Make Sure Your Life Insurance Is Not Taxed at Your Death

Make Sure Your Life Insurance Is Not Taxed at Your Death

[via Elder Law Answers] Although your life insurance policy may pass to your heirs income tax-free, it can affect your estate tax. If you are the owner of the insurance policy, it will become a part of your taxable estate when you die. You should make sure your life insurance policy won’t have an impact on your estate’s tax liability.

If your spouse is the beneficiary of your policy, then there is nothing to worry about. Spouses can transfer assets to each other tax-free. But if the beneficiary is anyone else (including your children), the policy will be a part of your estate for tax purposes. For example, suppose you buy a $1 million life insurance policy and name your son as the beneficiary. When you die, the life insurance policy will be included in your taxable estate. If the total amount of your taxable estate exceeds the then-current state or federal estate tax exemption, then your policy will be taxed.

In order to avoid having your life insurance policy taxed, you can either transfer the policy to someone else or put the policy into a trust. Once you transfer a policy to a trust or to someone else, you will no longer own the policy, which means you won’t be able to change the beneficiary or exert control over it. In addition, the transfer may be subject to gift tax if the cash value of your policy (the amount you would get for your policy if you cashed it in) is more than $14,000 (in 2014, this figure rises every few years with inflation). If you decide to transfer a life insurance policy, do it right away. If you die within three years of transferring the policy, the policy will still be included in your estate.

If you transfer a life insurance policy to a person, you need to make sure it is someone you trust not to cash in the policy. For example, if your spouse owns the policy and you get divorced, there will be no way for you to get it back. A better option may be to transfer the policy to a life insurance trust. In that case, the trust owns the policy and is the beneficiary. You can then dictate who the beneficiary of the trust will be. For a life insurance trust to exclude your policy from estate taxes, it must be irrevocable and you cannot act as trustee.

 

Can you sue a hospital if you develop bedsores?

Bedsores are often a sign of neglect and can be the result of hospital malpractice, nurse malpractice or nursing home negligence. It is simply not acceptable that they should happen while a person is at a facility in the care of professionals. Sadly, bedsores are the underlying cause of death for several thousand Americans each year. They are not the fault of the patient. The patient is a victim. A bedsore lawsuit is a way to seek justice for the pain and suffering and also a get a financial award for the victim or family of a deceased victim.

Image

Click for online Bedsore Lawsuit Evaluation.

Bedsores can develop quickly, progress rapidly and are often difficult to heal. Caring for them can cost into the tens of thousand of dollars. Often, due to the lower staffing in nursing homes, patients are forced to wait longer for care, such as simply being turned in a bed, or the changing of soiled linens and clothes. One example of how they can happen is if a patient cannot change themselves then they are forced to sit or lay in their own urine until a caregiver arrives. While the patient waits, their skin is being weakened by the moisture making them susceptible to bedsores. Health experts agree that bedsores do not have to occur. Preventive measures from a nursing home, hospital or health care provider are your legal right. It is the duty of a nursing home or hospital to follow proper procedures to prevent them.

Click here for information on treatment.

Click here for BedsoreHotline.com…Your hotline to legal information, treatment information, and to see if you have a lawsuit. Learn the importance of a dedicated bedsore legal team.

If you want further information on this subject, feel free to email or call me. bedsores@RaphanLaw.com. All conversations are confidential.

Regards,

Brian

212-268-8200

Judge: Casey Kasem’s daughter in charge of care

The Associated Press

Image

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state judge on Friday said Casey Kasem’s daughter, not her stepmother, is in charge of the medical care for the 82-year-old radio personality, who remains in critical condition with an infected bedsore.

However, all members of Kasem’s family can visit him at the hospital — just not at the me time, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Forbes ruled.

Kasem has been receiving intravenous antibiotics and other care at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington, for a serious pressure ulcer he had when he was admitted on Sunday, according to a hospital statement.

Hospital spokesman Scott Thompson said Friday he would make no comment beyond the statement that was issued Thursday.

“Right now, Casey Kasem’s health is declining and (he) won’t be with us much longer,” daughter Kerri Kasem’s spokesman, Danny Deraney, said in a statement.

“I want to be there for my dad,” Kerri Kasem said outside court Friday, KOMO-TV reported. “All of us. So if he does happen to open his eyes and look up, his entire family is there.”

The former radio show host is suffering from a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease, according to court records.

His daughter said she is considering putting her father in hospice care at St. Anthony, the Kitsap Sun reported.

Kasem gained fame with his radio music countdown shows, “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40.” He also was the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon “Scooby Doo.”

Wife Jean Kasem has been in control of her husband’s medical care and has controlled access to him as his children from an earlier marriage contested who should make those decisions. The couple have been staying for about a month at the home of friends in Kitsap County, west of Seattle.

On May 20, while Kasem and his wife were in Washington state, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy expanded Kerri Kasem’s power to determine her father’s medical care and ordered Jean Kasem to allow her stepdaughter to see him. Murphy also temporarily suspended Jean Kasem’s control over her husband’s medical care.

Forbes held Friday that the California court order prevails, with Kerri Kasem working in consultation with doctors, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The judge ordered separate visitation times because of the animosity between Jean Kasem and her husband’s children. Should the two sides meet, they must not speak to each other, she said.

The judge also found Jean Kasem in contempt of court for failing to allow Kerri Kasem to see her father the day the California court order was issued. However, the judge did not impose any sanctions.

“I don’t want to rub salt in the wound,” she said. “Mrs. Kasem is dealing with some of the worst times of her life. I feel for her.”

As Casey Kasem was removed by his daughter last weekend from the home where he has been staying, Jean Kasem tossed a package of ground meat at her stepdaughter.

“If you need to know why I did it — when a person is about to pass away, there are always rabid dogs,” Jean Kasem told reporters in response to a question after a court session Monday.

Can You Appeal If Medicare Refuses to Cover Care You Received?

Absolutely.  Sometimes Medicare will decide that a particular treatment or service is not covered and will deny a beneficiary’s claim. Many of these decisions are highly subjective and involve determining, for example, what is “medically and reasonably necessary” or what constitutes “custodial care.” If a beneficiary disagrees with a decision, there are reconsideration and appeals procedures within the Medicare program.

medicare denialWhile the federal government makes the rules about Medicare, the day-to-day administration and operation of the Medicare program are handled by private insurance companies that have contracted with the government. In the case of Medicare Part A, these insurers are called “intermediaries,” and in the case of Medicare Part B they are referred to as “carriers.” In addition, the government contracts with committees of physicians — quality improvement organizations (QIOs) — to decide the appropriateness of care received by most Medicare beneficiaries who are inpatients in hospitals.

If an intermediary, carrier or QIO decides Medicare shouldn’t pay for care you received, you will learn this when you receive your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN). The Medicare Rights Center recommends first making sure that the coverage denial isn’t simply the result of a coding mistake.  You can ask your doctor to confirm that the correct medical code as used.  If the denial is not the result of a coding error, you can appeal the denial using Medicare’s review process. Click here for details on this process.

Once Medicare’s review process has been exhausted, the matter can be taken to court if the amount of money in dispute exceeds either $1,000 or $2,000, depending on the type of claim. Medicare beneficiaries can represent themselves during these appeal proceedings, or they can be represented by a personal representative or an attorney. The Medicare Rights Center estimates that only about 2 percent of Medicare beneficiaries appeal denials of care, but 80 percent of those who appeal Part A denials and 92 percent who appeal Part B denials win more care.

 

Even if Medicare ultimately rejects a disputed claim, a beneficiary may not necessarily have to pay for the care he or she received. If a recipient did not know or could not have been expected to know that Medicare coverage would be denied for certain services, the recipient is granted a “waiver of liability” and the health care provider is the one who suffers the economic loss. In cases where this limited waiver of liability does not apply, however, the beneficiary is liable for any costs of care that Medicare does not cover. For example, a patient is financially responsible for any services normally provided under Medicare Part B if provided by a nonparticipating provider who did not “accept assignment” of the claim.

For more information email me at info@RaphanLaw.com or visit http://RaphanLaw.com. Or stay on top of these issues by subscribing to my free email Newsletters. Sample here… 

Regards, Brian

%d bloggers like this: