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Medicaid Planning and Gifting

Estate Planning Protects Your Loved Ones and Savings

By Medicaid Planning and Gifting

ESTATE PLANNING: For All Stages Of Life

Don’t put your life savings at risk. Meet with an attorney to discuss your estate plan. We have a plan for all ages and stages of life. Call attorney Matthew Leonard at 401-401.648.7000 for your free consultation.

Procrastination in most things in life will bring about bad results. Estate Planning is no exception. It has been said that A FAILURE TO PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL. In the context of estate planning – it is very true.

Regardless of if you are single, newlywed, married with kids, empty nesters or retired.

Regardless if you are in fine health, average health, or failing health.

Regardless if you are rich, poor or all measurements in between.

With your estate plan you get to ensure that your assets are protected during your life, and then the people you are most concerned for get to benefit from what you have died. Meeting with an attorney to discuss your story – your concerns – your wishes is the only way you can ensure your dreams and wishes are fulfilled.

Contact our office to discuss your estate planing goals.


Important Medicaid Trust Rules Update: R.I. Court Rules That Pre-1993 Trust Is Countable Resource

By Medicaid Planning and Gifting, News

Important Legal Update: Medicaid Trust Rules Machunis v. Rhode Island Dept. of Human Services (R.I., Super, No. PC 2016-0613, Jan. 9, 2017): 

A Rhode Island trial court affirms the denial of a nursing home resident’s application for Medicaid benefits based on excess resources, concluding that because a trust she established in 1991 allowed the trustee to make distributions of income and principal for her benefit, the entire trust was a countable resource.  

Nursing home resident Catherine T. Machunis applied to the Rhode Island Dept. of Human Services for Medicaid long-term care benefits. The agency denied the application because Ms. Machunis’ financial statement revealed that she was the beneficiary of a trust with a value of $78,149.57, exceeding Medicaid’s $4,000 asset limit.

Ms. Machunis requested a formal hearing, disputing the agency’s consideration of any money in the trust as a countable resource. Following an evidentiary hearing, a hearing officer determined that because Ms. Machunis had established the trust prior to August 1993, it was a Medicaid Qualifying Trust and the amount available to her was the maximum amount the trustee could distribute if the trustee used his or her full discretion under the trust’s terms. The hearing officer affirmed the denial of benefits, concluding that the trustee had the authority to disburse the entirety of the trust assets to Ms. Machunis and, therefore, the entire trust was a countable resource. Ms. Machunis appealed to the Superior Court of Rhode Island.

On appeal, Ms. Machunis argued that the trust assets were not countable resources for Medicaid purposes because the trustee’s discretion was limited to making distributions only from the income, and not from the principal, of the trust. The agency countered that the trustee had the discretion to make distributions from the principal for Ms. Machunis’ benefit and, therefore, the entire corpus of the trust was available to her.

The Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence County, affirms the agency’s denial of Ms. Machunis’ application based on excess resources. The court finds that because the trust clearly
authorizes the trustee to make distributions from the income and principal for Ms. Machunis’ benefit, the entire trust is a countable resource and the agency properly denied her application.

For the full text of this decision, go to:

Overwhelmed with the Medicaid Application process? Contact us for help.

Early Diagnosis Beneficial for People with Dementia

By Medicaid Planning and Gifting, Uncategorized

The devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

A TPT documentary aims the national spotlight on looming Alzheimer’s “epidemic” and its financial and emotional toll on families. The devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia on his own mother — and on his father, who struggled to care for her — first prompted Gerry Richman to take a hard look at the disease. As vice president of national productions at Twin Cities Public Television, he was the mastermind behind a 2004 Emmy-winning documentary called “The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s.” Now, Richman is back with another eye-opening film on the subject. “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts” — airing across the country Wednesday — chronicles the struggles of people living with Alzheimer’s and the emotional and financial challenges it poses for their families. It also forecasts, through interviews with doctors and researchers, a looming crisis for the country as baby boomers enter their senior years and their risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases.brain_slices

The current numbers are scary enough. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s — with one new case identified every minute. In addition to the emotional toll, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s, making it one of the most expensive diseases and provoking some health experts to predict that it will collapse both Medicare and Medicaid — and the finances of millions of people. Although Alzheimer’s can strike people younger than 65, it generally occurs in those much older. The risk of developing the disease doubles every five years after 65, according to the National Institute on Aging. It becomes much more common among people in their 80s and 90s. With longer life spans come greater numbers of people at risk of Alzheimer’s. “There hasn’t been a large population of 85-year-olds until this generation,” Arledge said.
The full article can be found HERE.

When you or your loved one is diagnosed with a cognitive issue, planning for how to handle the soon to be increased needs of your loved ones is critical. Discussions as to immediate and long term needs must be had with your medical advisers and with your financial advisers. Financial advisers are as important as medical as there must be a plan in place as to how to pay for the additional services needed.

When you need to develop a plan about how to handle the cognitive issues of a loved one, contact our office for a no-cost consultation to discuss your facts and options.