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So far Legacy Law Center has created 69 blog entries.
27 01, 2020

Medicaid Planning in Louisiana: Part 1 – Why Engage In Medicaid Planning?

By | 2020-01-27T15:49:07-06:00 January 27th, 2020|0 Comments

With the assistance of Legacy Law Center, many Louisiana residents engage in a practice known as Medicaid Planning. However, many who hear about this strategy carry little knowledge of what it is, and how it works. So what is Medicaid Planning? Simply put, Medicaid Planning in Louisiana is a strategy whereby individuals intentionally shift assets out of their names so that they will qualify for long-term care Medicaid coverage in the future. Preservation of the shifted assets is the goal. In this 4 part series, we will explore the why, how, and when regarding Louisiana Medicaid Planning. Why Engage in [...]

23 01, 2020

SECURE Act Forces Updates to Stretch IRA Trusts

By | 2020-01-23T16:08:42-06:00 January 23rd, 2020|0 Comments

In a previous post, we explored the SECURE Act and how it affects inherited retirement accounts. Before the SECURE Act, retirement beneficiaries could spread out taxable distributions from the account over their lifetime. In fact, the government, at a minimum, required these distributions to the beneficiaries annually. However, beneficiaries sometimes elected distribution amounts greater than that required and paid tax on the additional distribution. This created scenarios where less prudent, less responsible beneficiaries withdrew inherited retirement all at once. They would then proceed to squander the proceeds leaving less security for their own retirement. If retirement account holders wanted assurances [...]

21 01, 2020

Medicaid Penalty for Transfers Less than Fair Market Value

By | 2020-01-21T15:37:30-06:00 January 21st, 2020|0 Comments

For Louisiana families who cannot offset long-term care costs with their income, Medicaid often becomes necessary. Once a family depletes assets below a certain level, the person needing long-term care becomes eligible for Medicaid.  Typically, families deplete their resources by simply spending out of pocket for their initial long-term care costs. Once the depletion is complete, Medicaid then foots the bill for the bulk of the long-term care costs. However, more savvy families will deplete their resources in other ways where resources shift into a Trust and remain preserved. Medicaid pays the long-term care bill while the assets remain in [...]

20 01, 2020

2020 Louisiana Long-Term Care Medicaid Asset Eligibility Limits

By | 2020-01-20T13:52:58-06:00 January 20th, 2020|0 Comments

Medicaid Planning helps many Louisiana families achieve asset protection against long-term care costs. This strategy often utilizes Trusts which hold assets in excess of preset Medicaid eligibility Limits. When the Trust owns assets, those assets don't count against the planner's eligibility for Medicaid coverage of long-term care expenses. Medicaid covers most of an applicant's long-term care expenses as long as the assets held outside the trust fall below the aforementioned limits. So what are these Medicaid limits in Louisiana. For single persons, the asset limit is always $2,000.00. This number remains unchanged. This means a single person seeking medicaid for [...]

16 01, 2020

With the SECURE Act, Paying Tax on IRAs Early May be a Sensible Approach

By | 2020-01-16T09:15:51-06:00 January 16th, 2020|0 Comments

In a previous post, I examined how the SECURE Act potentially creates greater taxes for retirement beneficiaries. Acknowledging this, is there any strategy that minimizes the tax your family ultimately pays on pre-tax retirement accounts? While we cannot eliminate the somewhat negative side effects of the SECURE Act, we can take steps reduce it's impact. Generally, committing to pay more tax now on your retirement will likely minimize the overall tax to your family. Let's explore how and why this is the case. For starters, under the new tax laws passed in early 2018, personal income tax rates are at [...]

14 01, 2020

Naming Alternate Beneficiaries for Children Without Descendants

By | 2020-01-14T16:52:01-06:00 January 14th, 2020|0 Comments

As Louisiana residents enter their twilight years, it’s no surprise that many begin to think about planning for their legacy. When determining how their estate should be divided upon their demise, the decision is fairly straight forward for most. Divide the estate equally among the children. But what most people do not consider is who to name as alternative heirs or legatees. This happens because many don't want to imagine the unthinkable. What happens if one of my children predeceases me? The answer is again, easy for most. Naming the descendants or future descendants of your children as “back-up” heirs [...]

13 01, 2020

How the SECURE Act Increases Taxes for Many IRA Inheritors

By | 2020-01-13T17:09:31-06:00 January 13th, 2020|0 Comments

With Congress passing the SECURE Act, my Louisiana Estate Planning clients worry how this affects their family's retirement. Specifically they worry how it will impact their taxes. In short, the SECURE Act creates a climate where individuals who inherit pre-tax retirement accounts will pay more taxes. This is because most individuals inheriting retirement accounts must withdraw and pay tax on all of the inherited retirement within ten years of the IRA owner's death. Previously, non-spouse retirement account inheritors could spread out the taxable distributions over their life expectancy. For example, if you inherited a $1,000,000 IRA last year at age [...]

8 11, 2019

Avoiding Probate on Promissory Notes and Mortgages: It’s More Important Than You Might Think

By | 2019-11-08T15:36:59-06:00 November 8th, 2019|0 Comments

meeting with my Louisiana Estate Planning clients, I sometimes encounter clients who have lent money to family, friends, and others.  A legal agreement, usually a mortgage or promissory note, evidences the financial obligation for the loan recipient. In the mortgage or note, the debtor promises to pay back the loan with interest over some predetermined time period. This works well when payments to service these loans continue and when the creditor is still alive. But what happens when the creditor dies? Often, the debtor mistakenly believes that their legal obligation is over. Clearly this is not the case. After the [...]

8 11, 2019

Estate Planning – a MUST HAVE for Unmarried Couples

By | 2019-11-08T15:01:20-06:00 November 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Over the years, I've met many Louisiana couples who are not married for one reason or another. It amazes me how often these couples have no form of estate planning in place. These couples clearly care for one another and don’t want to make life more complicated for one another in the future.  By not taking the simple step of creating an estate plan they set each other up for a nightmare. In the event either partner dies or becomes incapacitated, the other partner has no legal rights when it comes to the assets, medical decisions, and burial decisions for [...]

6 03, 2019

You Can be In Charge of Your Medicaid Trust

By | 2019-03-06T15:28:48-06:00 March 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Families throughout Louisiana use Living Trusts to preserve their wealth. Many aim to protect assets from long-term care spend-down with specially designed Medicaid Living Trusts. By shifting your assets into a Medicaid Living Trust at least five years before you or your spouse need long-term care services, you can ensure qualification for Medicaid. When Medicaid covers the bulk of your long-term care, you don't spend down your own resources on high care costs.  With proper planning, you can preserve the assets in your Medicaid Living Trust for your heirs. One common misconception about these Medicaid trusts pervades the thinking of [...]