Michael B. Cohen

Michael B. Cohen Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Michael B. Cohen

There are numerous ways real estate can be transferred to avoid probate (which is also a way to avoid a successful Medicaid estate recovery claim in Texas), but which way is best will depend on the circumstances. The most common choices are either a transfer on death deed (grantee/beneficiary has no rights until the death of the grantor) or a Ladybird deed (which is an enhanced life estate deed which means the grantee/beneficiary has a vested right subject to the grantor’s right to change his or her mind). The advantages and disadvantages of these types of deeds are as follows:…
Do you want to analyze a case like an elder law attorney? Here is a recent case and the thoughts that come to mind. Client, 77, who is single but who has had a partner for decades, is about to receive an inheritance that would result in his loss of being a beneficiary of the Medicare Savings Program called QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary) and he doesn’t want to lose this benefit. QMB is one of four Medicare Savings Programs (the others are Specified Low-Income Medicate Beneficiary, Qualifying Individual and Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals) that are means-tested Medicaid programs whereby…
Although conditional bequests in a will or trust are normally upheld to give freedom that your assets pass the way you want at your death, sometimes conditional provisions are held to be either unconstitutional or void against public policy. The request for a new trial of a death row inmate due to the judge’s views about race and religion has put the judge’s estate planning and forfeiture clauses (in general) into a rare spotlight. The Dallas Morning News has reported that former Dallas judge Vickers L. Cunningham established a trust for his children whereby they would only inherit if they married someone of their race, the opposite sex and a…
Even prior to the pandemic, most prefer to stay at home as long as possible if they should need long-term care. The increase in Covid variants has caused renewed and even greater interest for alternativesto care at long-term care facilities and the desire of many to stay at home due to safety concerns. However, most have no or inadequate long-term care insurance and have limited income and resources to pay the high cost of care. Many are unaware of potential public benefits that could help alleviate some of those care costs. The following is a short synopsis of three public benefit programs that help pay for care at home: 1. Community Care…
SON OF AUSTIN POWERS CO-STAR SHAGGED BY COURTA California Appellate Court has reversed the Los Angeles Superior Court decision over the meaning of the term “grandchild” costing Damian Hurley, son of famed British actress Elizabeth Hurley and Steve Bing (although born out of wedlock), the sum of approximately $250 Million. The imprecise language of Peter Bing’s irrevocable trust created by Peter prior to the birth of Damian and his half-sister, Kira Bond (another child of Steve Bing, PeterBing’s son), has resulted in a lengthy court battle over the sizeable trust fund. In 1980 (well before the birth of either Kira or Damian),the trust referred to “grandchild one, grandchild two, etc.”…
The Legal Client Services Coordinator will consistently and accurately support an elder law/estate planning attorney as well as others to become more efficient, systematic and effective.  We’re an elder law/estate planning law firm with the vision of helping others to protect their families and resources. The role of this position is to support our small (but growing) law firm by providing office/clerical and personal support to the elder law/estate planning attorney. You will be responsible for maintaining the firm calendar, answering and routing calls, interacting with clients, sorting and distributing mail, copying, scanning, printing and filing, scheduling appointments and speaking…
It is very common for a family member to be named to serve as a trustee of a special needs trust of a loved one with special needs (usually to save money), but the recent felony charges for financial exploitation against a Minnesota mother who was serving as a trustee of a special needs trust created by the father for the benefit of their adult special needs child demonstrates the need for additional protection. After the death of the father, the mother (acting in her capacity as trustee) used the funds in the trust for her own benefit (instead of…
It is not unusual for parents and grandparents (as well as others) to want to help plan for payment of school and other expenses of a beneficiary who is a minor. A UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) account is a custodial account usually established by a parent or grandparent at a bank or other financial institution. The custodian of the account invests or withdraws funds for the benefit of the minor until the minor reaches the age of majority (21 in Texas). A 529 plan is normally an education savings plan as it should be used for the future…
It was recently reported in the Dallas Morning News that Tyler Pride (“Tyler”)”, who is the biological son of famed country-western singer Charley Pride (“Charley”), has contested the Last Will and Testament of his father. Tyler was not born of Charley’s long-time marriage to Rozene Pride (“Rozene”). Even though Texas law does not require a child (or anyone) to be named as a beneficiary of a Last Will and Testament, wills are often contested by alleging the equitable arguments of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. This is still applicable even if you have a “no contest” provision in…
The continuing 13-year-old conservatorship saga of Britney Spears to free her of having her father run her personal and professional life has put financial and civil rights abuse in guardianship and conservatorship (California conservatorship is similar to guardianship in Texas) in the national spotlight. After Spears testified that she was even forced to keep an IUD in her body (although conservators don’t really have that much power) to prevent her from having more children since it would interfere with her singing career, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and HHS secretary Xavier Becerra have stated in a letter that state agencies…