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Starting the process of planning for long-term care and Medicare/Medicaid

The issues: The 2007-2008 State-Wide Average Payment for Skilled Nursing Facilities is $4,644 per month. Basic Asset Reduction Strategies After DRA 2005 (Deficit Reduction Act) Transfer assets to children sooner Spend excess assets for fair value Transfer assets to spouse and reduce spouse's assets to asset limits Transfer assets for less than fair value and prepare to deal with resulting penalty period Minnesota residents can protect up to $500,000 of equity in the homestead. AND NOW...How do you check out? - A brief guide of what to look for 1.How do your existing estate planning documents deal with incapacity? Do they deal with it at all? 2.Have your documents been upgraded to provide HIPAA authorization? (Without HIPAA authorization, your fiduciaries cannot obtain information crucial to making informed decisions about your health care). 3.Do you and members of your family (including anyone you may be asked to care for) have current health care directives updated to conform to HIPAA? 4.Do you and members of your family have durable powers of attorney? 5.Do you have a will or trust? In a couple of brief sentences, can you describe what it says? 6.If you have a trust, is it funded? Are there recent acquisitions that remain outside your trust? 7.Does your surviving spouse have sufficient access to bypass and QTIP trust assets? 8.Should decision makers be changed? 9.Does your document account for changes in tax legislation? 10.Does your spouse have limited power of appointment over the remaining assets in the bypass and QTIP trusts? 11.Have you incorporated any asset protection into your estate plan? 12.Are distributions to children protected from creditors and divorce?

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