Newsletter

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

Posted by on Jun 11, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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...

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

Posted by on May 24, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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;...

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Medicaid 101 – What is it and who is eligible?

Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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...

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Dueling Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Senate Bills

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Earlier this year, two very different bills relating to the federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer (GST) taxes were introduced in the United States Senate. On January 17, 2019, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a bill that would reduce the federal estate, gift, and GST tax rates to a flat rate of 20%.  Under current law, these transfers are subject to a progressive tax rate that maxes out at 40% for transfers in excess of $1 million (subject to the federal lifetime exemption amount of $10 million, as adjusted for...

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Disabled individuals are now ABLE to save – Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts

Posted by on Mar 4, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In 2016, the Wisconsin legislature adopted federal legislation allowing Wisconsin residents to participate in ABLE programs administered by other states (Wisconsin does not administer its own ABLE program). An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account for the benefit of a blind or disabled individual. Importantly, the owner of an ABLE account does not lose his or her eligibility for means-tested government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security, even if the balance of his or her ABLE account exceeds the asset limitation in place...

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New year, new estate plan?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As we begin 2019, consider adding a review of your estate plan to your list of New Year’s resolutions. For most people, it is appropriate to review your estate plan every two to three years, or whenever a life-altering event occurs (e.g., marriage, divorce, a significant change in job or health, birth or adoption of a child). In addition, the following are a few non-tax reasons to review your estate planning documents: Children Need Powers of Attorney.  Any child of yours that has attained the age of 18 since you implemented your estate...

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Fireside Chats During the Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As the holidays approach and families gather together, topics like long-term care and estate planning are likely to be the last thing on your mind.  However, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to discuss these difficult issues with your loved ones.  For older relatives, it is important to discuss whether he or she has planned for future incapacity and/or assisted living or nursing home care needs. In addition, if you and your older family members already have existing advance health care directives and powers of attorney for finance in...

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Evan Y. Lin Named to the 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers List

Posted by on Nov 19, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Evan Y. Lin, an attorney and managing member of Lin Law LLC, has been named to the 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list by the publishers of Super Lawyers® Magazine.  Each year, only 5% of attorneys in Wisconsin are named a Super Lawyer.  Evan was previously named to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Wisconsin Super Lawyer list and was also named five times to the Wisconsin Rising Star list in Estate Planning and Probate by the same publication. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a...

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Up the river without a paddle – is one power of attorney as good as the next?

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Not all powers of attorney are created equal.  When planning for future incapacity, particularly if you anticipate requiring governmental benefits such as Medicaid, it is important that your financial power of attorney provide your agent(s) with all the powers he or she might need to provide for your elder law or special needs objectives.  These powers may include, but are not limited to, the ability to: -          Create and fund revocable, irrevocable, or supplemental needs trusts; -          Make gifts above the annual...

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We get by with a little help from our friends – Supported Decision-Making Agreements for functionally impaired adults.

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In April 2018, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed legislation to create Chapter 52 of the Wisconsin Statutes, authorizing the use of Supported Decision-Making Agreements in the State of Wisconsin.   Wis. Stat. § 52.01(6) defines “supported decision-making” as “a process of supporting and accommodating an adult with a functional impairment to enable the adult to make life decisions… without impeding the self-determination of the adult.” Accordingly, a Supported Decision-Making Agreement can authorize the principal’s supporter...

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