In 2016, the Ninth District Court of Appeals decided that a person under legal guardianship can execute a valid will, ruling on Ohio will changing mental capacity. Even more notable are the reasons: he suffered from schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, had a low IQ and was a frequent drug user. Using traditional analysis, the court determined that he had the capacity to execute a will.
The Ohio Medicaid Waiver Program funds the services necessary to allow the individual to stay in his or her own home. These programs “waive” Medicaid regulations so individuals can use community-based programs that cost far less than nursing homes and other institutional residential settings. This program addresses the high cost of nursing home care and people's desire to stay in their own homes.
Medicaid planning in Ohio can include annuities. An annuity can be an effective Medicaid planning and estate planning device, if done properly. This article will focus on annuities as a Medicaid planning device.
An annuity is a product sold by insurance companies, which pays you back in payments over a set number of years. I discussed annuities in more detail in a previous article.
Estate planning in Ohio can include annuities. An annuity can be an effective estate planning and Medicaid planning device, if done properly. This article will focus on annuities as an estate planning device.
An annuity is an insurance product, which does one of the following: pays you back in payments over time; pays you back when you decide to draw the money out; or pays named beneficiaries when you die. An immediate annuity pays fixed payments over a certain number of years or over your lifetime. A deferred annuity earns interest and dividends until you decide to withdraw the money. Annuities are different than bank accounts, as they are not insured by the FDIC. Some of the money is guaranteed by the Ohio Guaranteed Insurance Fund. While the amount of gain is taxed, the original investment is not.
Many seniors will be faced with the need for long-term care. The costs of long-term care can be devastating to the spouse living at home, depleting the savings accumulated over a lifetime in just a few years. Medicare only fully covers 20 days of skilled nursing care after a three day stay in a hospital. After the first 20 days, Medicare pays only a small part of the skilled nursing bill for another 80 days. Medicare pays for hospice services such as counseling and pain management medications, but not for hospice room and board. As you can see, Medicare benefits run out quickly, resulting in a shift to Medicaid. However, Medicaid limits how much one can keep and still qualify for benefits. Because Medicaid is a program to provide health care to the poor, one must be poor to qualify.
Should you use online legal document services? In 2014, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a will drafted with online legal document company E-Z Legal Form did not say who should get property not specifically listed in the will. Instead, the will only specifically left everything to a sister, then a brother. The Court also ruled that a handwritten note written and signed by the decedent was unenforceable under Florida law. Therefore, all property owned by the decedent passed to the decedent’s nieces, although neither of them were named in the will. While the will and handwritten note appeared to favor leaving everything to her brother in this particular situation, the Court was forced to resort to the Florida intestate statute to determine who was to receive all property not listed in her will. One of the justices commented that this case of using pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” See the opinion and a related article:
A will is a document that sets forth how a person's probate property will be distributed upon death. To be valid, a will must meet the following requirements: the person making the will must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind; with some limited exceptions, the will must be written and signed; and the will must be witnessed by at least two persons.
A health care power of attorney gives another person the power to make health care decisions if the person cannot make them for himself or herself, regardless of whether or not the condition is terminal. The power of attorney is bound by that person’s wishes, which includes the instructions within a living will.
In the event that a person becomes terminally ill or permanently unconscious, a living will is a road map of that person’s wishes as to the use of life-support, the course of medical treatment, and the use of artificial fluids and feeding. Living wills are only used when the person is unable to communicate their wishes. While the person making the living will can revoke or change it at any time, it cannot be revoked or changed by anyone else.