Hi, my name is John T. Anderson. Welcome to my blog! I have been practicing law in California since 1975 and have been the Chairman of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Long Beach Bar Association since the mid-1980s. I'm also certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. On this blog, you will find articles written by me regarding estate planning and probate in California. Many of these articles address recent changes in the law and summaries of the Long Beach Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate Section meetings. I hope that you find these articles helpful. If you would like more information about me or my law office, please visit my website at or contact my office at 562.424.8619.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Michael “Mick” McGuire, Esq. -- Longterm Care Planning

Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Tidbits.
by John T. Anderson, Chairman
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust
and Probate Law by the State Bar of California,
Board of Legal Specialization


The Long Beach Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section will be having a Brown Bag Meeting from noon to 1 PM on  Thursday, April 22, 2010.  Our speaker will be the local guru on Tax Planning, D. Michael Trainotti, Esq.  He will be speaking on the Estate Tax Unified Credit–What Now?  and Capital Gains–Hang on to All Your Records (not the vinyl kind)!  Does Step-up or Carry-over Basis Apply?  We hope to see you on April 22nd.

Michael “Mick” McGuire, Esq. -- Longterm Care Planning

Local elderlaw attorney, Michael “Mick” McGuire, Esq. who specializes in longterm care planning, spoke to the Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach on February 18th concerning the status of longterm care planning.

Since Medicare was enacted in 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, people are living longer, more people are now in their 80's.  The two “M’s”: Mobility and Mentality apply.  Of people 65 or over, 70% will require long term care at an average cost of $82,000 per year; and if there is dementia it is even more.  For people 85 or over, 50% will have severe dementia.  The victim in these circumstances is the entire family coping with the disease.  There is a $1 trillion shortfall in U.S. pension plans.  The answer from the actuaries is that you must retire later.  You may need help–maybe just someone to remind you of your of appointments or to remind you to take your pills.  You can get help.  You can get many new body parts, but you can’t get brain/memory parts.

Geriatric Care Management is important because they can help the family determine the right place for the senior. 

Pay Source: Private Pay.  Then sell the house (then you don’t have a home to stay in) or get a reverse mortgage (and you can stay in the home).

Next Public Programs.  These programs are based on income.  Most are much bigger than they were ever intended to be.  After income determination, they look at resources/assets. 

Medi-Cal (California’s version of Medicaid)

In February of 2006 the President signed the DRA.  This year, California finally has to have it in effect or it will lose federal moneys.  Change is coming.  Citizenship is already required.  Increasing the healthy spouse’s assets to increase income will be out.  A reverse mortgage will help pay for long term care; but it is due and payable if and when you are outside of the house. 

The home used to be an exempt resource.  The new rule will limit that to a home with an assessed value of less than $750,000.

The “look-back” period is the BIG change.  Some annuities are still a possible way to plan.  As long as the annuity is written to pay out in equal payments of principal and income over your life expectancy.  Looking back for “gifts” can cause a disqualification/penalty period.  Current rules started the penalty period from the date of the gift.  The new rule will “look-back” 60 months AND the penalty period will start NOW when you apply for benefits and NOT back when the transfer was made.  There is a one year re-certification.

A “hook” in the regulations is that if you take steps on the advice of a 3rd party that causes your ineligibility, the person who gave that advice may be guilty of elder abuse (criminal).


“Aid and Attendance” through the V.A. may be available to a veteran who serves at least 1 day of war time on 90 days active duty to help with in home care, assisted living, board and care.  Rules are similar but different from Medi-Cal.

Top care, whether private pay or public pay, comes to one with an advocate-family or otherwise, who stays involved in the care.

                John T. Anderson, Section Chair
                Certified Specialist in Probate, Trust and Estate Planning
                By the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

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