Estate Planning and Elder Law Seminar To Discuss Wills, Trusts & Elder Law Featuring PK Law Attorneys Kimberly Battaglia and Cheryl Jones

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PK Law attorneys Kimberly L. Battaglia and Cheryl A. Jones host monthly estate planning and elder law seminars in the PK Law Seminar Room located at 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. Both are members of the firm’s Wealth Preservation Group and have years of experience helping families and individuals with their estate planning and elder law needs.  There is no fee for the seminar. Simply reserve a spot at least one week in
advance. The seminars are held on the third Thursday of each month, begin at
10:00 a.m. and last approximately one hour. Your questions will be answered
and informational materials will be given out.

Estate Planning Attorney Cheryl A. Jones will discuss:

  • Trusts vs. Wills
  • Who Needs a Will?
  • Estate Tax Issues
  • Estate Planning Questions 

Elder Law Attorney Kimberly L. Battaglia will discuss:

  • Protecting Your Assets From The Nursing Home
  • Creative Estate Planning Strategies
  • Tax Law Changes
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Probate Avoidance

To make a reservation contact:

Rhonda King at rking@pklaw.com or 410.938.8800
at least one week in advance of the next scheduled seminar. To learn more
about PK Law’s Estate Planning and Elder Law Services visit our website at pklaw.com.

Elder Law Seminar Featuring PK Law Attorneys Kevin Bress and Kim Battaglia

May 1, 2014

We know you have questions.
We want to help you find answers.

The law firm of Pessin, Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) presents monthly seminars in
their Towson office seminar room located at 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. The seminars are designed to help families understand the legal issues
involved with long term care in nursing homes. The seminars are conducted by
Kevin F. Bress and Kimberly L. Battaglia, PK Law elder law attorneys with
years of experience helping people with these issues.
There is no fee for this seminar. Simply reserve a spot at least one week in
advance. The seminars are held on the first Thursday of each month, begin at
10:00 a.m. and last approximately one hour. Your questions will be answered
and informational materials will be given out.

You will learn how to:

  • Protect assets from being spent down at a nursing home.
  • Strategically transfer assets during the 5-year look back.
  • Protect virtually all assets for your spouse.
  • Qualify for Medicaid on your first attempt.
  • Insulate your house and property from Medicaid spend own.
  • Retain funds even after a loved one enters a nursing home.

Get your questions answered:

Feel free to bring copies of any of the following documents with you.
The attorney will review them and answer any of your questions.

  • Power of Attorney
  • Deed to Real Estate
  • List of Assets

To make a reservation contact:

Rhonda King at rking@pklaw.com or 410.938.8800
at least one week in advance of the next scheduled seminar. To learn more
about our Elder Law Services visit our website at pklaw.com.

A Hidden Trap in Obamacare

Beginning this year, there is a “gotcha” which middle income individuals who might be able to qualify for the Affordable Care Act’s (“Obamacare”) “premium assistance credit” (“PAC”).  There are many instances in the Internal Revenue Code in which certain “tax breaks” are phased out rather than disappear entirely with the first dollar over a given threshold amount.  For those close to qualifying for the PAC there is a dramatic surprise waiting in the wings.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152)—collectively, the Affordable Care Act—provide the Code Sec. 36B credit that is designed to make health insurance affordable to individuals with modest incomes (i.e., between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, or FPL) who are not eligible for other qualifying coverage, such as Medicare, or “affordable” employer-sponsored health insurance plans that provide “minimum value.” (Code Sec. 36B(b)(3)(A)(i)) The credit applies for tax years that end after Dec. 31, 2013. (Reg. § 1.36B-1(o)) For purposes of the 2014 credit, the FPL to be used is the 2013 FPL. (See IRS’s “Questions and Answers on the Premium Tax Credit” (Feb. 3, 2014). )

For example, for persons whose income is between 300% and 400% of FPL, the credit is equal to the excess of the premium over 9.5% of household income. (Code Sec. 36B(b)(3)(A)(i)).  However, a taxpayer whose income is 401% of FPL gets no credit.

As an example, a single individual has 2014 household income of $45,960. This is exactly 400% of the FPL for 2013, and the credit will equal any insurance premium over 9.5% of their income. Say the yearly insurance premium for a single person age 55 is $6,828 (this is an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office). The person pays a premium amount equal to 9.5% of his household income. This 9.5% is equal to $4,366. The government then pays the rest of the premium via the tax credit. In this case, the subsidy is $2,462 ($6,828 – $4,366 = $2,462). However, if the person’s income is $45,961, or $1 over the 400% point, the government pays $0, the person pays all $6,828. The $1 cost him $2,462.

This “trap” for the unwary only affects those who buy their own health insurance on an exchange and are not eligible for other qualifying insurance.  If you fit that description your next step is to evaluate how close you may be to the 400% of FPL amount.  Consider that 400% of FPL, for purposes of the 2014 credit, is $45,960 for one individual; $62,040 for a family of two, and $94,200 for a family of four.

In order to attempt to avoid the PAC “trap”, individuals who might otherwise qualify for the PAC but may not be able to, should consider accelerating deductions into 2014 and/or deferring income into 2015.  PK Law Tax Attorneys can help with tax planning to avoid the unsavory outcome of having $1 over the threshold amount cost thousands of dollars in foregone PAC. 

 

This information is provided for general information only.  None of the information provided herein should be construed as providing legal advice or a separate attorney client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney of your choice about your particular situation. While PK Law has taken reasonable efforts to insure the accuracy of this material, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed and PK Law makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.

EEOC Wins Pay Bias Settlement in Hospitality Industry

Extended Stay Hotels has agreed to pay $75,800 in a recent settlement of a pay bias lawsuit in which a female worker was paid less than male employees.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) suit, Extended Stay Hotels paid Latoya Weaver less than male guest services representatives, including some newly hired male guest services representatives, at the hotel’s Lexington Park, Maryland, location.  The EEOC further charged that Extended Stay Hotels unlawfully paid other female employees lower wages than those paid to male employees for performing equal work.

The conduct alleged above violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. HVM L.L.C., D/B/A Extended Stay Hotels, Civil Action No. 8:13-cv-01980) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  

In the conciliation process, EEOC investigators work with the employee and the employer to negotiate a mutually agreeable remedy to the alleged act of employment discrimination. “Conciliation” provides an opportunity to lessen the impact of the harsh feelings involved in an employment discrimination complaint and to avoid or lessen costs of representation of the employer in the case before the EEOC.

When Conciliation does not result in a settlement between the complainant and the employer, the commission decides whether to litigate the charge against the employer or to dismiss the complaint.  If the EEOC decides to file an employment discrimination case in federal court, the EEOC represents the employee, and the employer defends against the charges.

If the EEOC determines that there is no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, the charging party will be issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights letter that informs the charging party of the right to file a lawsuit, without EEOC involvement, in federal court within 90 days from the date of receipt of the letter. The employer will also receive a copy of this document.

In addition to the $75,800 in monetary relief to Weaver and three other class members, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins Extended Stay Hotels from engaging in wage discrimination based on sex in the future.  The hotel chain will provide annual training on federal anti-discrimination laws, report to the EEOC about its handling of any wage discrimination claims and post a notice on the Weaver settlement.

PK Law Labor and Employment Attorneys are familiar with the EEOC complaint process.  If your  business is involve in an EEOC pay bias investigation, it is strongly recommended that you contact an experienced labor and employment attorney, promptly. 

 

This information is provided for general information only.  None of the information provided herein should be construed as providing legal advice or a separate attorney client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney of your choice about your particular situation. While PK Law has taken reasonable efforts to insure the accuracy of this material, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed and PK Law makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.