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What is the diagnosis? Time for an Estate Plan check-up

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By Robert Romano
images-1Braintree – You know you should do your estate planning. You know it’s important to protect your assets. You hear it on the radio, from friends, at church, in the AARP magazine. You’ll do it…but the summer’s here, it’s raining out, the holidays are coming, it’s snowing out, etc. Before you realize it, another year has passed. You have what I call “tomorrowitis.”
The symptoms include but are not limited to, the ability to procrastinate, illogical reasoning that you’ll actually do it tomorrow, mental paralysis due to anxiety about not having your affairs in order, and the belief that you’ll never have to go to a nursing home. There are remedies to this condition that will give you peace of mind. A check-up with an elder law attorney should be your first course of action. Don’t worry; it will be a painless visit.
If you think you have tomorrowitis or know of someone who suffers from this condition, consider the following:

  1. The cost of a nursing home can be $10,000. to $13,000. per month.
  2. In Massachusetts a lien may be placed on the home to recover any nursing home costs.
  3. There is a full 60 month look-back period when applying for MassHealth (Medicaid). When an application is submitted to MassHealth, any transfer of resources or assets are investigated for the prior five years. This is referred to as the “look-back period.”
  4. In order to qualify for MassHealth coverage of nursing home care, countable assets must be under a certain limit. For a single individual, that limit is $2,000.
  5. Many people have existing estate plans that have not been reviewed in many years. Far too often these people have a false sense of security that they are all set. However, in many cases their estate plan doesn’t meet all of their needs or it doesn’t do what they thought it did! Have it reviewed to be sure.

The best medicine for tomorrowitis is to consult a Medicaid planning attorney. Have your situation looked at and with proper care, you won’t end up in the emergency room in crisis! Plan ahead now, and give yourself and your family peace of mind.
Rob-Romano-Pic2About the Author
Attorney Romano practices Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Quincy. For more information, please call his office at 617-769-9843. Visit his website www.RobertRomanoLaw.com for a list of his FREE upcoming “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops.
 

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Romano - Vertical - Original Red -Sept. 2017

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