News & Resources: Blog: Estate Planning

News & Resources: Estate Planning

Estate Planning

What-is-a-Will-Scott-Bloom-Law

WHAT IS A WILL?

• A will is an estate planning tool–a legal document–which is used to manage the disposition of assets after the person who created the will (the testator) passes away. In addition, a will can be used to name guardians for minor children. • A living will documents your wishes for medical care in case you […]

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Establish Your Trust with Scott Bloom Law

Establishing Your Trust: Step-by-Step

Your to-do list to establish your trust may sound like a lot of work. Steps don’t need to be rushed, be sure to cover all of the bases. ASSETS. MAKE A LIST. Think of this as an inventory of all of your “worldly goods;” these are things you want to pass on to others. You’ll […]

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Establish Your Trust with Scott Bloom Law

What is a Trust vs a Will?

WHAT IS A TRUST vs A WILL? Both trusts and wills are used in estate planning. Both are used to name your beneficiaries and which beneficiaries will receive your assets after you are gone. The paths your beneficiaries will take with a trust and a will are, however, quite different. A LIVING TRUST IS ABOUT […]

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Establish Your Trust with Scott Bloom Law

What Are The Different Kinds Of Trusts?

TESTAMENTARY TRUST A testamentary trust is part of a will. This type of trust will be established after the grantor’s passing and during the will’s probate phase. For example: An older couple, Michael and Stephanie, have adult children and grandchildren. Michael and Stephanie want to help their grandchildren, great-grandchildren (and more, if possible) with their […]

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Establish Your Trust with Scott Bloom Law

What Is A Trust?

WHAT IS A TRUST? A trust: is an estate planning tool–a legal document–which is commonly used to manage the disposition of assets after the person who created the trust (the grantor) passes away. In addition, a trust can be used to distribute assets while the grantor is alive. It all depends on the purpose of […]

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Scott Bloom Law Trustee Blog

What is a Trustee vs an Executor?

A TRUSTEE IS APPOINTED IN A TRUST. A trustee performs an oversight role for the assets in your trust. If the trust is a living trust, then the trustee’s role may be quite similar to an executor, except a living trust is not subject to the oversight of a probate court. In this case the […]

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Scott Bloom Law Trustee Blog

Choosing a Trustee

CHOOSING A TRUSTEE Since the role of a trustee carries significant financial and administrative responsibilities careful thought should be put into choosing who will perform that role for you. THESE ARE SOME OF THE SKILLS AND TRAITS TO LOOK FOR IN A TRUSTEE: Intelligence. Your trustee needs to be able to handle a variety tasks–financial, […]

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Scott Bloom Law Trustee Blog

What Does a Trustee Do?

WHAT DOES A TRUSTEE DO? A trustee is responsible for many tasks in administering a trust including personal involvement, managing money, record keeping and, in some cases, healthcare decisions. A trustee becomes familiar with and understands the terms of the trust. A TRUSTEE HAS PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT A trustee is personally involved with the actions related […]

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Scott Bloom Law Trustee Blog

What is a Trustee?

WHAT IS A TRUSTEE? A trustee is legally designated to administer and manage a trust. A TRUSTEE IS APPOINTED BY A GRANTOR A trustee is appointed by the person(s) creating the trust, called the grantor(s). Co-trustees may also be appointed, so there may be multiple persons, with equal legal responsibility, managing a trust. A trustee […]

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Scott Bloom Law Estate Planning Diagram

Basic Estate Planning

 Spring is (almost) here!

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CLIENT Testimonial

It can be quite confusing to determine which Medicare plan is best for you. There are several types of plans, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding some basic features will help you decide how to maximize your healthcare dollars and choices. You should review your choice periodically, especially as elements of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 change prescription medication and vaccine policies. Coverage can also change from year to year..

There are three basic types of plans:

  1. Original Medicare
  2. Medicare Advantage
  3. Medigap

Original Medicare

Medicare is a government health insurance plan for people 65 and older. Original Medicare, sometimes called traditional Medicare, comes in several parts. Each part covers different things and has various associated costs. 

Most people do not pay for Part A as it was deducted from their taxes paid while working. It is primarily for hospital visits and nursing care. However, there are many fees associated with being in a hospital that Medicare does not cover, which you still might have to pay out of pocket.

Part B requires monthly premiums, which can be deducted from your social security. You can elect to enroll in part B through Original Medicare. It covers a portion of doctors' visits, durable medical goods, and more. 

Part D covers the cost of many prescription medications. You can add it to Original Medicare or purchase it as part of a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is offered through private insurance companies that Medicare approves. Most plans include Parts A, B, and D of Original Medicare with some variations from the original. There are a wide variety of Medicare Advantage plans, including Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). PPOs tend to have higher premiums and offer more choices than HMOs. Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs often have higher premiums than traditional Medicare because they usually cover more expenses, including prescription drug costs, vision, hearing, and dental.

However, the overall costs, premiums, plus out-of-pocket expenses for Advantage plans can be lower than Original Medicare because the private insurers manage patient care and limit choices. They assemble networks of hospitals and physicians to control their costs and reduce their customer's premiums. They also restrict access to certain providers and increase the cost of care obtained out-of-network.

Traditional Medicare allows people to seek care from any provider participating in Medicare, which includes virtually all hospitals and physicians.

Medigap

Medigap is a co-insurance or supplement to Original Medicare. You can enroll when you first enroll in Part B. It is also available through Medicaid, a union, or a former employer when you qualify for both programs. You can’t have both Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Medigap helps cover expenses that Original Medicare does not cover, such as co-pays and deductibles. Due to the enrollment restrictions, you should strongly consider Medigap when you first become eligible.

The Right Choice for You

With all the different plans, parts, choices, and restrictions, it is crucial to consider your priorities for care. Limited access to doctors and hospitals may become important if you need specialized medical care, such as cancer treatment. Before enrolling, consider what specialty hospitals are included in Advantage plans. Likewise, Advantage plans can make it difficult to see a specialist for ongoing and chronic conditions due to limitations in long-term care services. An estate planning lawyer or elder law attorney can help address long-term care planning and the potential to qualify for Medicaid when necessary.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a cost analysis to help you determine when Medicare Advantage would save you money. As you can see, the longer you stay in the hospital, the less advantageous an Advantage plan becomes.

Consumer Reports notes that the JAMA reported that seniors on Advantage plans often get more preventive care than those on traditional Medicare plans. JAMA published a comprehensive paper about how Medicare plan choice affects spending and discovered that Medicare Advantage enrollees usually spend less.

Consumer Reports notes that the JAMA reported that seniors on Advantage plans often get more preventive care than those on traditional Medicare plans. JAMA published a comprehensive paper about how Medicare plan choice affects spending and discovered that Medicare Advantage enrollees usually spend less.

A Guide in Choices after 65

Enrolling in the right Medicare coverage is one of many decisions that will affect your quality of life in your senior years. We are here to help you navigate a wide variety of choices.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 215-364-1111 to schedule a consultation.

- Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Traditional Medicare