Read More
Estate Planning Checklist – How to Know If You Need It
How do you know if you need to do estate planning? The easy answer is just about everyone needs to do some form of planning. Fellow ElderCounsel member Nicole Wipp recently developed a brilliant checklist for determining if you need estate planning. With her permission, here are eighteen estate planning checklist questions to help you learn whether you need estate planning. (These cover the most common Read More
Long Term Healthcare Insurance – Solution or Dead End?
In my estate planning seminars I often tell potential clients that an important consideration for their long term healthcare is to purchase as much insurance as they can afford as early as they are able to do so. Recent events have caused me to question whether or not that remains true. More and more insurance companies are deciding not to offer long term healthcare insurance (LTHI) because it is not a profitable Read More
Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
What are the estate planning implications of gifting property or money to your heirs? I often get this question during the seminars I give regarding estate planning and Medicaid eligibility. People want to know what happens if I give my heirs some money now? How does that effect my estate? How is it taxed? And is it a good idea? And what is the origin of that silly phrase “Don’t look a gift horse in the Read More