Information about my law practice concentrating on advocacy for people with disabilities, seniors and their families. Get to know me not only as a lawyer, but my personal interests, passions and family activities.
International treaties sound like a good idea, especially when they
claim to protect vulnerable people. The problem is, America already does
more than any other country to ensure equal rights for its people—and
the United Nations just wants the power to interfere in American law.
The Senate is now considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD). President Obama signed this treaty in 2009,
but the Senate has yet to agree to it. It needs a two-thirds majority of
Senators to ratify it. In September, 36 Republican Senators signed a letter
stating that they would oppose any treaties that came up for a vote
during the lame-duck session of Congress. We will see now whether that
"Spiritual" estate planning — deciding how to passed down money based on
values — is becoming a hot topic for baby boomers who want to make sure
their values are passed along with their money, South Florida financial
"It's leaving money with a purpose," she said.
Some retirees who believe in frugality, may decide to leave money in a
trust to guarantee that free-spending kids — or their spouses — won't
squander it all, she said. Putting money in a trust for surviving relatives can protect it from any creditors or even an ex-spouse, attorney Feld added.
"It's more control beyond the grave," added Mari Adam, Boca Raton financial planner, who has seen more clients wanting to have a say how their kin spends their inheritance.
So I decided to come up with an estimate, rough as it is, for what it
would cost my spouse and me to have one child. I figure it would run
close to $2 million by the time it was all over. How did I come up with
The United States Department of Agriculture Department publishes an annual report
on what families spend on their children, so I used that as a basis for
some of my calculations and then tailored them to our own finances and
geography. In 2007, The Wall Street Journal tried to improve
upon the government figures, but some of the expenses they included
seem based on the budgets of the truly rich, like furniture from Pottery
Barn and bottled water delivery.
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin made the following statement after a new Joint Committee on Taxation report showed that eliminating all of the itemized deductions in the tax code – together with other policy changes – would
only generate enough savings to reduce marginal tax rates by 4 percent.
The report highlights how the Republican tax plan – which calls for
much deeper cuts in tax rates, to be offset by eliminating or reducing
tax expenditures – would end up either harming middle- and lower-income
families or blowing an even deeper hole in the deficit.
have engaged in all kinds of twists and turns to escape the basic fact
that their tax plan would give wealthy taxpayers an enormous tax break
and harm middle-income families. They can’t twist their way out of the
truth. This report from Congress’ official scorekeeper highlights what
has become increasingly clear: the Republican tax plan would either
raise taxes on middle class families or further explode the deficit.”
clients and their estate planning advisors are contemplating making
$5,120,000 taxable gifts (or twice that amount using the split gift
election) before year-end because the gift tax exemption may revert to
starting in 2013. Before making the maximum taxable gifts for the
remainder of the 2012 year, clients need to be made aware of the
possibility that maximizing their taxable gifts can cause a financial
hardship if the gifts are made to grantor trusts. Before making such
gifts, clients and their advisors need to take into account the
financial impact caused by the grantor having to pay the income taxes on
the grantor trust's taxable income and take precautionary steps if
those projections show that the income tax treatment will not leave the
grantor with sufficient assets for support in their later years.
This article is designed to show that for individuals with a life
expectancy of over 20 years, making the maximum taxable gifts may not be
the optimal strategy. In evaluating whether to take advantage of the
$5,120,000 gift tax exemption for the rest of the 2012 year, one needs
to take into account the ages of the clients, their living expenses and
the amount of their income-producing assets. The situation illustrated
below shows that for a couple ages 62 and 59 with $46,000,000 of
investment assets, they should not make the maximum $10,240,000 in
taxable gifts to a grantor trust.
A 4-year-old pupil with special needs was discovered on a
city-operated bus in the District on Tuesday afternoon, long after he
should have been dropped off at school, officials said.
The boy appeared to be in good health after spending more than
six hours on the bus, according to the Office of the State
Superintendent of Education, which is responsible for transporting
special-needs students in the District.
A spokesman for the office said in a statement that the agency was “troubled to learn” about the incident and is investigating.
The Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, which is celebrating its 40th
anniversary, is expanding its services to Wayne County, effective
MORC is a nonprofit, human services agency, which
currently provides services to more than 5,100 individuals with
developmental disabilities and mental illness in Oakland and Macomb
“We’re moving (service) into Wayne County because we
were asked to bring our services and advocacy that we’ve been known for
40 years,” said Jerry Provencal, executive director of MORC.
“Furthermore, we provide consultation and services to counties around
the state of Michigan and states throughout this country and 50
countries in the world.
“The reason we do this is that people
with disability labels are in need of services, advocacy and a variety
of supports regardless of where they live. Those needs cross all borders
and we do likewise.”
In Florida, a "qualifying special needs trust" can be included for an
ill spouse in the healthy spouse's Last Will. All funds transferred into
that trust will be excluded from consideration for Medicaid long-term
care benefits, thus providing the ill spouse with funds to purchase
supplemental items without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility should the
healthy spouse predecease the ill spouse.
 Interplay with Transfer of Asset Issues
There is no penalty for transferring assets into a special needs
payback trust for the purposes of achieving Medicaid
eligibility. However, transfer of asset penalties can apply when an
individual, his spouse, a court, or any person creating a trust at the
direction of an individual or his spouse transfers assets belonging to
the Medicaid applicant into trust for the purpose of gaining Medicaid
his re-election campaign, President Obama said that his administration
has pursued “fraud in Medicare and Medicaid very aggressively—more
aggressively than ever before.” America’s seniors deserve to know the
truth behind this misleading assertion.
The Obama administration
could be doing far more to protect seniors who rely on the Medicare and
Medicaid programs—and to protect taxpayers, whose dollars are wasted by
the billions. Behind the flashy press conferences and announcements, the
reality is that some administration antifraud efforts in these programs
are actually losing money, while others are producing few palpable