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Death and Taxes

Elder Law attorneys frequently tell people that they need to create estate plans before they become senior citizens. Attorneys also encourage people to do their planning before they begin to expect to pass away in the near future.

There are several reasons for this.

The most commonly cited reason is that you never know what might happen. Anyone can have a fatal accident anytime, so it would be a good idea to have made plans.

However, there are other reasons why planning ahead is important.  This includes preparing for end-of-life expenses, as well as the rules surrounding eligibility for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care.

One reason not mentioned very often is taxation. It is important, as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog mentions in “Federal Estate and Gift Taxes Are a Mortality Risk.”

Both federal and state tax authorities are aware that if a person knows he or she will pass away soon, there is a strong incentive to rearrange financial affairs to get around estate taxes. People may be tempted to give their money away on their deathbeds, in order to shrink their estates below the estate tax exemption limit.

For that reason, tax codes include provisions that gifts made within specified time periods before a person passes away are still considered part of the estate. Other tax code provisions similarly anticipate things a dying person might be tempted to do to rearrange their finances.

Because of these issues, it is important to plan ahead for the estate tax.

Your plan needs to be in place before you ever think it will take effect.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Dec. 11, 2017) “Federal Estate and Gift Taxes Are a Mortality Risk.”

Hear From Our Clients
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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben