lawyer estate planning cleveland, ohio

Long Term Care – Paying for the Nursing Home

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following information on the paying for Long Term Care and incorporating it into your Estate Planning:

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There are misconceptions regarding Long Term Care and who is responsible for paying for any care. This information may be used for informational purposes only.  For more information, or to speak with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney, contact Dan Baron at Baron Law.

Medicare:

In Ohio, Medicare only pays for Long Term Care IF you require rehabilitative care or skilled services. Skilled services are:

    • If you are in a nursing home, the maximum number of days Medicare pays for is 100; however the average covered stay is much shorter at 22 days
    • If you are able to stay at your own home, Medicare pays for skilled home health care or other skilled in-home services but only for a short period of time
    • Medicare does not pay for any non-skilled assistance for your ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) which tend to make up the majority of in home Long Term Care.
    • You are solely responsible for paying for Long Term Care services provided to you that would not be covered by any other public or private insurance programs. For additional information regarding Medicare, please visit https://www.medicare.gov/

 

Medicaid:

  • Pays for the largest portion of Long Term Care services, provided your income meets the states minimum eligibility requirements.
  • Medicaid will cover your costs depending on how much assistance you need with Activities of Daily Living.
  • There are numerous considerations when considering Medicaid and it’s important to talk with a Medicaid planning attorney.  To learn more about some considerations, visit this Medicaid Considerations Article.
  • There are other federal programs available for specific populations and circumstances that may pay for Long Term Care
    • Older Americans Act
    • Department of Veterans Affairs

Private Health Insurance

  • Employer sponsored or private health insurance, cover the same kinds of limited services as Medicare
  • If your carrier does cover Long Term Care, typically it will only be for skilled care but only short term

Other Private Payment Options can include

For more information on reviewing your goals for Long Term Care as part of your Estate Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law at 216-573-3723.

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When Should You Start Planning For Long Term Care?

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers information on when you should start planning for Long Term Care and including this as part of your Estate Planning:

 

When should you start planning for Long Term Care? If you are under 50, the answer is – “there is no time like the present”.  Approximately 70% of today’s population will need some sort of Long Term Care sometime within their lifetime.

What you should know about planning for the future

When in later years and you are in need of skilled services or should you require rehabilitation services, Medicare pays for this type of long term care. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for any non-skilled assistance with your ADL’s (Activities of Daily Life) or IADL’s (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) which tend to make up the majority of Long Term Care.

You should start thinking now about how you are going to pay for Long Term Care as it is much more expensive than you might think.

There are a number of ways you can use to pay for your long term care. Being 50 of under, this may be the best time in your life financially to start planning for long term care, rather than after you have had a serious illness or become disabled.

You may also consider securing an Advance Directive which informs your family and other loved ones how you would like your medical matters handles, should you become incapacitated and are no longer able to communicate your wishes of your medical care.

For more information on reviewing your goals for Long Term Care as part of your Estate Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723.

AN AB Trust – What are the benefits for your estate?

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers information on an AB Trust and the benefits realized from including this as part of your Tax and Estate Planning:

For Tax and Estate Planning purposes, as a married couple, maximize the use of your Federal Estate Tax Exemptions through the utilization of an AB Trust.

There are two vehicles available in which to set up an AB Trust

  • Living Will and Last Testament
  • Revocable Living Trust

The “A Trust” also referred to as the

  • Marital Trust
  • Marital Deduction Trust
  • QTip Trust

The “B Trust” is also known as the

  • Family Trust
  • Bypass Trust
  • Credit Shelter Trust

In 2011, the Federal Estate Tax Exemption   was made transferrable between married couples.  Should one pass away in 2011 or after, their entire Federal Estate Tax Exemption is not needed to avoid Estate Taxes.

If you are on your second, third, or additional marriage and have different beneficiaries, it is in your best interest to explore the benefits of the AB Trust.

The AB Trust can only function if you secure them while both spouses are alive. Don’t put off securing this beneficial part of your estate and tax planning as once you become a widow or widower, it is too late.

Below is an example of how the AB Trust works to your benefit:

For more information on setting up an AB Trust as part of your Estate and Tax Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law to maximize your Federal Estate Tax savings upon your passing. Contact us today at 216-573-3723.

Cleveland Elder Care Attorney Daniel Baron

Applying for Medicaid? Here’s What You Need to Know About Activities of Daily Living vs. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning and elder law attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following information on the definition of ADL’s and IADL’s and how to plan on Long Term Care as part of your Estate and Medicaid Plan:

As we are all well aware, there is only one alternative to aging. If you are fortunate enough to live a long life, that is wonderful; however it may not be as healthy as we anticipated.  There may come a time where you will need assistance with one or more of Activities of Daily Life (or ADL’s).  These activities include the following:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Feeding yourself
  • Caring for Incontinence
  • Getting in and out of your bed or chair (aka transferring)

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Another form of assistance which you may need as you age and/or become incapacitated is known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL). These types of activities are not as unobtrusive as your Activities of Daily living, however they are things which you cannot live your life as you have been accustomed to and you will need to seek the help of others to assist you.

These activities are:

  • Housework
  • Dealing with your financial matters
  • Keeping medications current and taking them properly
  • Shopping for meals and other household necessities
  • Using communication devices
  • Caring for your pets
  • Responding to emergency alerts

Elder Care attorney

Whether you need assistance with ADL’s or IADL’s these activities are considered unskilled Long Term Care needs and are not covered by Medicare. For this type of Long Term Care you may need to reach out to your family, friends, neighbors, or community organizations to enlist their help.  If you are not fortunate enough to have someone volunteer to help you will these matters which are not covered by Medicare, these would have to be paid by you; so the time to start planning for this care is now before you become unable to take care of yourself or your loved one.

For more information on reviewing your goals for Long Term Care as part of your Estate Planning, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law at 216-573-3723.

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The Definition and Role of an Executor of an Estate

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following information on the Definition and Role of an Executor of your Estate.

Last Will and Testament Picture

 

Being named and then carrying out the duties of an executor can be one of life’s most frightening tasks however; keep in mind that this is also an honor. Being named an Executor of someone’s estate shows that the person naming you has entrusted you with the great responsibility of making sure their last wishes are granted with respects to the settlement of their property and assets.  Fundamentally, an executor of any will is responsible for making sure that any and all  debts and creditors of the deceased are paid off, and that any remaining money and/or property of the estate is distributed according to the decedent’s wishes.

Bear in mind that the law does not require an executor to be a lawyer or for that matter a financial expert; however, it does require that every executor fulfill their duties with the utmost honesty and attentiveness. In other words, according to law, you have a “fiduciary duty,” that as the executor, you are going to act in good faith with regards to a person’s will.

As the executor, generally you are not entitled to proceeds from the sale of any property of the estate. The executor however, is entitled to a fee as compensation for administering the will. The fees could be mandated that it be reasonable depending on the size or involvedness of the will.

Executor Definition:

To Fulfill Specific Duties; there are many obligations that an executor of a will may have to realize, depending upon the involvedness of the will and the property to be distributed.

These duties normally include but are not limited to:

Finding the assets: The executor is responsible for finding all the decedent’s assets  and for keeping the assets safe until they can be appropriately dispersed to those named in the will and/or to creditors and debtors. This controlling of assets can include upon deciding which types of assets to sell as well as what kinds of assets to keep.

Winding up the deceased’s affairs:   This can cover a multitude of items to be dealt with

  • Canceling any/and all credit cards that may still be open
  • Notifying any bank or other financial institutions about the death of the individual.
  • Notifying brokerage or financial advisors overseeing investments
  • Contacting the Social Security Administration if the decedent was collecting Social Security Benefits
  • Contacting any and all life insurance carriers to claim death benefits to add to the assets of the estate
  • Cancelling home and auto insurance carriers to cancel policies once the estate has settled or property sold
  • Contacting utility companies if services are no longer needed

Locating and communicating the heirs: Locating and contacting those who have been named and who are supposed to inherit money and/or property can be a challenge at times.  If the will has not been updated, people may have moved so you the executor will need to be vigilant in finding all the heirs listed.  There are some cases the deceased has designated certain property/assets go directly to an individual or charity.  So it is imperative that the correct heir be found.

Deciding whether or not probating the last will and testament in court is necessary: Probating a will is the process of getting a court to approve the legitimacy of the will.

Verifying that the Will has been filed in the proper probate court:  This is commonly required by law even if the will does not need to be probated

Should I set up a Separate Bank Account for the Estate?

Setting up a bank account for the estate: Since it is wise not to co-mingle the Executors funds and the deceased party’s funds, the executor is typically required to keep the estate’s money separate from their own funds. Opening up a bank account in the name of the estate makes paying off creditors and the heirs so much easier and helps prove what went into the estate, came out of the estate until such time it has been completed.

Pay ongoing required payments:  Monies in the estate’s bank account are used for making mortgage, insurance and any additional ongoing payments that need to be paid during the management of the will until the estate is settled with all property being sold.

Do Heirs get paid before debtors and creditors:  First and foremost; all of the decedent’s debts and creditors need to be paid off before any heirs can inherit the remaining assets.  The executor of the will should notify all creditors of the death of the individual and see how they wish to proceed.

Paying final income taxes:  You know that there are two things certain in life – death and taxes.  One of the responsibilities the executor of a will has it that they are in charge of making certain that the decedent’s income taxes are paid for the last year they were alive.

Distributing deceased’s property: If listed in the will that certain property goes to certain heirs, the job of the Executor has it to make sure that it gets to the rightful heirs and recorded that it was given to the appropriate party.  If there is other property that is not named in the will, it should pass according to the laws of the State of Ohio.

If no will is in place, the party in charge is typically called the administrator and will be responsible for reviewing the state law to see who the estate’s property will pass to in “intestate succession.”

Having an Executor of your Estate is only one part to a comprehensive estate plan. For information regarding living wills, Last Will and Testaments, trusts, powers of attorney, or a pour-over will, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law today at 216-573-3723.

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I Recently moved to Ohio from another State? Do I Need To Update My Power of Attorney?

Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney, Daniel A. Baron, offers the following helpful answers to Powers of Attorney:

What If I have a Power of Attorney From another state?

Most Powers of Attorney signed in other states will be recognized in the other states. A Power of Attorney used to convey title to real estate, typically must be signed, dated, witnessed by two people, and “acknowledged” or notarized by a notary public or court official.  The state laws will govern who is authorized to take “acknowledgments”.  The practical question is not whether the Power of Attorney is valid, but whether a financial institution will honor it.  Also, if the document refers to statutes from another state, you may have to provide a copy of those statutes.

The law may vary in the state where you signed your Power of Attorney versus the state in which you now reside. Even if the document lists the same or similar powers, the meanings may be different  in the two states.  Also, many states have different statutory protections for people signing a Power of Attorney.

Suffice it to say, it may be in your best interest, if practicable, that you have new Powers of Attorney executed.

 

Do I need to get a new Power of Attorney if I move to a different state?

When moving to a different state, you should always consult a local attorney to see whether your Power of Attorney will be as you intended.

In some states, a Power of Attorney is not “durable” unless it is “recorded”. Recorded means filed with local government.  In addition, there may be special rules about how it is revoked.  It would behoove you to check with a local attorney.

Again, it may be in your best interest, if practicable, that you have new Powers of Attorney executed.

 

A Power of Attorney is only one of the many parts to a comprehensive estate plan. For information regarding living wills, trusts, power of attorney, or a pour-over will, or further questions on Powers of Attorney, contact Daniel A. Baron of Baron Law to arrange a meeting at 216-573-3723.