Annuities are investment vehicles that have been around for ages. Most people have at the very least a basic understanding of what annuities are. However, due to the detailed nature of Medicaid Compliant Annuities it can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially for the family members involved in the Medicaid planning process. To assist in breaking down the confusion some elder law attorneys have taken to writing blog posts on the matter. I've rounded up the top ten blog posts that I was able to find, all written by elder law attorneys in various localities.
10. FAQ: What does it mean for an annuity to be "Medicaid friendly?"
Written by attorney Jerrold Bartholomew of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in January of 2009, this blog post dissects the differences between Medicaid Compliant Annuities and regular annuities. It is written in a Michigan-specific sense in easy to understand terms. Most importantly, it stresses the importance of relying upon an elder law attorney prior to utilizing an annuity in Medicaid planning.
9. Immediate Annuities and Long-Term Care Planning
Written by attorney Donald Vanarelli of Westfield, New Jersey, in February of 2009, this blog post covers the basics of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005's impact on the use of annuities in Medicaid planning. It is written in a general sense instead of state-specific. Donald Vanarelli has an excellent blog, covering a range of topics relevant in an elder law setting. If you haven't already subscribed, I absolutely urge you to do so.
8. The Purchase of a Private Annuity by an SSI Beneficiary is a Permissible Spend-Down Technique
This is another post from Donald Vanarelli's blog, written in March of 2009. While it's not written on the use of Medicaid Compliant Annuities, but rather private annuities, it still provides a very good foundation of understanding their use in the Supplemental Security Income program.
7. Fitting Tax Planning and Immediate Annuities into Last-Minute Medicaid Planning
Written by attorney Brian Barreira of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in April of 2010, this blog post touches on the techniques of using a Medicaid (MassHealth) Compliant Annuity in individual and married couple planning scenarios. The blog post provided enough information for the reader to understand the benefit, yet not enough where the reader didn't need an attorney. To further prompt the reader, the attorney stressed the importance of securing the services of an elder law attorney prior to utilizing an annuity in Medicaid (MassHealth) planning.
6. New Case Supports Medicaid Annuity Planning
Written by attorney Lawrence Friedman of Bridgewater, New Jersey, in April of 2012, this blog post simply sums up a recent positive decision regarding the use of Medicaid Compliant Annuities. With so much uncertainty regarding planning in New Jersey, this is an excellent post to combat the "he said she said" and instead prompts clients to visit with elder law attorneys instead of attempting to forge the Medicaid planning maze themselves.
5. Annuity and Medicaid
Written by attorney Nancy Burner of Setauket, New York, in May of 2012, this blog post does a brief Q&A between a hypothetical client and the attorney. Coming from a different standpoint, this post discusses what to do with annuities that are currently owned, and assesses how Medicaid will treat them and what must be done with them in order to obtain Medicaid eligibility.
4. Medicaid and Annuities
Written by attorney Michael Keenan of Glastonbury, Connecticut, in May of 2012, this blog post only discusses the requirements of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and spells out what each requirements means. It is written in a general sense, in very easy to understand, basic terms.
3. Another Appeals Court Upholds Medicaid Annuity Protections
Written by attorney Jeffrey Marshall of various localities in Pennsylvania, in July of 2012, this blog post brings the reader through Medicaid Compliant Annuity history, and ends in a brief analysis of Morris v. Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
2. Banish Annuity Confusion in Five Minutes
Written by attorney Robert Mason of Asheboro, North Carolina, in August of 2012, this blog post is by far one of the best written. The attorney writes in terms that are very appealing to the average consumer, and even includes fun, hand-drawn pictures to captivate attention. While this blog post doesn't really touch on the use of annuities in Medicaid planning, it provides a very good basis of understanding of various types of general annuities. It is a must read for family members that do not quite understand annuities in general.
1. How Annuities Can Help with Medicaid
Another excellent blog post written by attorney Robert Mason, in august of 2012, and meant to be read after the one mentioned above. While this blog post is quite long, for a reader that is serious in learning the ins and outs of Medicaid Compliant Annuities, and is not an elder law attorney or annuity expert, this makes for an excellent resource. The attorney takes the time to discuss tax-qualified annuities, non-qualified annuities, using annuities in single person planning, and using annuities in married couple planning. Of the utmost importance, this blog post also highly stresses relying on the counsel of a qualified elder law attorney in the Medicaid planning process, and informs the reader of how hard it can be to obtain the appropriate type of annuity for Medicaid planning.
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Dale M. Krause, J.D., LL.M., has provided Medicaid Compliant Annuities to elder law attorneys, and their clients, throughout the United States. As a result of his practice, Mr. Krause has been labeled "The Pioneer of Medicaid Compliant Annuities."
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