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Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefits -Special Report

Posted by: Thomas D. Begley, Jr.

Introduction “America’s veterans deserve the best health care and compensation system we can provide.”  (Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, News Release, February 3, 2003).  While there are several different commonly known types of VA benefits available to veterans or widow(er)s of veterans, most people are unaware of the benefits available to senior citizens who need health care assistance.  Incorporating VA benefits planning into a traditional elder law practice is essential, especially in light of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Veterans Pension.   There is one type of financial benefit that most veterans know nothing about.  Yet, it is a [...]

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What Blended Families Should Know About Estate Planning – Special Report

Posted by: Begley Admin

Case Study 1: Simple wills inadequate to protect children from previous marriages Andy (age 77) and Maureen (age 75) are in a long-term second marriage. Andy has two children from a previous marriage, Alexis (age 50) and Kit (age 48). Maureen also has two children from a previous marriage, Lauren (age 45) and Misty (age 44). Andy and Maureen have simple wills that give their entire estate to the surviving spouse with contingent gifts for the four children. After Andy dies, Maureen moves closer to her children and becomes estranged from Alexis and Kit. She changes her will to give her entire estate to Lauren [...]

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Why Personal Injury Attorneys Need to Know If Your Client Is a Disabled Veteran – Special Report

Posted by: Begley Admin

By Barbara A. Isenhour and Sean R. Bleck Before you bring any lawsuit on behalf of a disabled client there is an important piece of information you need to know.  Is your client a disabled veteran and if so, is she or he receiving or eligible for Veterans Compensation benefits or Veterans Pension benefits?  One benefit will not be affected if your client receives a personal injury settlement.  The other benefit could be lost or reduced if your client gets a settlement.  You and your client need to know what benefits are at risk before deciding whether to proceed with [...]

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Filed under Personal Injury Consulting, PI Special Reports, PISR, Special Reports.
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2009 REVISIONS TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION POMS RELATING TO SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

Posted by: Thomas D. Begley, Jr.

In January of 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) made a number of changes to the POMS relating to both first party and third party special needs trusts.  These changes affect the drafting and administration of Special Needs Trusts and drafting Court Orders establishing self-settled special needs trusts.  Pooled trusts are also covered in the revisions.  This is a brief review of those changes: 1.         GENERAL 1.1.      Grantor Trust The POMS states that, subject to State law, a grantor trust is a trust in which the grantor of the trust is also the sole beneficiary of the trust.[1] State law [...]

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Filed under Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Special Reports.
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PROTECTING AND PASSING ON MY VACATION HOME

Posted by: Thomas D. Begley, Jr.

WHY IS A VACATION HOME SO SPECIAL AND WHAT ISSUES NEED TO BE CONSIDERED? A vacation home can serve as a magnet to bring the family together.  Children marry and move away and have their own children.  A vacation home is an excuse for them to come back to visit with their parents and to bring the grandchildren with them.  The home is a place full of special memories.  Perhaps the children even grew up enjoying the vacation home.  Conversely, vacation homes can destroy a family if advance planning does not avoid friction. 1.  ISSUES Passing along a vacation home to [...]

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POMS CLARIFICATIONS

Posted by: Thomas D. Begley, Jr.

The Social Security Administration has made a number of clarifications to the POMS effective in 2010.  These include the following: 1. COVERDELL EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT (ESA) 1.1.      Designated Beneficiary The designated beneficiary is the individual who is to receive the benefit of the funds in the account.  The designated beneficiary can be changed to a member of the beneficiary’s family.  SSA has clarified that funds in a Coverdell ESA are excluded from the resources of the designated beneficiary of the account.[1] 1.2.      Contributor The contributor is any individual who contributes to the Coverdell ESA.  Any donations to the Coverdell ESA [...]

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MEDICARE SET-ASIDE ARRANGEMENTS IN THIRD PARTY LIABILITY CASES

Posted by: Thomas D. Begley, Jr.

The Legal Authority for Requiring a Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement   Medicare Secondary Payer Act.[1] The authority for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to require consideration of a plaintiff’s future medical expenses is found in the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA).  Under the MSPA Medicare is generally precluded from paying the beneficiary’s medical expenses when payment “has been made or can reasonably be expected to be made under a worker’s compensation plan, an automobile or liability insurance policy or plan (including a self-insured plan) or under no-fault insurance.[2] Medicare payments are conditional on reimbursement from the primary payer.[3] [...]

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It Takes Two to Protect Your Financial Future When Working With Couples

Posted by: Begley Admin

Studies show that almost half of the individuals in this country require long-term care at some point in their lives. In fact, many couples find themselves in a situation where one spouse requires nursing home care while the other spouse remains in the marital residence. With the cost of nursing homes now averaging approximately $9,500 a month for a semi-private room in New Jersey, this situation could be financially catastrophic. Because Medicare covers only an extremely limited amount of nursing home care, the cost of such care can devastate an estate, leave a spouse with inadequate assets to maintain the [...]

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A Twofold Approach to Long Term Care Needs Is Recommended

Posted by: Begley Admin

Among the many misperceptions regarding Medicaid and long-term care planning is the myth that asset protection planning and long-term care insurance don’t work well together. Unfortunately, many individuals, including many professionals, believe these two planning options are mutually exclusive and that one negates the need for the other. In fact, a carefully planned and cost-effective strategy to guard against the high costs of long-term care often includes both asset protection planning and long-term care insurance. When used effectively, Medicaid planning can help individuals reduce prospective costs of long term care insurance, and long-term care insurance can provide certain services that [...]

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PART TWO: PRE-SETTLEMENT LENDING IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES

Posted by: Begley Admin

MECHANICS OF THE LOAN Since a lawsuit itself is essentially the collateral to secure the finance company’s advances, the lending company will obtain information from the personal injury attorney concerning the case. They will follow these steps to offer the monies: Evaluation. The pre-settlement lending company evaluates the case and determines the likelihood of success. If the company is satisfied that there is a strong likelihood of a favorable settlement or verdict, then a cash advance will be approved. Agreement. The pre-settlement lending company will expect the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney to sign an agreement. The agreement will require [...]

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PART ONE: PRE-SETTLEMENT LENDING IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES

Posted by: Begley Admin

There is an ever-growing cottage industry of investors ready, willing and able to make the equivalent of a loan to an individual who is the plaintiff in a personal injury case. These transactions, also known as pre-settlement lending, are a growing trend for those in need. In order to avoid usury statutes, these transactions are characterized not as loans but as non-recourse cash advances. If the plaintiff loses the lawsuit, then no repayment is due. If the plaintiff receives less than the outstanding balance of the loan, then only the amount that the plaintiff receives need be repaid. Because of [...]

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Filed under Personal Injury Consulting, PI Special Reports, PISR, Special Reports.
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Borrower Profile and Credit Concerns in Pre-Settlement Lending in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by: Begley Admin

There is an ever-growing cottage industry of investors ready, willing and able to make the equivalent of a loan to an individual who is the plaintiff in a personal injury case. These transactions, also known as pre-settlement lending, are a growing trend for those in need. In order to avoid usury statutes, these transactions are characterized not as loans but as non-recourse cash advances. If the plaintiff loses the lawsuit, then no repayment is due. If the plaintiff receives less than the outstanding balance of the loan, then only the amount that the plaintiff receives need be repaid. Because of [...]

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Benefits and Best Practices in Pre-Settlement Lending in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by: Begley Admin

MECHANICS OF A PRE-SETTLEMENT LOAN Since a lawsuit itself is essentially the collateral to secure the finance company’s advances, the lending company will obtain information from the personal injury attorney concerning the case. They will follow these steps to offer the monies: Evaluation. The pre-settlement lending company evaluates the case and determines the likelihood of success. If the company is satisfied that there is a strong likelihood of a favorable settlement or verdict, then a cash advance will be approved. Agreement. The pre-settlement lending company will expect the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney to sign an agreement. The agreement will [...]

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