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Orange City Estate Planning Blog

Your Estate Plan Needs to Be Customized

Estate planning documents often are treated like the photocopied permission slip for a child’s field trip. You fill in your name, include the children’s names and dates of birth and sign. The document is filed away to be used if needed, but you really never expect it to be used.

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Trust Me. I’m a Lawyer.

Lawyers are among the most reviled service professionals in American culture. We’re so disliked that even lawyers don’t have a lot of friends who are

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Watch Your Language: Lookback Period

If you’ve heard anything about Medicaid, you’ve probably heard about the lookback period. In Iowa, the lookback period is the period of time starting with the day you apply for Medicaid and extending back through time for sixty months. We break that definition down after the jump. [Read More]

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Devils, Details, and Deadlines: Calculating the Penalty Period

If you can’t prove you didn’t make a transfer to get on Medicaid, that transfer becomes a disallowed transfer. And that’s bad because a disallowed transfer means a penalty period will be imposed, delaying the time you are allowed to receive Medicaid coverage for the nursing home. The real question becomes: how do you calculate the penalty period? [Read More]

The length of the penalty period depends on the value of the assets transferred.

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Watch Your Language: Transfer

Seems obvious, right? In daily life, a transfer happens when property changes hands. You can transfer money between bank accounts or transfer germs between school children. In grilling and smoking, “transfer” means removing food from the grill or smoker. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in the Medicaid world. [Read More]

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You Need a Medicaid Guidebook – and an Expert Guide, too

Iowa Medicaid – sometimes called Title XIX (Title 19) – is a mashup of federal statutes and regulations, state-specific rule tweaks, and both formal and informal agency policies. The system itself is intricate enough, but then the individual case workers who process Medicaid applications don’t always apply the rules in the same way. It’s virtually impossible to navigate the maze without a guide. [Read More]

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Long-Term Care Planning with Joe Friday and Columbo

One thing you could always count on from Joe Friday was direct questions meant to collect the information he needed to solve his case. Columbo was famous for collecting every detail needed to close his cases. And, like Joe Friday, Columbo followed the facts to their logical conclusion. An elder law expert will follow much the same approach, collecting detail upon detail through one or more interviews with you and your family then using those details to analyze and apply the multitude of tools available. [Read More]

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Why An 18-Year Old Needs a Power of Attorney

The law says that your kids magically become adults the day they turn 18. Regardless of their ability to wash a load of laundry or prepare a meal for themselves, our society has decided that their 18th birthday is your kids’ moment of emancipation from the totalitarian regime that is – according to your kid, anyway – your parenting. They’re not done with high school yet, but they’re certainly capable of reading and understanding a residential lease or property disclosure statement. Right? [Read More]

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Estate Planning Includes Creating Your Legacy

One of the most overlooked aspects of estate planning is the opportunity to create your legacy. Believe it or not, creating a legacy isn’t all about having Northwest Iowa libraries and hospitals named after you. Instead, there are some more cost-efficient, yet great ways that you can help your family remember your values and beliefs. [Read More]

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