Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly

This handy how-to guide covers a broad spectrum of issues of special concern to the elderly and their families.

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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Counseling the Elderly  
1.01 Summary of This Chapter
1.02 Professional Guidance for the Elderly
1.03 Understanding the Client
1.04 Interviewing the Client
1.05 Building the Relationship
1.06 Ethical Considerations

Chapter 2 Financial Planning
2.01 Summary of This Chapter
2.02 Developing a Financial Plan
2.03 Social Security Benefits
2.04 Government Pensions
2.05 Private Pensions
2.06 Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
2.07 Annuities
2.08 Life Insurance
2.09 Investment Strategy
2.10 Health Care Benefits
2.11 The Personal Residence

Chapter 3 Social Security Benefits
3.01 Summary of This Chapter
3.02 General Information
3.03 Establishing Coverage by Social Security
3.04 Amount of Tax
3.05 Quarters of Coverage and Insured Status
3.06 Benefits Payable to Worker
3.07 Benefits Payable to Worker's Spouse and Former Spouse
3.08 Benefits Payable to Worker's Children
3.09 Benefits Payable to Worker's Parents
3.10 Lump-Sum Death Payment
3.11 Disability Benefits
3.12 Proving Disability
3.13 Payment and Termination of Disability Benefits
3.14 Increases in Benefits
3.15 Decreases in Benefits: Early Retirement
3.16 Decreases in Benefits: Excess Earnings
3.17 Decreases in Benefits: Family Maximum and Offsets
3.18 Loss of Benefits
3.19 Applications and the Payment Process
3.20 Payments
3.21 Taxation of Benefits
3.22 Overpayments
3.23 Underpayments
3.24 Administrative Review: Overview
3.25 Administrative Review: Initial Determinations
3.26 Administrative Review: Reconsideration
3.27 Administrative Review: The Hearing
3.28 Administrative Review: Appeals Council
3.29 Administrative Review: Reopening and Reversing Determinations and Decisions
3.30 Judicial Review
3.31 Representation and Attorney's Fees

Chapter 4 Veterans' Benefits
4.01 Summary of This Chapter
4.02 General Description
4.03 Cash Benefit Programs for Veterans
4.04 Cash Benefit Programs for Surviving Spouse and Dependents
4.05 Medical Benefits
4.06 Other Benefits
4.07 Overpayments and Creditor Claims
4.08 Claims and Appeals
4.09 Representation of Clients

Chapter 5 Private Pensions
5.01 Summary of This Chapter
5.02 The Pension in Retirement Planning
5.03 Credit for Years of Service
5.04 Vesting of Benefits
5.05 Accrual of Benefits
5.06 Contribution and Benefit Limitations
5.07 Payment of Benefits
5.08 Taxation of Contributions and Distributions
5.09 Rollover Distributions to IRAs
5.10 Employee Stock Ownership Plans
5.11 401(k) Plans
5.12 SIMPLE Plans
5.13 Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs)
5.14 Participant's Rights on Termination or Merger
5.15 Grievance Procedures

Chapter 6 Income Tax Savings
6.01 Summary of This Chapter
6.02 Who Must File?
6.03 Filing Status
6.04 Tax Rates and Exemptions
6.05 What Is Income?
6.06 Income: Life Insurance Proceeds
6.07 College Savings Options
6.08 Income: Compensation for Injury or Sickness
6.09 Income: Sale of a Personal Residence
6.10 Types of Deductions
6.11 Deductions: Medical Expenses
6.12 Deductions: Charitable Contributions
6.13 Deductions: Vacation Homes
6.14 Credit for the Elderly or Disabled
6.15 Credit for Dependent's Care

Chapter 7 [Reserved]

Chapter 8 Supplemental Security Income Program

8.01 Summary of This Chapter
8.02 A General Description of the Program
8.03 General Eligibility Requirements
8.04 Categorical Requirements
8.05 Residency and Citizenship Requirements
8.06 Ineligible Persons
8.07 Income Limits: In General
8.08 Income Limits: Earned Income
8.09 Income Limits: Unearned Income
8.10 Income Limits: In-Kind Support and Maintenance
8.11 Income Limits: Deemed Income
8.12 Resource Limits: In General
8.13 Resource Limits: Resources Defined
8.14 Resource Limits: Excluded Resources
8.15 Resource Limits: Disposal and Transfer of Resources
8.16 Amount of Benefits
8.17 The Application Process
8.18 The Payment Process
8.19 The Appeals Process
8.20 Representation and Attorney's Fees

Chapter 9 Medicare and Private Health Insurance
9.01 Summary of This Chapter
9.02 What Is Medicare?
9.03 Part A Hospital Insurance Benefits Eligibility: In General
9.04 Part A Eligibility: Persons Age 65
9.05 Part A Eligibility: Disability Beneficiaries
9.06 Part A Eligibility: End-Stage Renal Disease
9.07 Part A Eligibility: Federal Employees
9.08 Part A Eligibility: Voluntary Purchase of Coverage
9.09 Part A Benefits and Financing
9.10 Part A Benefits: Inpatient Hospital Services
9.11 Part A Benefits: Skilled Nursing Facility Services
9.12 Part A Benefits: Post-Institutional Home Health Services
9.13 Part A Benefits: Hospice Services
9.14 Part B: Eligibility, Enrollment, and Payments
9.15 Part B: Covered Benefits
9.16 Part C--Medicare+Choice
9.17 Preventative Care Benefits
9.18 Prescription Drug Coverage
9.19 Items and Services Excluded From Coverage
9.20 Claims and Payment Procedures
9.21 Claim Determinations and Appeals
9.22 Employer Health Insurance
9.23 Medigap Insurance
9.24 Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Chapter 10 Medicaid and Its Alternatives
10.01 Summary of This Chapter
10.02 What Is Medicaid?
10.03 Eligibility Requirements: In General
10.04 Citizenship and Residence Requirements
10.05 Covered Groups: All States
10.06 Covered Groups: State Option
10.07 Determining Financial Need: General Criteria
10.08 Paying for Benefits
10.09 Financial Responsibility of Other Parties for Medicaid Recipients Living in the Community
10.10 Financial Responsibility of Institutionalized Recipients for Their Own Care
10.11 Financial Responsibility of Spouses When One Is Institutionalized
10.12 Transfer of Assets
10.13 Trusts
10.14 Planning for Institutionalization
10.15 Benefits
10.16 Applying for Benefits
10.17 Appeals Process
10.18 Health Care for the Needy: Alternatives to Medicaid
10.19 Long-Term Care Insurance
10.20 Family and Medical Leave Act
10.21 Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Chapter 11 Elder Abuse
11.01 Summary of This Chapter
11.02 What is Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation?
11.03 The Victim and the Abuser
11.04 Signs of Elder Abuse
11.05 Considerations for the Attorney
11.06 Elder Abuse Statutes and Court Proceedings
11.07 Other Legal Remedies
11.08 Adult Protective Services
11.09 Social Services and Other Agencies

Chapter 12 Housing Concerns of the Elderly
12.01 Summary of This Chapter
12.02 Common Housing Problems of the Elderly
12.03 Property Tax Relief
12.04 Energy Assistance
12.05 Home Equity Conversion
12.06 Other Housing Alternatives
12.07 Accessory Housing
12.08 Discrimination Against the Elderly

Chapter 13 Planning for Incapacity: Property Management
13.01 Summary of This Chapter
13.02 Property Management During Incapacity
13.03 Durable Power of Attorney
13.04 Revocable Living Trust
13.05 Joint Ownership
13.06 New York Statutory Short Form "Springing" Power of Attorney: Form 1

Chapter 14 Health Care Decisions
14.01 Summary of This Chapter
14.02 The Need for Planning
14.03 Patient's Right to Make Treatment Decisions
14.04 Decision-Making for Incompetent Patients
14.05 Physician-Assisted Suicide
14.06 Planning Techniques: Advance Directives
14.07 Planning Techniques: Anatomical Gifts

Chapter 15 Nursing Homes
15.01 Summary of This Chapter
15.02 Nursing Home Services
15.03 Choosing a Nursing Home
15.04 Problems with Admissions Agreements
15.05 The Resident's Rights
15.06 Continuing Care Retirement Community Contracts

Chapter 16 Guardians and Conservators
16.01 Summary of This Chapter
16.02 Nature and Use of Guardianships
16.03 Establishing a Guardianship: Procedural Considerations
16.04 Establishing a Guardianship: Substantive Standards
16.05 Defending an Incapacity Petition
16.06 Selection, Powers and Accountability of the Guardian

Chapter 17 Estate Planning
17.01 Summary of This Chapter
17.02 The Need for Planning
17.03 Planning to Transfer Property at Death
17.04 Considerations in Making Gifts
17.05 Drafting the Will
17.06 Planning Funeral Arrangements
17.07 The Federal Estate Tax
17.08 State Death Taxes
17.09 The Federal Gift Tax
17.10 Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts
17.11 Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
17.12 Planning for a Single Person
17.13 Planning for a Married Couple
17.14 Making Gifts to Minors
17.15 Planning for Adult Disabled Child
17.16 Transferring Life Insurance Proceeds
17.17 Charitable Giving