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Protect Your Home From Medicaid Liens (March 2010)

PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM MEDICAID LIENS More and more senior citizens are becoming concerned about nursing home costs.  No one really wants to go to a nursing home.  Nearly every elderly person would prefer to stay at home.  However, no matter how much children love...

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An Unusual Year for Tax Law (February 2010)

2010 – AN UNUSUAL YEAR FOR TAX LAW There is no federal estate tax this year.  Since the State of Hawaii has no inheritance tax, Hawaii residents can die this year with any amount of assets and pay no death taxes at all.  This is only for the year 2010.  For someone...

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Tenants by the Entirety (December 2009)

TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY Most married couples in Hawaii buy their home as “tenants by the entirety.” Many have transferred their home to their trusts.  Which is better?  To own your home as tenants by the entirety, or to put your home into your trusts?  Let’s look at...

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New Medicaid Rules Are Now Effective (November 2009)

The February 2006 Estate Planning Insights column was entitled “Big Change in Medicaid Laws.”  On February 1, 2006, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.  President Bush signed the bill into law on February 8, 2006.  This new federal law makes important...

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The Stepped Up Basis (October 2009)

In estate planning, it is important to understand “stepped up basis.”  When you buy property (for example, real estate or stocks) your “tax basis” in the property is the amount you pay for the property.  When you sell the property, you have profit or “gain” equal to...

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Do Not Resuscitate

“DO NOT RESUSCITATE” With an Advance Health Care Directive, you can make “end of life” decisions.  You can choose to die naturally, without life support.  However, if your heart stops beating, emergency medical personnel will resuscitate you, even if you have an...

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Small Estates

            When a person dies with $100,000 or less in assets, there are simple ways to settle the estate. One way is to use an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. Another way is to have the clerk of the circuit court open a Small Estate proceeding. ...

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New Rules for Nursing Home Medicaid

On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act.  This federal law made big changes to Medicaid for nursing home costs.  Important parts of the new law were supposed to be effective from February 8, 2006.  However, the Hawaii Department of Human...

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The Special Needs Trust

THE SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST Suppose you have a child with a disability.  Perhaps the child was born with a mental disability.  Perhaps he or she was born with a physical disability.  In some cases, the child may have been normal at birth, but later in life acquired a...

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Medicaid Planning

MEDICAID PLANNING              I am thinking about a meeting I had recently.  The daughter of a client came to discuss her mother's situation.  Mother is elderly.  She suffers from congestive heart failure.  Recently, she was so weak that she was hospitalized for a...

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Proposed New Laws

PROPOSED NEW LAWS There are some proposed new rules and laws which would affect estate planning.  First, let's review the current estate tax law.  The estate tax is a federal tax.  At this time there is no Hawaii estate tax or inheritance tax.  As a result of the 2001...

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Be Careful When You Give Assets Away

Whenever you give away assets, there are laws in three different areas to consider: 1) gift taxes; 2) Medicaid rules for nursing home costs; and 3) capital gains taxes. Many people think you can give only $10,000 tax-free to each individual.  Actually, the amount is...

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2009 Hawaii Elder Law And Estate Planning Update

How much in assets can a husband and wife have and still qualify for Medicaid to pay nursing home costs for one of them? Effective January 1, 2009, a husband and wife together can have $111,560 in assets and still have Medicaid pay for the nursing home costs for one...

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