Quick deeded his house

Q My widowed father-in-law quick deeded his house to my wife as co-owner in Tennessee. Is there a downside to this? I’ve heard it can add costs. However, the house is now worth much less than when he purchased it a few years ago.

A There probably is no downside. Legally, the property now belongs to your wife, though she does have a moral obligation to use it for her father’s benefit. The house is subject to any claim by your wife’s creditors should she get into financial trouble or be sued. In some cases, though it sounds like not in yours, the gift of the house can cause greater capital gains and a greater tax when it is sold. Here’s how that would work: If, for instance, your father-in-law purchased the house for $150,000 and it was now worth $350,000, it would have $200,000 of gain which under current federal law would be taxed at 15% (plus any Tennessee tax). If your father-in-law still owned it and sold it, he could exclude up to $250,000 of gain and avoid any tax. If your wife inherited it, the “basis” on which the capital gain is calculated would “step up” from the $150,000 purchase price to the $400,000 value on the date of your father-in-law’s death, also avoiding any gain and any tax. In your case, however, your wife may be better off receiving the house as a gift if its value goes up over time or if you have a capital loss on its sale which you can use to offset gain realized on other assets you may have.

Children and Property

Particular issues in elder decisions are children and property, debts owed by the parties, 
Elder decision can contain costs orders, [that a person pay] disposal of property or money, increased 

Mediation is the recommended preferred method for elderly divorce cases where children are involved wherein mediators usually facilitate non-violent resolution including reconciliation & co-parenting arrangements.

Representation and payments of account are key when drafting an elder decision Parenting arrangement should contain provisions for how minor children live, and how long each party is responsible for housing them or until 18 years old (with an option for a raise); importantly, rights to spend time with and communicate with young care recipient also contained in these documents 2.

Costs sometimes include up to 20% or more than legal fees; The parties whose assets are being liquidated during enforcement proceeding can claim expenses against those who provide such services under s85(3) for fraudulent dealing (+18%) of 74FLA authority In cases involving CRC and elderly care matters, mandatory counselling/mediation occurs first to work out any mutual resolution – HMC Section 87 assigns the Registrar with exclusive control over proceedings that trigger social security entitlements – this may result in years negative financial outcomes


Elder Law

Elder Law is a relatively new and highly specialized practice area designed to protect the often confusing rights and interests of older individuals in today’s increasingly complex world.

Through the knowledgeable handling of such legal issues as estate planning, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, and social security and other retirement benefits, an experienced Elder Law attorney can help an older individual to define and achieve the personal, financial, and medical planning required for optimal well-being and enhanced peace of mind.

Here at the Law Offices of Sharon L. Pope, our attorneys are experienced at providing each and every Elder Law client with precisely the blend of knowledge and wisdom required to help them achieve their goals.

Elder Law Articles

This is the first article in a two part series about how to help a loved one who is having difficulty managing his or her affairs.

Connecticut Home Care Programs
Connecticut`s two home-care programs offer different levels of care and different requirements for eligibility.

Veterans and Surviving Spouses: Aid and Attendance Pension
This article explains how the Veteran`s Aid and Attendance Pension works, including how to calculate the likely amount for which you could qualify. However, it’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of Veteran`s benefits and this is only one.

Medicaid Programs & Eligibility
Medicaid, or Title XIX of the Social Security Act, finances long-term care. It is a program based on financial need — a safety net for many people who are disabled or elderly and in need of long-term care, either in a convalescent facility or in a home-care setting. Financed with both state and federal money, Medicaid is administered in Connecticut by the Department of Social Services.

How Special Needs Trusts Work to Protect Assets and Income While Preserving Benefits for a Person with Disabilities
How can a person with disabilities receive or retain assets if they need medical or home care assistance through the Medicaid (T-19) waivers, such as: • the ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) Waiver • the PCA Personal Care Assistant) Waiver • the Medicaid Home Care Waiver for persons 65 or better • the DDS (formerly DRM) Waiver • or Community Medicaid? There is a common misunderstanding that you must be impoverished in order to qualify for Medicaid (Title 19) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). It is also commonly thought that if you have a child with a disability, you will have to disinherit that child in order to preserve important benefits. Both assumptions are incorrect.

Veteran`s Burial Benefits
All veterans of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are honorably discharged from the service are entitled to the veteran’s burial benefit. Certain National Guard and reserve members may also qualify. Depending upon the veteran’s circumstances and personal wishes, there are a number of burial choices available such as burial in a national cemetery, burial in a private cemetery, and cremation. Eligible spouses and dependent children of veterans are entitled to be buried at a national cemetery but not at a private cemetery. Certain burial expenses are absorbed by the family and not the federal government. As part of the planning process, we encourage veterans to review the information below, convey their wishes to their loved ones, and gather the necessary paperwork.

The Power of a Power of Attorney
Part two in a series about how to provide legal, financial, and personal protection for those with a significant disability.

Elder Law Documents

Pooled Trusts Screening Tool
This document can be used as a screening tool for Pooled Trust eligibility. You may click on the document and print it for your personal use. Pooled Trusts are a type of special needs trust. Money in a pooled trust is not counted for Medicaid or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). These trusts are especially helpful for our seniors, age 65 or better, who seek home care benefits through the Medicaid Waiver.
This is a document that you may download. >DOWNLOAD

Client Questionnaire for Married or Single
Please download and fill out this Client Questionnaire and bring it to your first consultation. This is for both Married and Single clients.
This is a document that you may download. >DOWNLOAD

Elder Law News

Local Attorney Attends Special Needs Meeting in Charleston
Attorney Sharon L. Pope was among the 100 attendees of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, which took place March 19-20th in Charleston, SC. Special needs planning is one of the fastest-growing areas of estate planning. Attorneys in the field focus on helping individuals with special needs and their families plan for a more secure future. The attorneys must combine compassion with skilled estate planning and a knowledge of the public benefit programs on which many individuals with special needs must rely. The Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP), of which [attorney name] is a member, was established in 2006 to provide attorneys in this growing field of law with access to a collegial community and practice tools to assist them in fulfilling their clients` needs. ASNP`s 4th Annual Meeting featured presentations by nationally recognized leaders in special needs planning and related disciplines who shared insights on the latest developments and legal strategies in the field. Session topics included “Deconstructing that Special Needs Trust”, “SSI and SSDI Annual Updates”, “Special Needs Planning with Military or Veterans Benefits”, “Special Education Advocacy and Litigation” and “The Practical Applications of Qualified Settlement Funds.” To learn more about ASNP, visit www.specialneedsplanners.com and its companion consumer site, SpecialNeedsAnswers, at www.specialneedsanswers.com

Attorney Sharon L. Pope attended the bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 370: An Act Concerning Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage for Married Couples
Attorney Sharon L. Pope attended the bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 370: An Act Concerning Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage for Married Couples.

Attorney Pope named Board Member of the Month by BIACT
Sharon Pope joined the BIAC Board of Directors in 2005. A gifted attorney and founding partner of her own firm, the Law Offices of Sharon Pope , Sharon is an integral part of the BIAC team. An organizational powerhouse, Sharon always jumps right in and lends a hand. Whether planning special events, sponsoring our annual picnic or sharing her expertise in the areas of elder and disability law with BIAC staff, Sharon’s contributions to BIAC are immeasurable, while truly adhering to our mission. Thank you Sharon!

2011 January and February List of Events

January 19, 2011

Attorney Hajosy addresses the University of Hartford Estate Planning Clinic at Parkville Senior Center.

January 25, 2011

Attorney Hajosy presents “Estate & Long-Term Care” at The Atrium. She will talk about the benefits of long-term care and estate planning, going over important estate documents, different options available, and funding sources.

January 28, 2011

Attorney Pope presents “Advance Directives” – a case study presentation on the common mistakes folks make when filling out advance directives and appointing a health care representative. This presentation is the second event in her “Free Lunch Friday” series. Please contact us if you would like to join: 860-236-7673.

February 8, 2011

Attorney Pope presents “Peace of Mind in Your Home” at the Glastonbury Senior Center. Attorney Pope will present information regarding financing home and community based services through the use of Veteran`s Benefits, Homecare Programs and Medicare Savings Programs.

February 11 & 26, 2011

Attorney Pope will present at two MSAFastDraftPro Seminars.

Elder Law Websites

Brain Injury Association of Connecticut
BIAC is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with brain injury, their families, and caregivers while increasing the community’s understanding of brain injury and its prevention.

Spina Bifida Association of Connecticut
The mission of Spina Bifida Association of Connecticut is to promote the prevention of Spina Bifida and to enhance the lives of all affected.

Academy of Special Needs Planners
The goal of the Academy of Special Needs Planners is to provide attorneys in this field with all the practice aids they need to successfully fulfill their clients` needs.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others who work with older clients and their families.

State of Connecticut Probate Court
The state probate courts are also known as “family courts” because, in addition to overseeing decedents` estates and trusts, they handle a wide range of sensitive issues affecting children, the elderly, the mentally retarded, and the mentally ill.

Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
P&A; is an independent State agency created to safeguard and advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities in Connecticut.

State of Connecticut Department of Veteran Afffairs
It is the responsibility of the Office of Advocacy and Assistance to provide assistance to veterans, their eligible spouses and eligible dependents in obtaining veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws.


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