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The information discussed and/or provided is not intended as legal advice and persons should not rely on anything posted on this blog. Please also be advised that no attorney-client relationship is established until the firm has been contacted by telephone and an appointment made to discuss your situation with us.

Revocable Living Trusts and Asset Preservation Trusts

December 7, 2018

Both revocable living trusts and asset preservation trusts can be useful parts of an estate plan. These types of trusts have some common features, but there are also important differences to keep in mind.

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Dangers of Paying for In Home Care

November 12, 2018

People generally prefer to remain living at home for as long as possible before considering moving into a nursing home for more specialized care.

One way to put off the need for moving into nursing home is to receive in home care from a relative or paid specialist.

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Limits of the Medicaid Primary Residence Exemption

November 6, 2018

In order to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, a person’s total assets must be under a certain level. For many people, their main asset is their home. Under Medicaid’s asset cap, a person’s primary residence is exempt from the asset cap. However, this exemption is less valuable than it may seem at first glance.

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Medigap Options and Future Changes

October 29, 2018

Medigap insurance plans are additional private insurance options on top of Medicare that cover health care costs that Medicare Part A and B do not cover such as deductibles, coinsurance for some services, and various copayments. Medigap policies are bought by individuals who either do not have an employer/union supplied Medicare supplement plan or do not qualify for Medicaid.

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Changes to VA Pension Eligibility Rules

October 15, 2018

As of October 18, 2018, new rules will go into effect that will change eligibility guidelines for VA pensions. The changes apply to all types of VA pensions.

VA pensions are available to wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. The money is tax-free and can be used for any purpose. The Basic pension is available to wartime veterans who are either 65 years old, live in a nursing home, receive Social Security disability benefits, or have a total and permanent disability not related to military service.

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Difference Between Guardianship and a Durable Power of Attorney

September 24, 2018

Both a guardianship and a durable power of attorney are tools that allow for someone to to protect the interests of person unable to act for themselves. Under both, the person exercising power owes a fiduciary duty to the incapacitated person to act in their interests. However, these tools differ in important, meaningful ways.

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Differences Between Wills and Trusts

September 10, 2018

Both wills and trusts are documents that can direct how assets get distributed to a person’s beneficiaries. Depending on the situation, a person could have both a will and a trust as part of their estate plan.

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Difference Between a Durable and a Nondurable Power of Attorney

August 23, 2018

A power of attorney is a document where a person names another person to act as their agent in certain circumstances described in the text of the power of attorney. The agent can then act on behalf of the person who signed the power of attorney, known as the principal, without needing any further input from the principal.

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The Work of a Trustee

August 2, 2018

When it comes to the proper functioning of a trust, the trustee has the responsibility to make sure everything works the way it is supposed to. The trustee makes sure to manage the trust’s assets on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries in accordance with the guidelines in the trust document and any applicable laws and regulations.

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Special Needs Trust as Retirement Account Beneficiary

July 23, 2018

Special needs trusts can be valuable tools to help provide for someone with special needs. One option to fund a special needs trust is to name the trust as the beneficiary of a person’s retirement account. However, there are a number of areas to watch out for that could result in significant unintended costs if not taken care of properly. These pitfalls go beyond the expected knowledge of a general financial planner and require the expertise of an experienced elder law attorney.

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Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and the surrounding areas including Arnold, Ballwin, Barnhart, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Black Jack, Bonne Terre, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Cedar Hill, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Crystal City, Des Peres, DeSoto, Ellisville, Farmington, Fenton, Festus, Ferguson, Florissant, Fredericktown, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Normandy, O'Fallon, Olivette, Pacific, Pevely, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Peters, Ste. Genevieve, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Union, Valley Park, Washington, Webster Groves, Wentzville , Wildwood.