Spring Is Here So Update Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes

estate plan lawyer New JerseyWhether you are looking to create an estate plan for the first time or want to update an existing plan, Spring is an ideal time to meet with an estate planning lawyer to address your current legal needs and protect your legacy for the future. In this article, we have listed a few important areas of your estate plan to review and update as necessary this Spring. Continue reading “Spring Is Here So Update Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes”

Funding An Irrevocable Trust Sooner Than Later

An asset is owned by a trust once it is transferred into the trust that was created. This is known as funding the trust. The transfer of assets into a trust can occur in a number of ways depending on the type of asset. For Medicaid purposes the five-year look back period begins one month after an asset is placed in the trust. This means that if a property deed is transferred into the trust in December, the five-year look back period begins in January and ends five years from that date. Every time a new asset is placed in the trust a new five-year look back period will begin for that specific asset, not for all the assets in the trust.

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New Jersey Medicaid Penalty Divisor Increased For Gifts

In order for an applicant to eligible for long term care Medicaid in an assisted living facility or nursing home, there is a five-year look back period. This means that all financial records as well as any gifts made during the previous five years must be disclosed to Medicaid. In accordance with New Jersey law, if an individual or spouse made any monetary gifts over the course of the five years prior, then Medicaid would impose a gift penalty.

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Understanding Medicaid Terms

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health insurance for millions of Americans, including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. States administer Medicaid to eligible individuals, according to federal requirements. The program is a state- and federally-funded program.

When reviewing a Medicaid enrollment or renewal application there will be several terms that will be crucial to understanding how an individual may be eligible for Medicaid services. The terms, “resources,” “income,” “’set aside’ costs,” and “spousal refusal,” are defined below and should be utilized as a resource for those seeking Medicaid eligibility and renewal.

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Self-Settled Trusts Available for Individuals with Disabilities

By adding two words (“the individual”) from the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 to an existing statute, special needs individuals are now able to create their own self-settled special needs trust. President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act approving the change and opening the door for individuals who previously could not open a special needs trust on their own.

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