Every new Administration brings uncertainty and questions about how changes in government policies and programs will us and our most vulnerable citizens – the elderly and those with special needs. Michael Gilfix, a nationally known authority in the field of law, aging and estate planning, recently shared his insights and those of his Trump Policy Analysis Group (TPAG) in the digital publication, Wealth Management.
Here are some of their observations in regard to policies affecting seniors, veterans and the “medically needy” in Cincinnati and elsewhere:
- Social Security and Medicare: Trump has stated that he does not want to change Social Security and Medicare. However, he has not stated what, if anything, he will do to ensure that the programs remain solvent. Many of his Republican allies would like to reduce or privatize both programs.
- Medicaid: TPAG has examined some of the proposals which are designed to restrict protective planning – making it much more difficult for older Americans to protect their homes and other assets while qualifying for Medicaid, particularly in a Long Term Care setting. They recommend all seniors, and their families, stay up-to-date as more information becomes available.
- Tax Proposals: As a candidate Trump proposed many changes in the tax code, including to the estate tax and the capital gains tax. These changes could have a dramatic impact on estate planning and require that many current plans be revisited.
- Special Needs: No proposals have yet been made that would directly affect services for special needs children and adults. However, changes in the way federal Medicaid dollars are dispensed to the states could impact programs on a state-by-state basis.
- Veterans’ Benefits: While candidate Trump advocated supporting and even expanding services to veterans, there are currently proposals in Congress to restrict access to needed programs such as Aid and Attendance.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: Wealth Management (January 6, 2017) "How Trump Policies Could Affect the Elderly and Those With Special Needs"