Trust Beneficiary

If you are the main person managing the care of the beneficiary of a special needs trust, have you planned yet for a time when you may no longer be able to perform this crucial role?  It is important to plan appropriately to ensure that the beneficiary will have an advocate and someone closely managing…

Law for Students with Special Needs

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is arguably the most important federal law for children with special needs.  The law mandates that all eligible children and youth ages 3 through 21 years old be provided with a “free and appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment.” To be eligible for services under the IDEA,…

Five Practical Uses for an ABLE Account

We have previously written about the pros and cons of ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014) accounts. These accounts allow many people with disabilities or their families to establish tax-free savings accounts that won’t affect their ability to qualify for, or remain on, government assistance as long as the account balance does not…

How Medicare and Employer Coverage Coordinate

Medicare benefits start at age 65, but many people continue working past that age, either by choice or need. It is important to understand how Medicare and employer coverage work together. Depending on your circumstances, Medicare is either the primary or secondary insurer. The primary insurer pays any medical bills first up to the limits…

Owe Back Taxes?

Sometimes seniors find themselves owing past-due federal taxes they cannot afford to pay.  Although notices from the IRS can be especially frightening, there are solutions. If the sum owed is less than $50,000, the IRS will accept monthly payments over five years. For example, if $6,000 is owed to the IRS, monthly payments of around…

With Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency, there is talk of eliminating the federal estate tax. In 2017 the tax affects only estates over $5.49 million, meaning that for more than 99 percent of Americans, it’s already been repealed. With no estate tax, do you still need a trust? While trusts can be…

Medicare's Part B Late-Enrollment Penalty

Medicare is offering relief from penalties for certain Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Part A and had coverage through the individual marketplace. For a short time, these individuals will be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty for late enrollment. Individuals who do not enroll in Medicare Part B when…

Age Discrimination

As baby boomers continue to work past retirement age, age discrimination lawsuits are becoming more common. Two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination, according to AARP. However, experiencing it and proving it are two different things. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)…

Nursing Home Residents

New Obama-era rules designed to give nursing home residents more control of their care are gradually going into effect. The rules give residents more options regarding meals and visitation as well as make changes to discharge and grievance procedures. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid finalized the rules — the first comprehensive update to nursing…

elder couple medicare planning

Immediate annuities can be a useful tool to protect the spouse of a nursing home resident who applies for Medicaid. These types of annuities allow the nursing home resident to spend down assets and give the spouse a guaranteed income. But immediate annuities may not work in every state, so be sure to check with…

© 2015 MATTHEW L. MERCER | Attorney at Law

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