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Yet Another Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Senate Bill

Posted on Aug 12, 2019

In an earlier post, “Dueling Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Senate Bills,” we discussed two different Senate bills concerning the federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer (GST) tax rates and exemption amounts.  On June 25, 2019, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) introduced yet another bill, the “Strengthen Social Security by Taxing Dynastic Wealth Act.”  This bill would simultaneously reduce the federal estate, gift, and GST lifetime exemption amounts while increasing the applicable federal estate, gift, and GST tax rates. The bill would reduce the...

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Creating an Estate Plan for Your Digital Assets (and what they are in the first place)

Posted on Jul 29, 2019

In creating and implementing an estate plan, one category of assets is often neglected—digital assets. In addition to accumulating liquid assets and tangible personal property, we are increasingly accumulating more and more digital assets throughout our lifetimes. But what are digital assets? They can include: Photographs and videos stored in an electronic format; Playlists and digitally recorded music; Social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; Website domain names; Other information and assets that are stored electronically, such as Bitcoin and other...

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To pay or not to pay… to what state does my Trust pay taxes?

Posted on Jul 17, 2019

In a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust (“Kaestner”), the Court held that a State may not tax the income earned by a trust based solely on the state of residence of the trust’s beneficiaries. Kaestner concerned a trust established by Kimberly Rice Kaestner’s father, a New York resident, for the benefit of Kimberly and her three children, who were North Carolina residents during the tax years at issue.  North Carolina attempted to tax income earned by the trust for the 2005-2008 tax years based on a...

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Medicaid Eligibility – What is a “divestment” and why should I care?

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

The Medicaid application process uses various terminology to refer to eligibility requirements.  For example, what is a divestment?  A “divestment” is defined as any transfer of income, non-exempt assets, or homestead property belonging to the Medicaid applicant and/or his or her spouse for less than fair market value. Any divestment during the applicable look-back period triggers a period of Medicaid ineligibility, with certain limited exceptions.  The look-back period is 60 months and is measured from the date that the applicant is institutionalized and applies for certain Medicaid...

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Medicaid Eligibility – How do I know which assets to count?

Posted on May 24, 2019

As referenced our previous post, Medicaid 101 – What is it and who is eligible?, Medicaid applicants can have no more than $2,000 in available, non-exempt assets, which raises two questions: when are assets available, and which assets are exempt? An asset is “available” if: (1) the asset can be sold, transferred, or disposed of by or on behalf of the applicant; (2) the applicant is entitled to receive the proceeds from the sale of the asset; (3) the applicant can legally use the proceeds to provide for his or her support and maintenance; and (4) the asset can be made available in less...

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Medicaid 101 – What is it and who is eligible?

Posted on Apr 8, 2019

Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance (“MA”) or Title XIX, is a health insurance program, jointly administered by the federal and state governments, for the benefit of certain elderly, blind, and disabled Wisconsin residents. Because Medicaid is essentially a welfare program, eligibility is subject to strict income and asset limitations. Income limitations depend on whether the applicant is single or married, whether the applicant is “categorically needy” (is already eligible for Social Security Income), and whether the applicant is “medically needy” (resides in a nursing...

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