Category: Wills, Estate Planning and Trusts

When a Family Member Dies Without Assets

My Uncle Spike had two claims to fame: He was a nationally recognized ghost hunter, and he was the Yukon Cornelius of the Penobscot River, prospecting for gold and regaling the locals and passers-through with his tales of adventure and fortune. (I am not making this up.) A millionaire, however, he was not. Bless his …

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Keeping the Family Camp in the Family

With summer imminent, many Mainers and those “from away” will be heading to their camps or vacation properties for relaxation and recreation.  Frequently, these camps are legacy properties that have been used by families for generations providing an important family tradition and shared memories.   As time passes, the number of family members who wish to …

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Does all Property go Through Probate?

The purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to control the distribution of property in your probate estate after your death. But what property makes up your probate estate? Not all of it! Anything that is not part of your probate estate is not controlled by your Will and therefore will not be distributed …

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Avoid Capital Gains Tax by Rethinking the Credit Shelter Trust

Estate planning attorneys have traditionally employed a number of strategies designed to minimize or eliminate estate tax liability for their clients. While many of these strategies increased capital gains tax liability by forfeiting a basis step-up, with federal estate tax rates of up to 40%, capital gains tax was the preferable tax to pay. Changes …

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TIPS FOR A MAINECARE LONG-TERM CARE APPLICATION  

In Maine, the Medicaid benefit is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and is called MaineCare. MaineCare can help pay for long-term care services for individuals who are both medically and financially eligible for the benefits. The MaineCare rules regarding long-term care are complex, and they include: An asset limit for …

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Asset Preservation for Married Couples Using Last Wills and Testaments

When people become chronically ill or disabled, they may need long-term care (LTC) services. Given the very high cost of LTC services, many people will apply for MaineCare (Maine Medicaid). People are sometimes surprised to learn that the application of the MaineCare rules varies based on whether the applicant is married and what type of …

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It’s Just Stuff, After All

It is not surprising that only 42% of adults in the U.S. have a documented estate plan. It is easy to put estate planning off until tomorrow rather than confront the uncomfortable truth that we will some day die, and face the difficult decisions that are best made in advance of that day. One of …

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PLANNING AHEAD: ASSET PROTECTION TRUSTS

  How do I protect my house? My family camp? My life savings? Those are the most common questions I hear when meeting with a client to discuss planning for long-term care. Long-term care services can include a variety of supports in a facility or in the home. These services are extremely expensive. Seventy percent …

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Proposed Maine Law: An Act to Support Death with Dignity

The joint standing Committee on Health and Human Services heard public testimony on LD 347 and LD 1066 on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Representative Jennifer Parker introduced LD 1066 titled An Act to Promote Life with Dignity[i]. The Committee reported out as Ought Not to Pass on April 25. The same Committee is divided on …

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