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The Monday Morning Report
February 23, 2015

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Good Morning

This week, we will examine the legal challenge that Robin Williams' surviving widow has initiated regarding the dead actor's estate plan, and what it means to you.  Next we will discuss the 5 biggest myths about medicaid and long term care. Lastly, we will look at POD (Payable on Death) Accounts - and whether they should be a part of your estate plan.

Stay warm, and have a great week!

Even a Carefully Drafted Estate Plan Can't Prevent
All Family Fights

Susan Schneider Williams, the third wife and widow of entertainer Robin Williams, has filed an action in a California Probate Court asking that Court to take jurisdiction over her husband's estate, and to interpret various provisions of the trust agreement he left for each of his family members.  Williams left 3 adult children by 2 prior marriages.

Last fall, I and many other estate planning attorneys wrote extensively about how well Robin Williams prepared for his death by establishing these trusts. This dispute, while somewhat limited in nature, provides an additional new lesson: Sometime people are going to fight no matter what you do to avoid it.

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Five Medicaid Myths

Medicare gets a lot of news coverage, but its cousin Medicaid remains something of mystery to most people. The Medicaid program is the largest single source of funding for nursing home care in the U.S., but there are many myths about exactly who qualifies for it and what coverage it provides. Here are five common misperceptions, followed by the real story:

1. I don’t have to worry about Medicaid, because Medicare will cover all my nursing home expenses.

Actually, Medicare’s coverage for nursing homes is quite limited. Medicare covers only up to 100 days of skilled nursing care per illness. That means that after about three months, Medicare’s coverage runs out.

 

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Understanding Payable on Death Accounts

There are some relatively simple ways to get assets into the hands of your loved ones after you pass away. Though these methods can sound ideal on the surface, there are going to be drawbacks in most instances. With this in mind, we will look at POD accounts in this post.

Payable on Death

In this context, the acronym POD stands for payable on death. A payable on death account is an account that you can open at a brokerage or bank. When you establish the account, you name a beneficiary. After you die, the beneficiary would assume ownership of any assets that remain in the account.

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