Estate Planning

Qualify for Medicaid?

September 19, 2017

Medicaid is at the center of the current health care debates in Washington. People fear that the demographics in this country will result in skyrocketing Medicaid program costs. Americans have not saved enough to pay for end-of-life health care – thus Medicaid will come under increasing strain. Many of our clients confer with us concerning Medicaid planning, which is sometimes described as divestment. First and foremost, before talking about Medicaid planning, a client needs to talk about how to “qualify” for Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility differs by state and also by marital status. Currently, you cannot have income higher than $2,205.00 to $2,898.00 per month per person, including your Social Security benefits. In addition, there are asset restrictions of $2,000.00, unless there is a spouse who is not receiving care – in which case that spouse can have up to $120,900.00, while their husband or wife qualifies for Medicaid. The primary residence does not count in the asset calculation, but there is a cap of home equity if the recipient of Medicaid is single.

Estate Planning, Retirement, and Taking Distributions - Contact Your Accountant

There are complex IRS regulations associated with IRAs and other retirement plans. When Clair Law Offices advises its clients concerning estate planning matters, we customarily defer questions concerning retirement distributions to our clients’ accountants and financial advisers. Errors in taking retirement distributions can be extremely costly. This is especially true of required minimum distributions (RMDs).

ABLE Accounts For Clients with Disabilities

June 23, 2017

Clients with disabilities who receive governmental benefits cannot have more than $2,000 in savings. If they do, they start to lose those much-needed benefits.

There is a new type of saving vehicle known as “ABLE Accounts” which permit people with disabilities and their families to save up to $14,000 a year without losing benefits. The accounts are somewhat similar to the 529 College Savings Plans. With ABLE accounts, money can be saved and can be used for anything that helps the life of the person with a disability.

What Happens to My E-mail and Other Digital Assets When I Die?

August 25, 2014

On August 12, 2014, Delaware became the first state to pass a law which gives a person’s estate access to all of that person’s digital assets after his or her death. Although some states have passed laws giving heirs access to some digital assets, Delaware is the first state to enact legislation this broad. Currently, Wisconsin has no law addressing digital assets. Therefore, Wisconsin residents are bound by the policies of each company, many of which do not allow access without the owner’s direct authorization or a court order. It is essential that digital assets are specifically addressed in your estate plan.

Wisconsin’s New Trust Code Effective July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

The Wisconsin Trust Code became effective July 1, 2014. This new law applies to both testamentary trusts and living trusts. The law is also retroactive, meaning that it applies to trusts created both before and after July 1. The Act is very thorough and covers many different concepts, however an exhaustive treatment of the Act is beyond the scope of this article. The following are some of the noteable changes in Wisconsin’s law.