Elder Law & Estate Planning News
Laws and regulations can change frequently and may impact on the effectiveness of your estate planning. If you're establishing an estate plan for the first time or want to be sure your documents continue to provide the protections you want, contact The Karp Law Firm for assistance.
Elder Law Legal Updates
04/25/2013 - How permanent is the permanent estate tax, really?
WH budget seeks changes to "permanent" estate tax
02/11/2013 - Veterans Benefits Booklet updated
The Karp Law Firm's Guide to Veterans Benefits has been updated to reflect the new laws effective Dec. 2012.
02/07/2013 - 2013 Planning Points online
2013 Planning Points now online
01/08/2013 - New monthly V.A. pension rates
V.A. cost-of-living adjustment increases rates for Pension, and Pension with Aid and Attendance.
01/02/2013 - Federal estate tax: Congress acts, finally
The American Taxpayer Relief Act ends taxpayers' longstanding uncertainty about federal gift and estate taxes.
12/16/2012 - Rule change for V.A. Pension, Pension with Aid & Attendance
New V.A. rule makes it more difficult to claim room and board at a residential facility is an unreimbursed medical expense.
12/09/2012 - Medicaid long term benefits rules change again
The applicant's income cap and community spouse's resource allowance figures increase January 1, 2013
11/19/2012 - Annual gift tax exclusion increases in 2013
Starting in 2013, the annual gift tax exclusion is $14,000
10/29/2012 - Medicare improvement standard eliminated
"Improvement standard" cannot be used to deny Medicare coverage for skilled nursing care and rehabilitation
10/19/2012 - 2013 tax deductions for LTC premiums
The IRS has issued 2012 deductibility limits for long-term care premiums
09/01/2012 - Medicaid penalty divisor increases effective 9/1/12
Florida Medicaid has increased the monthly exemption used to determine the penalty period
08/17/2012 - 2013 Medicare D premiums steady; Open enrollment earlier
The average premium for Medicare Part D coverage to remain unchanged in 2013.
08/12/2012 - Pending marriage termination ends spouse's DPOA power
person named as agent under his/her spouse's Florida Durable Power of Attorney for Property may no longer act on the spouse's behalf in the event of divorce, or when an action is filed for divorce or legal separation.
07/19/2012 - Status report on federal estate tax legislation
Republicans and Democrats proposing legislation to decide the fate of the federal estate tax
07/18/2012 - Affordable Care Act spawns scams
Federal Trade Commission warning the public about new telephone scam
06/10/2012 - Aid & Attendance lookback under consideration
The General Accounting Office has released a report suggesting that the Veterans Administration adopt an asset "look-back" period when determining a veteran's eligibility for Aid and Attendance benefits.
03/16/2012 - IRS extends deadline for portability election
Qualifying estates have a six-month extension for filing Form 706 to elect portability
02/23/2012 - Medicaid Spousal Diversion Rule changes 7-1-2012
The Florida Medicaid minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance increases effective July 1, 2012
02/22/2012 - 2012 Tax Deductions for LTC Premiums
IRS deductibility limits for long-term care premiums
02/22/2012 - 2012 Planning Points online
Karp Law Firm's annual newsletter available
12/01/2011 - Increase in VA Pension & Aid and Attendance Benefits
VA maximum pension, aid & attendance benefits increase
11/13/2011 - Estate and Gift Tax Exemption to increase in 2012
The lifetime unified federal estate tax and gift tax exemption will increase beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
11/07/2011 - Medicaid asset and income limits change in 2012
New income and asset limits for eligibility for Florida Medicaid long-term care benefits
10/23/2011 - 2012 IRS deductions for long-term care premiums
The IRS has issued 2012 deductibility limits for long-term care premiums
10/17/2011 - CLASS Act abandoned
The federal government will not implementat its opt-in long-term care insurance program.
09/21/2011 - Florida Durable Power of Attorney Law changes
New requirements for Florida Durable Power of Attorney go into effect Oct. 1
06/29/2011 - FL modifies Medicaid benefits criteria
Florida Dept. of Children and Families changes Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance, Home Equity Exemption
06/07/2011 - Inherited IRAs now creditor proof in FL
Creditor protection is now extended to IRA's inherited by Florida residents.
04/17/2011 - Holocaust Restitution Organization Seeks Heirs
Assets in Israel await claim by Holocaust victims' heirs
03/18/2011 - Florida Alzheimer's Report released
Alzheimer's Disease on the rise in Florida
03/16/2011 - Florida Bill jeopardizes family caregiving arrangements
Personal service contracts between parents and caregiver children under threat
03/16/2011 - Attorney Karp in So Florida Business Journal
The older seniors with children grow, the more likely their needs and intentions change, said Joseph Karp, a board-certified elder law attorney...
03/04/2011 - Planning Points 2011 now online
2011 Estate Planning/Elder Law Newsletter available
02/21/2011 - Maybe the Do-Over isn't done just yet
AARP requests that repayment of early benefits be extended through December 2011
01/31/2011 - New reverse mortgage program
A new reverse mortgage program is now available that can signficantly reduce the traditionally high up-front costs associated with reverse mortgages.
01/28/2011 - The new Estate Tax law explained
What the new federal estate tax law may mean for you.
01/26/2011 - New free preventive services for Medicare recipients
Thanks to the recently passed health reform law, Medicare recipients may now receive certain preventive services absolutely free of charge.
01/18/2011 - Estate Tax certainty still elusive
Three new bills in Congress aim to repeal the newest estate tax law
12/21/2010 - No more Social Security "Do-Overs"
The Social Security has eliminated an option that allowed some seniors to retire early and still come out ahead
12/14/2010 - End of Year Alert: IRA RMDs are back
IRA required minimum distributions have been reinstated for 2010
11/08/2010 - 2011 IRS Deductions for LTC Premiums
The IRS has issued 2011 deductibility limits for long-term care premiums
10/26/2010 - Homestead Law changes
A change in Florida's homestead property law may impact on your estate planning, particularly if you are involved in a second marriage and have children from a prior marriage.
08/18/2010 - $250K FDIC insurance made permanent
The $250K maximum FDIC deposit insurance has been made permanent.
08/16/2010 - Estate Tax: September showdown?
The estate tax may come up for discussion earlier than experts believed
08/08/2010 - Get help at new health website
New government wesite helps clear up health care confusion
07/15/2010 - New Rules for Veterans PTSD Benefits
The Veterans Administration will no longer require veterans applying for post-traumtaic stress disorder benefits to demonstrate that their disorder stems from a specific military-related event.
07/13/2010 - Yankee owner's estate the 3rd to pass tax-free in 2010
With his passing on July 23, George Steinbrenner becomes the third American billionaire to die in the "year of no estate tax."
06/17/2010 - Step-up in basis eliminated this year
Capital gains taxes are higher if you sell an appreciated asset you've inherited this year.
05/28/2010 - Eligible for Medicare but employed with health benefits?
Should you enroll in Medicare if you are approaching 65 and still getting employer health benefits?
04/23/2010 - New tax breaks to buy long term care insurance
Tax code changes provide incentives to buy long-term care insurance
04/22/2010 - V.A., Soc. Security benefits going paperless
V.A.,Social Security: The check's not in the mail
04/20/2010 - Listen: 2010 estate tax oddities
NPR reports on the lengths people are going to as they cope with this year's bizarre estate tax situation.
03/22/2010 - Health Reform to close donut hole
The Health Reform Bill passed by the House offers several benefits for seniors and their families
03/18/2010 - Medigap Plans to Change June 1, 2010
Medigap plans will be changing effective June 1, 2010
03/10/2010 - Delayed Retirees Can Access SSA Calculator
If you're collecting Medicare but not yet collecting Social Security benefits, you now have access to the SSA's online retirement calculator.
02/21/2010 - New Tax Law May Imperil Spouse in 2010
The lapse of the federal estate tax in 2010 may create unpleasant consequences for married couples with substantial assets and older estate plans
01/20/2010 - 2010 "Planning Points" Now Online
Karp Law Firm's latest newsletter now available
01/16/2010 - New Medicare Premiums, Deductibles, Co-Payments
2010 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles, Co-Pays
01/05/2010 - IRS Increases Deduction for LongTerm Care Insurance Premiums
You can now claim a larger deduction for your long-term care insurance premiums.
01/01/2010 - Federal Estate Tax in Limbo for 2010
The federal estate tax expired Jan. 1, 2010. But chances are the tax will be back, perhaps very soon.
12/03/2009 - FDIC calms depositors' jitters, extends $250K coverage
The FDIC has announced that it will extend increased coverage through Dec. 13, 2013.
12/03/2009 - Community Resource Allowance unchanged
Florida Medicaid has announced that there will be no increase in community resource allowance for 2010
09/30/2009 - New Yorkers Get Durable POA Protections: Will Florida Follow?
NY seeks to curb financial abuse with new Durable POA law
09/14/2009 - 529 plans can pay for computers in 2009-2010
For 2009-2010 the IRS will permit 529 funds to pay for computer equipment and software
06/18/2009 - Florida Medicaid Changes Spousal Diversion Rules
Florida Medicaid "minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance" to increase
01/04/2009 - Required Distributions Suspended in 2009
If you're a retiree who would normally need to make minimum withdrawals from your retirement plan this year, help is on the way.
11/25/2008 - 2009 Medicare Premiums
Skilled Nursing Facility Co-Payments for 2009, other premiums and deductibles announced by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
11/25/2008 - 2009 Medicaid Impoverishment Numbers
Florida Medicaid has released new eligibility numbers for those seeking long-term nursing home Medicaid benefits
10/26/2008 - 2009 Rules for Long-Term Care Premium Deductions
The IRS has issued rules for deductions taxpayers can take off their taxes for long-term care premiums in 2009.
08/21/2008 - Changes to Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D Premiums to Increase in 2009
03/12/2008 - Surviving Spouses Get Home Sale Tax Break
The government has extended the period in which surviving spouses may sell their home and still qualify for the maximum capital gains tax break
07/29/2007 - New insurance policies offer Medicaid applicants asset protection
The Florida Long Term Care Insurance Partnership may help you preserve assets if you apply for Medicaid benefits for long-term nursing home care. To participate in the program, you must
02/01/2007 - Deficit Reduction Act toughens Medicaid eligibility criteria
Medicaid look-back periods, exempt asset criteria and other requirements have been toughened for Medicaid eligibility for long-term nursing home care as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
01/01/2006 - Pension Protection Act of 2006: Impact on Estate Planning
Pension Protection Act does not guarantee heirs' ability to stretchout 401(k) or 403(b
04/01/2004 - FDIC changes rules for revocable "living" trust accounts
Those with accounts titled in the name of a living trust held at an FDIC-insured institution will soon find increased protection for the account...
01/01/2003 - Florida permits pets to be beneficiaries
Beginning January 1, 2003, Florida joins a growing number of states that permit a person to name a pet as beneficiary in an estate plan...
01/01/2002 - Florida Power of Attorney law changes
The durable power of attorney authorizes one or more individuals (agents) to conduct your affairs if you cannot, thus minimizing the chances of court interference in your affairs...
10/01/2001 - Florida Elective Share law changes
Under Florida law a surviving spouse can exercise his/her right to receive 30% of the deceased spouse's estate...