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Estate tax figures for 2016

The federal lifetime estate tax exemption will increase modestly next year. Effective January 1, 2016, the exemption will ... more »

Spouses lose two Social Security-maximing strategies

Some say the federal budget passed in October closes Social Security loopholes that needed closing. Others say it cuts off... more »

Medicare to cover end-of-life care preference counseling

Beginning in January 2016, Medicare will cover counseling sessions for patients who wish to discuss their end-of life care... more »

Veterans Day tribute to all veterans, and one in particular: my uncle

My brother Marshall Karp posted a touching tribute on his Facebook page for our Uncle Irving (aka Uncle Icky). All our vet... more »

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Aid & Attendance lookback under consideration

6-10-2012 - The General Accounting Office has released a report suggesting that the Veterans Administration adopt an asset "look-back" period to determine eligibility for Aid and Attendance benefits. Aid and Attendance benefits provide elderly and disabled veterans financial assistance to cover the cost of long-term nursing home care, home care or assisted living.

Under current law, a veteran may have no more than $80,000 in allowable assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance. However, transfers of assets that occur before the application date are not examined or penalized. This is in contrast to the Florida Medicaid system, which currently imposes a  five-year look-back period on asset transfers.

No changes have been instituted as yet. U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R - N.C.) and Ron Wyden (D- OR) have indicated that they will introduce legislation in Congress  that gives the Veterans Administration look-back authority.  At this point, it is too early to know how such legislation would impact on clients' estate plans.

Click here for the current eligibility requirements for V.A. Aid and Attendance benefits. 


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