Real Estate Transfers – The IRS has ruled that the stepped-up basis offered to the heir or beneficiary upon the death of the original owner does not apply if the property was transferred prior to the owner’s death. This places the gift of the parent’s property to the children in a seriously negative category of estate or Medicaid planning, and can result in big disappointments later on. An elder law attorney can assist with this type of critical decision, so don’t go it alone! This type of transfer is often addressed in Ina Kay Zimmerman’s consulting with parents considering transfers of real estate to their children. It might be a very bad move!
Social Security Adds Additional Conditions to List for Accelerated Approval – The Social Security Administration has added new conditions to its Compassionate Allowances program. Currently (July 2014), there are 225 on the list. This program speeds up disability decisions to make sure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. The complete list of conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Medicare Premiums – Many Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas qualify for “Extra Help” and other cost savings programs, but a large number are not enrolled. An initiative has been launched by K4A, (Kansas Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) Associations), aimed at connecting seniors and people with disabilities with programs to provide substantial health care savings on premiums, deductibles, co-payments and prescription drug costs for those who qualify. Check out this valuable benefit on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/get-help-paying-costs.html.