Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Article on Sweeping Changes to the VA Pension Eligibility Rules

NaelaValerie L. Peterson, Esq. recently published an Article entitled, Sweeping Changes to the VA Pension Eligibility Rules, NAELA News Journal, October 2018. Provided below is the introduction of the Article.

On September 18, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended the rules regarding eligibility for VA pension. The new rules are quite comprehensive and, in some ways, more restrictive. However, they also provide much needed clarity as well as new opportunities for attorneys practicing in this area.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 13, 2019 in Articles, Current Affairs, Current Events, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

CLE on Planning for Persons with Disabilities: Recent Development and Continued Challenges

CLEThe American Law Institute is holding a webcast entitled, Planning for Persons with Disabilities: Recent Development and Continued Challenges, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Provided below is a description of the event.

Why You Should Attend
Planning for persons with disabilities presents myriad challenges. To add to those complications, the Program Operations Manual System (POMS) – the Social Security Administration’s policy manual for evaluating special needs trusts (SNTs) -- underwent a rewrite in 2018, substantially changing the rules for SNT administration.

In this 90 minute webcast, our faculty will explain the changes made and how they affect the way planners draft their documents, the ways a SNT Trustee will be performing their duties in the future, and the practical applications of these new rules to different factual scenarios.

What You Will Learn
The presenters, both highly experienced estate planning practitioners and Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), will review:

    • the critical distinctions between “first-party” and “third-party” SNTs
    • the 2018 updates to the rules of the Social Security Administration regarding the establishment and administration of compliant SNTs
    • the ABLE Account -- the newest tool in the planner’s arsenal that supplements (but does not replace) SNTs
    • the “network” of SNTs that comprise a comprehensive Special Needs Plan and the team of “allied professionals” that work together to implement the Plan
    • additional advanced planning challenges

Who Should Attend
All estate planners with disabled clients or clients with a family member that has special needs should attend this webcast from ALI CLE and ACTEC.

March 3, 2019 in Conferences & CLE, Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Article on Death in Texas: The Documents that Control Medical Treatment and End-of-Life Decisions

TtulawKaren Telschow Johnson recently published an Article entitled, Death in Texas: The Documents that Control Medical Treatment and End-of-Life Decisions, 11 Tex. Tech Est. Plan. Com. Prop. L.J. 75-106 (2018). Provided below is an excerpt from the introduction of the Article.

In my estate planning and elder law practice people face their mortality every day. They acknowledge this by preparing for their eventual deaths, and taking responsibility to ensure their loved ones are financially cared for and the transfer of assets and payments of debts can easily be handled upon their deaths. The more humbling conversations comes when we discuss what happens when the client is alive but has trouble communicating for themselves. What if they are alive but disabled by a traumatic brain injury, stroke, heart attack, fall, Alzheimer's diagnosis, cancer or other disease that causes a slow, but eventual demise? Who has a right to speak for you when you can no longer effectively communicate for yourself?

"When my time comes, my kids will know what I want. They'll figure it out," he says. In the meantime, the adult child across the table from me is crying, "It's hard to think about." An adult child who never had a conversation with an aging parent nearing the end of life should not be having it in a hospital room.

February 23, 2019 in Articles, Current Affairs, Death Event Planning, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Just for Laughs Cartoon

LaughingSometimes, a cartoon gets down to the truth of what occurs in any group planning setting.

Cartoon link.

Special thanks to Richard E. Mattersdorff for bringing this to my attention.

February 6, 2019 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, February 1, 2019

CLE on How Trusts Affect Medicaid Eligibility and Estate Recovery

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a webinar entitled, How Trusts Affect Medicaid Eligibility and Estate Recovery, on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 10:00 AM - 1:15 PM Central. Provided below is a description of the event.

Program Description

Don't Let Your Wealth Planning Practices Harm Your Client

Medicaid eligibility and estate recovery rules are complicated, and it's not always clear what impact planning techniques may have on a client's benefits and interests in the long run. In this legal program, our knowledgeable faculty will teach you how various trusts and other planning tools impact Medicaid eligibility and estate recovery so you can confidently safeguard your client's assets without fear of accidentally disqualifying them for Medicaid or putting their assets at risk of recovery. Register today!
Know the eligibility requirements for Medicaid - and which services and assets are subject to estate recovery.
Learn how you can capitalize on the benefits of revocable trusts - and other trusts - without interfering with your client's Medicaid eligibility.
Examine the advantages and disadvantages of gifting, life insurance and other alternatives to trusts in wealth planning.

Who Should Attend
This essential program is for attorneys. Accountants, financial planners, nursing home administrators, trust administrators/officers, and paralegals may also benefit.

Course Content
Who is Eligible for Medicaid?
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust Considerations
How Revocable Trusts Can Interfere with Medicaid Eligibility
Income-Only Trusts in Medicaid Planning
Special Needs Trusts
Medicaid Estate Recovery Summary and Trust Recoverability

February 1, 2019 in Conferences & CLE, Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Article on Don't Forget About Pets When Planning for Disability and Death

PetsGerry W. Beyer and Barry Seltzer published an Article entitled, Don't Forget About Pets When Planning for Disability and Death, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article.

Dogs, cats, parrots, and other pet animals play significant roles in the lives of many individuals. The bond between a pet owner and his or her companion is strong, and recent studies show that this bond can be even deeper with older owners. Accordingly, it is of vital importance to include pets when a pet owner, especially an older one, makes plans for disability and death. This article provides an overview of the techniques a pet owner should consider when planning his or her estate.

January 28, 2019 in Articles, Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Article on Elder Law Issues and Recent Developments 2018

ElderlawElizabeth Ruth Carter recently published an Article entitled, Elder Law Issues and Recent Developments 2018, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article.

These CLE materials provide an overview of the recent developments in Elder Law that occurred between 2017-2018. Topics include legislative and jurisprudential developments in consumer protection, crimes against the elderly, mandate and interdiction, and medical law changes. Attention is also given to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

January 12, 2019 in Articles, Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Elder Law and Medicaid Planning: Everything You Need to Know

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a 2-day conference entitled, Elder Law and Medicaid Planning: Everything You Need to Know, on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Capital Center Property LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana. Provided below is a description of the event.

Program Description
Everything You Need to Know to Represent Elderly Clients
Rising medical costs, health insurance changes, and looming Social Security Fund depletion have intensified concerns over long-term care funding. Are you doing everything you can to help each client develop a comprehensive plan to ensure proper quality of life in the golden years? Join our expert faculty for two days of intensive study on planning and coordinating government benefits, and emerge better prepared to face the challenges of today's Medicaid and elder law practice. Register today!

  • Get two full days of estate planning training, so you can help clients protect assets and qualify for continuing care benefits.
  • Review medical and financial Medicaid eligibility criteria in detail.
  • Explore new continuing care options that allow for more independence.
  • Get solutions to real-life ethical dilemmas often faced in elder law practice.
  • Qualify eligible clients for veteran's benefits and maintain your VA accreditation.
  • Plan for the tax consequences of asset transfers on spenddown requirement compliance.
  • Minimize Medicaid estate recovery through intricate understanding of the process.
  • Make better use of special needs trusts.

Who Should Attend
This basic-to-intermediate level, two-day seminar is designed for attorneys. It may also be of value to estate and financial planners, trust officers, paralegals, accountants, tax professionals and nursing home administrators.

Course Content

DAY 1

    • Long-Term Care Planning: Types, Cost, and Funding Options
    • Tax Considerations
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Medical and End-of-Life Decisions
    • Medicaid Benefits and Eligibility Rules
    • Preserving Family Assets When Qualifying for Medicaid
    • Medicaid Application Procedure and Tactics

DAY 2

    • Obtaining Veteran Benefits
    • Special Needs Trusts: Creation, Taxation, Administration
    • Medicaid Post-Eligibility Issues
    • Coordinating Benefits and Other Income Sources
    • Liability/Litigation Issues in Elder Law
    • Ethical Dilemmas

January 12, 2019 in Conferences & CLE, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Estate Planning Resolutions For 2019: How to be a Grown-Up in The New Year

WilltestamentNew Year, New Me! That seems to be the mantra for many people when January rolls around, coming up with redundant resolutions. But this year, a resolution that could be resourceful and highly beneficial would be to get a head-start of this perennial to-do list:

  • Write a Last Will and Testament:
    • Every person over the age of 18 should have this document to lay out the disposition of your assets and the guardianship of your children in the event you die.
  • Make a Power of Attorney:
    • This can include the power to bank, file taxes, and even sell and purchase real estate on behalf of another individual.
  • Execute a Health Care Proxy:
    • It is vital in this day and age to make your wishes known to your appointed agent, including your preferences for care in the event you suffer from a terminal illness with no chance of survival
  • Purchase a Life Insurance Policy:
    • This is not for you but for your family and loved ones after you pass away, making it easier financially for them.
  • Check Beneficiary Designation Forms:
    • Make certain that a proper beneficiary or secondary beneficiary is designated for all accounts, including retirement or insurance accounts.
  • Consider Long-Term Care and Disability Insurance:
    • If the unexpected occurs, this type of policy can supplement your income or pay a benefit toward home or nursing care.
  • Consult with a Financial Advisor:
    • The advisor may work together with your attorney to make certain you have a solid and comprehensive estate plan.
  • Talk to Your Parents and Grandparents About their Estate Plans:
    • When parents and children ultimately have to switch roles it is best to now what the older generation's wishes are.
  • Consider Burial Options:
    • Though it may be a morbid subject that you do not want to dwell on, it is a subject that needs to be discussed with your family.
  • Inventory Your Assets:
    • Take a survey of everything you own from real property, personal property, and intellectual property, and if there is a question as to rights of ownership, try to resolve them before those issues are passed on to your heirs.

See Cori A. Robinson, Estate Planning Resolutions For 2019: How to be a Grown-Up in The New Year, Above the Law, January 8, 2019.

Special thanks to Carissa Peterson (Hrbacek Law Firm, Sugar Land, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.

January 9, 2019 in Current Affairs, Death Event Planning, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 4, 2019

CLE on Ed Slott and Company's 2-Day IRA Workshop - Las Vegas 2019

Vegas1Ed Slott and Company's is holding a 2-Day IRA Workshop on February 22-23, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Provided below is a description of the event.

Your target market's demographics preview an overflow of new business opportunities:

  • IRAs are the nation's largest retirement account with $8.2 trillion in total nationwide assets ... and growing!
  • 2.5 million Baby Boomers turned age 70.5 last year ... can you imagine the influx of RMD questions coming your way?
  • 10,000 Boomers retire every day - many with large company retirement plans and no plan on how to best protect those assets

Instant IRA Success is your answer to capturing your share of this growing marketplace. Our educational IRA experience includes:

  • 400+ page course manual
  • Valuable CE credits
  • Client-saving Q&A opportunities with America's IRA Experts
  • A detailed analysis of the most recent tax law changes, case studies, private letter rulings, Congressional action and Supreme Court rulings to keep you on the cutting-edge of retirement, tax law and IRA distribution planning

January 4, 2019 in Conferences & CLE, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)