Welcome to the November Issue of the

Texas Elder Law E-Letter


We want to thank those who joined or donated to our Walk Team, Michael’s Marchers, for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s (which was held on Saturday, November 5, 2022).


We are most grateful to KAAM (770 AM) radio, Don Crawford, Jr. and the Percy Fund for their extremely generous contribution to our walk team resulting in our exceeding our stated goal.


Our next free Estate Planning Essentials Workshop will again be live. Registration for our next live workshop (which will be Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until noon) can be made by calling us at (214) 720-0102 or signing up online at www.dallaselderlawyer.com.



Attendees often ask questions about estate planning, probate, Medicaid and Veterans benefits. We proceed to answer the questions over the course of the workshop (although there will be a presentation also).


Please note that Michael B. Cohen’s radio show on estate planning and elder law can be heard on KAAM (770 AM) on Mondays and Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Prior shows (topics are categorized) can be heard as podcasts on SoundCloud and as indicated on our website www.dallaselderlawyer.com. Our podcasts can also be heard on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Subscribe to be notified of future releases. 



Michael B Cohen's Latest Blogs



Legal Anatomy: Simple Wills Could Lead To Big Problems


Although simple wills are sometimes adequate, planning for the worst-case scenario is the general perspective of the estate planning attorney. You don’t have to be wealthy to need estate planning. The following are facts of a case and solutions from the perspective of the estate planning attorney.



Effect Of Divorce On Wills, Trusts, Beneficiary Designations And Other Estate Planning

It is not unusual for married couples to have a will or trust, joint accounts and/or beneficiary designations whereby the spouse is a beneficiary and/or is a fiduciary (i.e., executor, trustee, agent under power of attorney, etc.). However, if the couple divorces, the fiduciary relationship and beneficiary designation (if the spouse is the beneficiary) changes in most cases.




5 Reasons Why You Do Not Need To Divorce To Get Your Spouse On Medicaid


Since the cost of long-term care (i.e., nursing home care or care at home, etc.) is so great (average monthly cost is in excess of $7,000 per month) and since most have inadequate income, resources and/or long-term care insurance to pay for such care, many seek Medicaid which helps pay for some or all of the costs of care. However, Medicaid is “means-tested” (the government looks at the couples’ resources to determine eligibility prior to its assistance).





12 Exceptions To Long-term Care Medicaid’s Transfer Penalty Rules


Since long-term care Medicaid (which helps pay for skilled nursing care and medications) is “means-tested” (assets of the applicant are reviewed to determine if there is eligibility for the government to pay), there is a five year “look-back” period as there is a presumption resources were purposely reduced so that the government would have to pay. The average cost of care for skilled nursing care in Texas exceeds $7,000 per month. If an uncompensated transfer is made within that look-back period, the applicant is penalized by having to private pay until the transfer penalty expires. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and the following are exceptions to the long-term care Medicaid transfer penalty rules.


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