Welcome to the October Issue of the
Texas Elder Law E-Letter

Our next free Estate Planning Essentials Workshop will be live on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until noon. Registration 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).


Michael B. Cohen spoke to the Dallas Bar Association (“DBA”) on “Thinking About Retirement?  What you and your clients need to consider.”  The event was held on October 4, 2023 was sponsored by the DBA’s Senior Law Committee and was co-sponsored by the DBA’s Probate, Trust and Estate Section.


The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be on Saturday, November 4, 2023.  Click here to join our Walk Team, Michael’s Marchers.  We are starting to see the progress with FDA approval of recent drugs.  We continue to march forward (one step at a time) toward a world without Alzheimer’s.  Help us or join us in the Walk to make a difference in the lives of so many. For more insights into Alzheimer’s, check out Michael's newest blog post on the promising new drug Donanemab for slowing memory decline.


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





When Are Rumors Of A Missing Person’s Death No Longer Greatly Exaggerated In Probate?


Texas law provides how to settle estates of those who are missing. There are many missing in Hawai'i as a result of the recent wildfires which raises the question what Texas would do.






Fiduciary Felon Fine? Who Said “Crime Doesn’t Pay”?


As of September 1, 2023, Texas law permits (although not mandatory) a court to approve a convicted felon to serve as an executor of an estate.  Prior to that date, the only way a felon could serve as an executor (the one who: (1) gathers up the assets of the deceased, (2) pays all debts, taxes, etc. of the deceased and (3) distributes in accordance with the terms of the will after the court confirms the validity of the will) is if his or her felony was expunged (had his or her civil rights restored) or if the felon received a pardon by the governor.




Transfer Of Home Exceptions Without Medicaid Transfer Penalty


Home, sweet home - the most valuable asset of many. However, if you need financial assistance for long-term care, you have to be careful when making a transfer. Long-term care Medicaid (which helps pay for skilled nursing care that many seek since Medicare has limited coverage and most do not have long-term care insurance) has a transfer of assets policy that penalizes an applicant for transferring assets for less than fair market value if the transfer occurred within 5 years an application for benefits was submitted.






8 Exceptions To Losing “Tara” Under Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Laws


Tara, the fictional plantation in “Gone with the Wind”, was more than Scarlett O’Hara’s plantation home. It was a symbol of family and continuity for Scarlett. The homestead is often the most important (in addition to being the most valuable) asset that a deceased person would like to leave to their family or heirs. However, if a Texan over age 55 receives benefits from various Medicaid programs (i.e., costs of care at home or in a nursing home and for drugs, etc.), then the state has a right to make a claim (not a lien) for reimbursement against the homestead (which is usually the most valuable, non-countable resource for eligibility to get public benefits) to the extent Medicaid benefits are advanced.




Donanemab – The Next New Drug Likely To Be Approved In Slowing Memory Decline


Earlier this year, Leqembi (a drug that slows memory decline for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease by targeting the amyloid protein, usually common with those inflicted with Alzheimer’s as it begins to form) was approved by both FDA and CMS (governmental assistance in helping pay for the drug).  However, many doctors are waiting for approval of Donanemab (which is anticipated at the end of year 2023 or the beginning of year 2024) since the results might be better – especially for those who have a build-up of amyloid resulting in plaque in the brain (although this is also for those with early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease). 




New Medicaid Transfer Penalty Divisor Announced


Effective September 1, 2023, the “transfer of assets divisor” in Texas for long-term care Medicaid has increased from $237.93 to $242.13 (which represents the average daily cost of long-term care in Texas). The increased figure applies to Medicaid applications in Texas submitted on or after September 1, 2023. When an individual needs long-term care (such as nursing home care) and applies for Medicaid to pay some of the costs of care, then the State examines certain eligibility requirements (i.e., resources, income, etc.) during its eligibility determination process.


Michael B Cohen's
Latest Podcasts

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