Charitable Deduction Changes Provide Opportunity If You Act Now

West Essex Tribune
November 10, 2005

There have been several recent tax law changes affecting charitable deductions that provide a unique opportunity if done by the end of this year.

  1. The limitation on most charitable donations of 50% of Adjusted Gross Income has been changed to a limit of 100% of Adjusted Gross Income for donations made from August 28, 2005 to December 31, 2005.
  2. The itemized deduction phase-out for most charitable donations made from August 28, 2005 to December 31, 2005 has been eliminated.

Read more: Charitable Deduction Changes Provide Opportunity If You Act Now

Give Your Family Peace for the Holidays

West Essex Tribune
December 8, 2005

Lately I have had the misfortune to make too many Shiva calls and attend too many wakes. Recently a friend told me what a comfort it was and how much easier it had been on the whole family because her mother had a Living Will. She said it was such a relief not to have to make the decisions whether to give her mother resuscitation and feeding because her mother had made those decisions for herself in her Living Will. They had the confidence and security of knowing for certain that the medical decisions were what their mother had wanted because she had a properly drawn Living Will stating her wishes. It is hard to describe what a relief this was to the family, but it clearly made a huge difference to them in accepting their mother's death.

Read more: Give Your Family Peace for the Holidays

New Medicaid Rules

West Essex Tribune
March 2, 2006

New, harsher rules apply when you try and qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a poverty program so you can only have very limited assets and income to qualify. Some of the new rules are:

  • Previously people gave away assets in order to meet the Medicaid requirements. Medicaid now looks back at 5 years of records (instead of 3 years) from when you apply to see what gifts you made. Any gifts mean you are ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time.
  • The time period of ineligibility now begins when you are out of money, instead of beginning when you made the gift. All gifts count, such as helping grandchildren with tuition or buying a computer, even if not made with any intention of qualifying for Medicaid.
  • Only $500,000 to $750,000 of home equity is not counted toward assets if one spouse is in a nursing home. New Jersey has to enact regulations setting the limit within that range.

There have been other changes. The need for help from a qualified attorney is more important than ever since planning has become more difficult but is still possible.

For more information contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Bressman LLC, 973-660-1919 email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit his website at

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