ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Elder Law Statistics for 2014

For those of us who are into technical details, there are some changes in a variety of laws which may interest you. They come into effect in 2014.

Gift and Estate Taxes – The annual gift tax exclusion continues at $14,000. This means a wealthy relative can give away gifts totaling $14,000 per year per individual, and the benefactor will not incur a tax in doing so. Now if your relative is in a really generous spirit he can, upon his death, bequeath up to and including $5.34 million with no tax penalty to the recipient. The $5.34 million is a lifetime tax exclusion for gifts as well. This cap applies as well to generation-skipping gifts.

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles, and Co-payments – In this area, there have been some modest increases in co-payments. In Part A, the deductible has gone from $1,184 to $1,216 (an increase to the consumer). However, this has been balanced out with higher reimbursement for hospital stays of days 61-90, which went from $296 to $304 per day. For days 91 and beyond, the co-payment has gone from $592 to $608 per day. Part B premiums and deductibles remain unchanged.

The good news for married couples, filing jointly or filing separately, is that for incomes of $85,000 or more, there are no changes in your premium payments!

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Amounts – If you and your spouse are contemplating applying for Medicaid because of the need to place one of you in a nursing home, keep in mind that there are income and asset limits which will remove you from eligibility. If your assets exceed $23,448 (excluding your house, 1 auto, and household possessions), you will be eliminated from Medicaid eligibility without correct planning. There are ways to shelter assets above that amount. Consult an experienced elder law attorney such as those at The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm for more detailed advice.

Social Security Benefit Changes – For 2014, there have been modest increases for those who are eligible. The average Social Security payment will increase from $1,275 for individuals to $1,294. For couples, the amount will increase from $2,080 to $2,111. Modest is definitely the operative word, but every little bit helps. On the other hand, if you’re still a member of the workforce your income level which is taxable will rise from $113,700 to $117,000. Once again a modest increase, which you may want to consider, will benefit you at the point you become a recipient of Social Security rather than a pure contributor.

As one can see, the issues related to taxes and estate planning are complex. The attorneys at The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm are always available for consultation.

Speakers

If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Elder Law News, then please e-mail us at office@chroniccareadvocacy.com, telephone us at (703) 243-3200, or fax us at 703-841-9102.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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