Important Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Numbers for 2023

Each new year means new financial limits and thresholds related to estate planning, long-term care planning, and special needs planning. Below are some of the most important numbers for 2023. As always, we are here to help you and your loved ones plan for protection and peace of mind.

Estate and Gift Tax

Estate tax applies to very few people. The federal gift tax and estate tax combined lifetime exclusion amount for an individual is $12.92 million in 2023. The Maine estate tax threshold is $6.41 million for an individual.

The annual federal gift tax exclusion amount is $17,000 in 2023. The annual federal gift tax exclusion allows an individual to give away up to $17,000 per person, without those gifts counting against the $12.92 million lifetime exemption. Because of this high threshold, gift tax impacts very few people in our area. Please note, Maine does not collect a state gift tax.

Estate Planning

An estate valued at less than $47,700 will avoid probate in 2023. That means if an individual dies in 2023 owning less than $47,700 in their individual name (excluding jointly owned accounts and accounts with beneficiaries), the family can collect assets without the need for appointment of a personal representative. If the individual owned real estate, probate will be needed regardless of the value.

If probate is required, family members are entitled to receive a certain amount from the estate prior to any creditors. These amounts for 2023 are as follows:

  • The surviving spouse is entitled to a homestead allowance of $26,800. If there is no surviving spouse, minor and dependent children are jointly entitled to this amount.
  • The surviving spouse is entitled to exempt property of $17,900. If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children are jointly entitled to this amount.
  • Finally, the surviving spouse (or minor and dependent children if no spouse) is entitled to the family allowance up to $32,200.

Long-Term Care Planning

The cost for long-term care services, including in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home, continues to increase. These figures are important when we are talking about protecting assets and MaineCare planning in 2023:

  • The Medicare Part B monthly premium decreased to $164.90.
  • The daily co-insurance for skilled nursing care from day 21 through day 100 is $200.
  • The Community Spouse Resource Allowance has increased to $148,620. This means the combined asset limit for a married couple when one spouse applies for MaineCare nursing home benefits is $158,620.
  • The net worth limit to be eligible for Veterans Pension benefits is $150,538.

Special Needs Planning

For individuals receiving public benefits or for families looking to preserve public benefits for a loved one following receipt of an inheritance or settlement, these are the important numbers in 2023:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has increased to $914 per month. If you are receiving less than this amount, your benefits may be reduced due to the receipt of in-kind maintenance and support (ISM).
  • The community MaineCare income limit is $1,215 per month for a single individual.
  • The monthly income limit to qualify for QMB is $1,823 for a single individual. This MaineCare program helps pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copays.
  • The annual contribution limit to an ABLE account is $17,000.