Use of Irrevocable Trusts in Long-Term Care Planning: History and New Developments
Estate planning attorneys who practice elder law have been using irrevocable trusts to protect the assets of clients who wish to apply for Medicaid/MassHealth benefits for nursing home level care. These trusts have come under challenge from MassHealth in recent years, but Supreme Judicial Court cases, Mary E. Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (2017) and Lionel C. Nadeau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (2017) have shown that these irrevocable trusts can still be a viable tool in long-term care planning. The speakers will discuss the issues addressed in the cases and questions that remain unresolved, such as, certain tax provisions in these trusts that allow the trust to qualify for grantor trust status for income tax purposes
Our speakers are Karen Johnson, incoming president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and Lisa Neely, who represented the plaintiff in the Nadeau decision. The moderator will be Patricia Keane Martin, an elder law and fiduciary litigation attorney.
Lisa M. Neeley, Esq., is of counsel with the law firm of Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie and Lougee, LLP, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she is a member of the Trusts and Estates practice group. Over the past several years, Lisa has been involved in a number of Medicaid trust litigation matters including Heyn v. Director of the Office of Medicaid and Nadeau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid. Lisa concentrates her practice in assisting clients obtain Medicaid eligibility for both long-term and community-based care, including the planning and preparation of Medicaid applications and appeals, special needs and disability planning, and general estate planning. She is a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAELA. Lisa earned her BA degree, cum laude, from Assumption College and her law degree, cum laude, from New England School of Law.
Karen Johnson is a shareholder of Madge & Johnson, P.C., with its office in Westford, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and holds an LLM degree in taxation from Boston University School of Law. She is designated a “Super Lawyer” in the field of Estate Planning by Boston Magazine. In addition to traditional estate planning services, including strategies for high net worth families, Ms. Johnson assists elderly and disabled individuals and their families with applying and qualifying for governmental assistance programs offered by the Veteran’s Administration and Medicaid. Ms. Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is the President Elect of the Massachusetts Chapter. When not practicing law, Ms. Johnson has the honor of teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the Post-Doctorate (LLM) program, Elder Law and Estate Planning, offered by Western New England School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Patricia Keane Martin is a Partner at Pabian & Russell, LLC, concentrating in a broad range of estate matters including elder law, special needs and disability planning, trust planning, and general estate planning. In addition to estate and elder law matters, Patricia concentrates on all aspects of probate litigation involving will contests, estate administration disputes, trust and fiduciary, and contested guardianships and conservatorships.
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