Now that the federal estate tax exemption has been raised to $5.25 million, there may be people in the Washington, D.C. area who don't believe they need their estate plan to avoid probate. However, that may not be the case. Even though no federal estate tax may be due on the majority of estates, that doesn't mean that probate is okay. Probate is not a federal process, but a state process with its own challenges.
January 1, 2014, will mark the date for implementation of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act. One of the areas this may affect elderly Washington, D.C. residents is in Medicaid planning. Many elderly and their families rely on Medicaid to help pay for long-term care facilities along with other necessary medical treatment required by people as they age.
There are many older Washington, DC residents who are living either on their own or in an assisted living facility. Many of those elderly people are not regularly visited by their children. Right or wrong, when this happens, elderly parents may decide to cut-out those children when they are doing estate planning.