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Democratic Club of Sarasota

Democratic Club

Dear Members and Friends,

Click here for a link to the Democratic Club of Sarasota Monthly Update.

 

Here are the highlights:

- President Mary Clupper celebrates the success of the
Kennedy-King Dinner

- Details on next Monday's Wine, Cheese & Politics
event at the Bayfront Community Center with Elder
Law Expert Babette Bach. Don't miss this chance to
hear from Florida's foremost Elder Law Expert on the
hot topic of Elderly Guardianship that has been
featured in many Herald Tribune articles this year!

- April luncheon at The Francis featuring Terri Wonder,
PhD on Womens Veterans issues, specifically The
Role of Women in Counterinsurgency. Check out
the delicious lunch choices!

Many of our members receive the Events Mailer by U.S. Mail. If you would like to discontinue your mailed copy in order to save the Club printing and mailing costs, please e-mail Dick Stammer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and state you want to OPT OUT OF THE EVENTS MAILER BY U.S. MAIL. Whether you receive The Events Mailer by mail or not, all members will receive the e-mail link every month. Only reply to this message if you are opting out of the mailed copy. For other concerns or comments, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Click here to donate to the student fund
Sincerely,

Tom Cook, DCS Corresponding Secretary
Democratic Club of Sarasota

In the Media: Babette Bach and Rob Patten Featured in Scene Magazine

Babette Bach and Rob Patten were featured in the February 2015 issue of Scene Magazine, which included an article on their shared commitment to land conservation and environmental protection.  Click here to read the article and see a picture near their rustic cabin on the Myakka River.

Read the entire article here

 

Babette Bach Esq. To Speak On The Unlicensed Practice Of Law And Medicaid.

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

Babette Bach Esq. will be a speaker at the Florida Health Care Assoc. District VI meeting.
Ms. Bach’s presentation will be on the “Unlicensed Practice of Law & Medicaid Planning”

LOCATION: Tidewell Hospice Building, 5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota FL. 34240.
DATE: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015.
TIME: 12pm.

For the recent Supreme Court ruling on Medicaid planning by non-lawyers (January 15, 2015),
please click this link: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2015/sc14-211.pdf

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Increase for 2015

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the COLA for seniors, placing the increase at 1.7% for 2015. There's not going to be any change in the Part B premium of $104.90 (for those unmarried seniors with incomes below $85,000). The SSI monthly benefit is $733. The Presumed Maximum Value is $264.33. The 2015 Florida Medicaid Income Cap is $2199. Attorney Babette B. Bach is a Board Certified Florida Elder Law attorney and an expert in public benefits. Call Bach & Jacobs, PA to schedule an appointment with Babette to review your eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits.

Federal labor rules for in-home caregivers, domestic service workers changing Jan. 1, 2015

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Do you employ private-duty caregivers in your home? On January 1, 2015, a new Final Rule issued by the United States Department of Labor will take effect concerning domestic service workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and will extend minimum wage and overtime protection to such workers.   Domestic employers are very vulnerable to employment-related mistakes and oversights that could carry significant financial and legal risks. The attorneys at Bach & Jacobs, P.A. work with clients to make them aware of payroll, tax, and labor law requirements, including insurance requirements, when they hire home help. Contact our office today to make an appointment with one of our elder law attorneys if you are employing or are considering employing private duty home health assistance.

Why would someone convey property using a lady bird deed?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Question:    Why would someone convey property using a lady bird deed?

Answer:    There are multiple advantages of using a Lady Bird deed.  First, the transfer of the real property occurs pursuant to the remainder provision in the deed and will not require probate to effectuate the transfer.  Second, the owner/life tenant can maintain the homestead tax exemption.  Third, it gives the owner/life tenant greater control than with a typical life-estate deed.  The remainderman can be changed and a future conveyance or mortgage would not require the remainderman’s cooperation or approval.  Fourth, there are various tax advantages.  The remainderman receives the property at the life tenant’s death with a ‘stepped up basis’ for federal income tax purposes.  The Florida Department of Revenue does not levy documentary stamp taxes against Lady Bird deed transfers.  Finally, a Lady Bird deed can be useful in planning for Medicaid eligibility for an unmarried applicant because the creation of the deed is not considered to be a transfer of assets by the state.  Contact Board Certified Elder Lawyer Babette B. Bach, Esq. to find out if a Lady Bird deed would be appropriate for transferring interests in real property you own.

What is a ‘Lady Bird Deed’?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Question:    What is a ‘Lady Bird Deed’?  

Answer:    A Lady Bird deed, or “enhanced life estate deed,” is a method for transferring an interest in real estate.  With a Lady Bird deed, the owner of a property reserves a life estate in the property, entitling the grantor the right to live on the real property for the rest of his or her life.  The deed also identifies a ‘remainderman’, who, at the grantor’s death, receives title to the real property.  What makes Lady Bird deeds unique is that the grantor/owner/life tenant also reserves the right to encumber the property, keep all income from the property, and sell the property without the approval of the remainderman.  In short, the remainderman only get what’s left on the date of death of the property owner/life tenant.  This deed is designed to leave the owner with all the powers of a solely-owned parcel but with an automatic conveyance of whatever is left upon the owner’s death to the remainderman.  It can be a useful tool.

When to Obtain an EIN for a Trust

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question:  I have just taken over my parent’s trust as the successor trustee.  Do I need to apply for an EIN for the trust?

Answer:  It depends on whether the trust has become irrevocable.  If you become successor trustee of a revocable trust prior to the death of the grantor, then you will not need to obtain an employer identification number (“EIN”).  The grantor will continue to report all of the income and expenses of the trust on his or her individual tax return using their own Social Security number.  However, you should know that once the grantor dies, the trust becomes irrevocable.  Once the trust becomes irrevocable, the trust becomes a separate tax-paying entity.  You will need to complete the application for an EIN as soon as possible so you can properly report all post-death transactions under the trust’s EIN.  If you are the trustee of a revocable or irrevocable trust, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for guidance on the proper administration of the trust.   Attorney Fred Jacobs is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer and can advise you on the legal requirements that trustees must comply with under the Florida Trust Code and the Internal Revenue Code.

Fredric C. Jacobs, Board Certified Tax Lawyer
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

The Sarasota Herald Tribune covered Bach & Jacobs, PA founder Babette B. Bach's selection as a 2014 Lawyer of the Year and a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014. Babette was named a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014 as a result of her rating from Martindale-Hubbell and her expertise in the field of elder law. The legal publication Best Lawyers named Babette as a 2015 Lawyer of the Year. You can read the article by clicking here.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Do I Need an EIN for my Revocable Living Trust?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Q:           Do I need an EIN for my revocable living trust?

A:            No.  If you created a trust, funded it with your money, and reserved the right to revoke it, then the IRS does not consider it a separate tax-paying entity. The the trust will not require its own taxpayer identification number or employer identification number (referred to as an “EIN”).  In fact, you cannot obtain an EIN for a trust that is revocable.  Such a trust does not file its own tax return.  If you would like to know if a trust would be appropriate for your estate plan or tax planning, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A.  Attorney Fred Jacobs is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer and can advise you on the use of trusts in your planning.

Fredric C. Jacobs, Esquire, Board Certified Tax Lawyer
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Health Insurance Premium Rebates Under Obamacare in Florida

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question: Do policy holders really get a rebate of their health insurance premiums paid to the health insurance company? 

Answer: Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was insurance company reform, and part of the reform was the “80/20 rule.” The 80/20 rule requires insurance companies to spend 80 cents of every $1 received in premiums on actual health care, such as paying doctors and other medical providers.  The amount over 80% is refunded to the policyholders.  In 2014 in Florida alone, $41,679,928 in total rebates were paid to 981,273 insured policy holders.  ABC News explains it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamacare-health-insurance-rebates-check/story?id=19701785

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Negative Effect of Florida’s Refusal to Expand Medicaid Health Insurance

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question: Is Florida losing out because the state government won’t expand Medicaid health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?

Answer: Without getting too political on this hot button topic, the statistics speak for themselves. 1,000,000 Florida residents would benefit from Medicaid expansion in the state. And the inability of low income employees to get private health insurance will cost Florida employers between $145.7 million and $218.6 million in penalties. These penalties on employers would be avoided if these employees were eligible for Medicaid, which they would have been if Florida had expanded Medicaid. This is according to the Orlando Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2013/05/17/how-to-expand-medicaid-save-florida.html?page=all

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Traditional Medicare: Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2014

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

This fall, Medicare beneficiaries can explore their options regarding Part D prescription drug plans and Part C Medicare Advantage plans.  The open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will start on October 15th and end on December 7th. This means that Medicare beneficiaries should analyze their options and make choices by December 7, 2014.  Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans.  Beneficiaries can also return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, enroll in an MA plan, or change MA plans.  Enrollment requests made during Medicare open enrollment will have an effective date of January 1 of the following year.

Plan information for 2015 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.  Once you get to the website, try using the “Medicare Plan Finder”, which is a plan comparison tool.  If you have trouble with the Medicare Plan Finder, you can also contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.  Learn more at the Center for Medicare Advocacy website at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/annual-enrollment-for-medicare-advantage-part-c-part-d-october-15-december-7/


Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Babette B. Bach, Esq. to Speak on End of Life Issues at Plymouth Harbor

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Babette B. Bach, Esq., will present a program on end of life planning issues to residents of Plymouth Harbor on October 22, 2014.  The program will cover the legal issues that seniors should consider and the documents that are necessary to provide for a person’s wishes with regard to health care.  

Bach & Jacobs, P.A. takes a personalized approach to holistically analyze a family’s situation and a client’s wishes.  Contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for an initial consultation.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Babette B. Bach, Esq. to Lecture about Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Attorney Babette B. Bach will give a presentation on estate planning for parents of children with special needs on October 14, 2014 at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.  Topics will include planning for a child with special needs with a particular emphasis on special needs trusts.  

If you have a child with special needs and would like legal advice on how to properly plan for your child in your estate planning, please contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for an initial consultation.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Key Enrollment Dates for the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Marketplace for 2015

Q:      What are the key enrollment dates for the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Marketplace for 2015 benefits?
A:      Upcoming dates regarding open enrollment that you should be aware of are:

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.
    • To buy Marketplace insurance outside of Open Enrollment, you must qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event like marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage.  You may qualify for Special Enrollment if you lost eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP.  Special Enrollment can be useful for persons who who got an inheritance or personal injury award that makes them ineligible for Medicaid, want to avoid the Medicaid liens, and wants better private health insurance.  To learn about other life changes that could qualify you for Special Enrollment, visit the healthcare.gov website at: https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/marketplace.html

Alternative funeral/burial options: ‘Green’ Burials

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.

Barbara Peters Smith, an excellent journalist in Sarasota, recently wrote a front-page article for the Sarasota Herald Tribune about the growing popularity of ‘green’ burials.  Such burials are an environmentally-friendly alternative to embalming and cremation.  Some land trusts in Florida have established ‘conservation cemeteries’ which provide families the opportunity to have an earth-friendly burial while supporting the conservation of environmentally sensitive land.  Bach & Jacobs, PA often include funeral preferences in the estate planning documents prepared for clients.  If you are interested in including the concept of green burials in your estate plan, contact Bach & Jacobs, PA to speak with attorneys Fred Jacobs and Sean Byrne, who have a background representing land conservation organizations and can provide you information about this option.  You can read Barbara Peters Smith’s article here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140906/article/140909768

Sean M. Byrne, Esq.
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
www.bachjacobs.com

Beware of paying fees for information you can download for free from Florida County websites

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.

Question:  A few weeks after having a deed to my residence recorded in the public records, I received a “Recorded Deed Notice” from “Record Transfer Services” in California offering me a copy of my deed and a profile of my property for $83.  Do I need to pay this?  Is this a scam?

Answer:  The short answer is: No, you do not have to pay for these documents and it may be a scam.  In fact, in Sarasota and Manatee counties in Florida, you can obtain the very same information for free by downloading it from the county government websites.   The “notice” you received likely came from a private company.  Such correspondence may be from a private company trying to get you to pay for free public records.  These companies are required to have a disclosure admitting they are not a government agency.  The County Clerks of both Sarasota and Manatee provide electronic copies of deeds recorded in the last 20 years for free download. 

You can search the Sarasota County Clerk’s records here: https://clerkpublicrecords.scgov.net/RealEstate/SearchEntry.aspx and the Manatee County’s Clerk’s records here: http://www.manateeclerk.com/Chips/OfficialRecords/search.aspx

The County Property Appraiser and the County Tax Collector in each of those counties also provides a summary page of information about your property, including the assessed value, tax owed, and legal description—all for free on the agencies’ respective websites. For Sarasota County, the site is: http://www.sc-pa.com/testsearch and Manatee County, it is: http://www.manateepao.com/ManateeFL/search/commonsearch.aspx?mode=parid

 
Sean M. Byrne, Esq.
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue
Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
www.bachjacobs.com

 

How to choose a healthcare plan on the Obamacare Marketplace?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
    
Question:    How do I choose a health plan on the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace? 

Answer:      Below are some basic questions to consider in evaluating a health insurance plan.

  • Is there out-of-network coverage?
  • Does that out-of-network spending accrue toward the member’s out-of-pocket maximum?
  • Do members need a primary care physician gatekeeper?
  • Are my current doctors participants in the plan’s ‘network’?

Kaiser Health News provides these and additional suggestions in an article found here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/august/19/hows-a-consumer-to-know-what-health-plan-is-best.aspx

Sean M. Byrne, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Distinctions Among the Various Types of Health Plans

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL


Q: I am trying to apply for health insurance in the Obamacare federal Marketplace because Florida has refused to create its own exchange. Can you explain the distinctions among the various types of health plans (ie, HMOs and EPOs)?

A: Kaiser Health News recently published a simple definition of the general types of health plans sold on the individual market. You can read the full article here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/august/19/hows-a-consumer-to-know-what-health-plan-is-best.aspx. Below is an excerpt:

  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) cover only care provided by doctors and hospitals inside the HMO's network. HMOs often require members to get a referral from their primary care physician in order to see a specialist.
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) cover care provided both inside and outside the plan's provider network. Members typically pay a higher percentage of the cost for out-of-network care.
  • Exclusive provider organizations (EPOs) are a lot like HMOs: They generally don't cover care outside the plan's provider network. Members, however, may not need a referral to see a specialist.
  • Point of Service (POS) plans vary, but they're often a sort of hybrid HMO/PPO. Members may need a referral to see a specialist, but they may also have coverage for out-of-network care, though with higher cost sharing.


Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

 

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