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

Our next free Estate Planning Essentials Workshop will be live on Thursday, September 23, 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 will be speaking to the Dallas Bar Association (“DBA”) on “Thinking About Retirement?  What you and your clients need to consider.”  The event on October 4, 2023 is sponsored by the DBA’s Senior Law Committee and is 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. 


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





Blind Trust? Was Michael Oher Or The Touhys Not Protected From The Blind Side?


The Oscar-nominated film “The Blind Side” will never be seen in the same light after the recent petition by Michael Oher to terminate the rights of Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy to act as the conservator for the 37-year-old former football star who played in the NFL after playing college football at Ole Miss.  His suit has demanded an accounting to see if the Touhys profited from his name, image and likeness or made additional profits from the well-known movie starring Sandra Bullock.  The feel-good story (about a poor teenager who had been in the Tennessee foster care system before taken into the home of a wealthy family) has turned ugly.






Did Aretha Franklin’s Last Wishes Get R-E-S-P-E-C-T After Will Fight?


Aretha Franklin died in 2018 leaving 2 handwritten wills resulting in an expensive legal battle between her children over which will would prevail.  In July 2023, a Michigan jury decided her most recent handwritten will (written by her in 2014) found in a spiral notebook under a couch cushion of Franklin’s home by her niece (after the Queen of Soul’s death) was valid.  None of her 4 children disagreed that both wills were in Franklin’s handwriting.  Similar to Michigan law, handwritten wills (also known as holographic wills) can be valid under Texas law if wholly in the handwriting of the deceased (unlike type written wills).






5 Options of where to Keep Your Will


Although Aretha Franklin’s last will and testament (found under the cushions of her couch) was recently determined to be valid, this is obviously not the best place to keep your last will since many things could have gone wrong for failing to keep it in a safe place. What if there was a fire? What if there was flooding or other natural disaster? What if a potential heir was disinherited obtained control of the will and destroyed it?




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.




IRS Revenue Ruling May Result In More Capital Gain Taxes For Beneficiaries Of Certain Irrevocable Trusts


Earlier this year, the IRS made a revenue ruling whereby assets transferred into an irrevocable trust without certain elements of retained control by the grantor (the one who established the trust) would fail to be entitled to a “step-up” in basis.  If an individual has highly appreciated assets (i.e., stocks, real estate, etc.) and retains elements of control until such person dies, there would be a recalculation of the basis to the value as of the date of death and capital gains taxes would only be on appreciation after the date of death.  However, if an individual (donor) merely gifts an appreciated asset to a donee, the donee would take the basis of the donor.  The donee would then be responsible for capital gains taxes on the sale of the asset based on the amount of appreciation.


Michael B Cohen's
Latest Podcasts

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