To Gift or Not to Gift

One of the many federal tax changes in 2018 is that the annual gift tax exclusion amount has increased from $14,000 to $15,000. This change is actually due to inflation rather than the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law this past December. What does the exclusion amount really mean? The exclusion…

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The Forgotten Step in Estate Planning: Beneficiary Designations

Individuals often believe that a last will and testament is sufficient estate planning. However, a complete estate plan includes a last will and testament and planning for incapacity with a financial power of attorney and an advance health care directive. In some cases, a revocable living trust will also be included in the estate plan.…

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Why Plan for Long-Term Care Expenses? Current Costs of Long-Term Care

A research article published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that one-half of United States citizens turning age 65 will develop a need for long-term care services and supports.i One out of seven elderly adults will require long-term care services for more than five years. These same individuals can expect to…

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Certainty from CMS on State Treatment of the New ABLE Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities

On September 7, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued its letter to State Medicaid Directors regarding the implication of the ABLE Act for state Medicaid programs.1 The letter gives guidance and predictability as to how these new tools can provide more dignity, independence, and financial flexibility for individuals with disabilities. The Achieving…

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Here at Maine Elder Law Firm, we often work with families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Early planning can allow for the individual with dementia to set forth his or her wishes regarding care and asset preservation goals, but even after a…

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2017 National Conference on Special Needs Planning

Jane Skelton presented at the annual National Conference on Special Needs Planning and Special Needs Trusts in St. Petersburg, Florida, on October 19 and 20, 2017. This is the 19th year that the Stetson University College of Law has provided this nationally recognized, in-depth review of major issues in special needs planning and in the…

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