Learn More At Our Seminars And Lectures

The Foundation for Continuing Education – March 28, 2023

Medicaid Planning Update – 2023
What’s New with Medicaid and What Needs to be Reviewed

To Register, contact Rick Solano at 978-468-6528 or click the link below.

Register Now

From last minute Medicaid eligibility tips for the unplanned to drafting and taxation of irrevocable income only trusts and testamentary trusts for the advanced planner.


Last Minute Medicaid Techniques: Come Learn How:

  • To protect the primary residence for married and single folks;
  • To make countable rental property non-countable;
  • To make countable vacation property non-countable;
  • To protect life insurance policies (whole life vs term life);
  • To protect excess resources through Medicaid annuities and pooled trusts with a full discussion of the recently decided SJC decision in the Dermody case regarding annuities;
  • To differentiate countable vs non-countable assets;
  • To deal with the caretaker child exception, related rules, and recent fair hearing decisions regarding the same;
  • Medicaid liens operate and how they can actually be a good thing;
  • The five year lookback period operates and related exceptions to it vs the penalty period;
  • Special needs trusts and sole benefit trusts operate;
  • To get a family worth $2 million eligible for Medicaid last minute when one spouse gets sick.
    Drafting and Taxation of Irrevocable Income Only Trusts: Come Learn;
  • How to draft irrevocable trusts to withstand MassHealth scrutiny;
  • Frequent arguments made by MassHealth;
  • How the Hirvi settlement is helping to support irrevocable trusts, administrative consistency, and due process;
  • How eligibility operations memo 20-04 is helping practitioners to better draft trusts and how it operates;
  • How the Fournier v. Sudders case reads and its benefit to drafting these irrevocable trusts;
  • About other recent fair hearing decisions;
  • How the limited power of appointment operates;
  • The grantor trust rules for income tax purposes;
  • How 26 U.S.C §1014(a) and step up in basis works with these trusts;
  • Gift tax consequences of these trusts 26 CFR § 25.2511(c);
  • Estate tax consequences of these trusts including drafting of the marital and remainder shares to both protect assets and shelter for estate taxes;
  • About eligibility operations memo 19-12 re-defining calculation of life estate and remainder values and the Medicaid and income tax consequences (planning pointer and operation memo is currently being drafted to fix this problem and we’ll discuss it);

Testamentary Trusts, IRAs, and Life Insurance:

  • How trust and transfer rules apply to testamentary trusts, how to draft them, and how they operate;
  • Estate tax benefits of naming estate as the designated beneficiary of an IRA coupled with a testamentary trust;
  • Income tax benefits of naming estate as the designated beneficiary of an IRA vs naming the surviving spouse
  • To calculate the RMDs after naming the estate as the designated beneficiary under the Secure Act vs surviving spouse;
  • The Medicaid benefits and protections from naming the estate as the designated beneficiary of the IRA
  • The estate tax and Medicaid benefits of naming the estate as the designated beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Live Conference

Date: TUESDAY, March 28, 2023
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Marriott Residence Inn in Natick
Address: 1 Superior Drive Natick, MA


Todd E. Lutsky, Esq., LL.M., Cushing & Dolan, P.C., Waltham
Thomas J. McKinnon, Esq., Cushing & Dolan, P.C., Waltham

CPE Credits: 4

In accordance with Covid -19 CDC guidelines, during your meeting, we ask that all unvaccinated parties wear a mask or face covering. Any vaccinated parties are not required to wear a mask however feel free to do so.

National Business Institute – April 12, 2023

Massachusetts Medicaid Asset Planning: A Practical Toolkit

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Agenda :

I. Qualifying for Medicaid: Eligibility Criteria

  1. Top Misconceptions on What Medicaid and Medicare Cover
  2. Who Actually Needs Medicaid?
  3. Quality of Care and Patient Protections Concerns
  4. Is it Too Late to Plan for Medicaid Once You’re in the Nursing Home?
  5. Medicaid Criteria
    1. Medical Eligibility
    2. Resource Eligibility
    3. Income Eligibility
    4. The Lookback Rule
    5. The Gifting Rule
  6. Transfer Eligibility
  7. Myths About Medicaid Estate Recovery

II. Planning Ahead: Gifts, Exempt Purchases and Asset Transfers

  1. Purchasing Excluded Assets
  2. Converting to Excluded Assets
  3. Prepaying for Services, Expenses, Taxes
  4. What Counts as a Gift for Purposes of Medicaid Planning?
  5. Qualifying Asset Transfers
  6. Transferring Real Property Without Jeopardizing Medicaid Eligibility
  7. Private Annuities and Promissory Notes
  8. Treatment of IRAs and Retirement Accounts

III. Medicaid Qualifying Income Trusts

  1. When to Use Income-Only Trusts
  2. Can Self-Settled Trusts Harm Medicaid Eligibility?
  3. Taxation of Medicaid Qualifying Trusts
  4. Drafting Key Trust Provisions (With a Review of a Sample Trust)
  5. Are IOTs Subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery?
  6. Funding the Trust

IV. Special Needs Trusts: Protecting Benefits While Providing for Beneficiary Expenses

  1. SNTs vs. ABLE Accounts: Estate Recovery and Other Considerations
  2. First-Party vs. Third-Party SNTs: Which One to Use?
  3. Which Assets to Use for Funding the Trust
  4. Choosing the Right Trustee
  5. Drafting Key SNT Provisions (With Sample Trust Language)

V. Ensuring Spousal Protections

  1. Maximizing Monthly Maintenance Need Allowance for Community Spouse
  2. Community Spouse Resource Allowance and CSRA Appeal
  3. Using Homestead Exceptions
  4. Obtaining Hardship Waivers
  5. Is Divorce a Prudent Option?

VI. Asset Transfers in Crisis Planning

  1. Using Asset Purchases and Asset Conversions From Countable to Excluded
  2. Asset Transfers and the Reverse Half-Loaf Method
  3. Crafting Caregiver Agreements Between Parent and Child
  4. Residence Transfer Options
  5. Calculating and Contesting the Penalty Period
  6. Dealing With Partial Months of Ineligibility
  7. What to Do With Unexpected Cash Inflows

VII. Maintaining an Ethical Practice

  1. Who is the Client?
  2. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest When Representing Couples
  3. Setting Reasonable Attorney Fees
  4. Guarding Confidentiality
  5. Verifying Client Capacity
  6. Dealing With Third Parties: Who’s Present and Talking in Meetings With Clients?
  7. Scope of Representation
  8. Client With a Disability: What are Your Duties?

Zoom Live Video Conference

Date: WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2023
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Speakers: Todd E. Lutsky, Esq., LLM, Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
Thomas J. McKinnon, Esq., Cushing & Dolan, P.C.

The Foundation for Continuing Education – 06/06/23

Estate Planning Essentials:  Federal & MA Issues (706, 709, & M-706 Workshop)

 To Register, contact Rick Solano at 978-468-6528 or click the link below.

 Register Now


It appears that the Biden Administration attempt to pass the 99.5% Act has failed. While there still may be future attempts, it appears the exemption would not fall back more than the current legislation’s 2026 level. We will explore the latest legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 which introduced a variety of new planning opportunities – it is all about the basis. Massachusetts, however, continues to limit its exemption to $1,000,000, although there has been some legislation reintroduced to Beacon Hill to increase this exemption to $2,000,000 – stay tuned. In this program, we will guide you through the proper preparation of federal and state estate tax returns, as well as any necessary gift tax returns, including a discussion of the pros and cons of the portability election and how it works, the QTIP election for the state, and even the potential benefits of a federal QTIP election, coupled with gifting assets flush with basis by the surviving spouse to reduce the future Massachusetts estate tax.  Finally, we will explore the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision in the Schaffer case showing how not making a federal QTIP election, even without gifting by the surviving spouse, could lower the estate tax of the surviving spouse.

Using a hypothetical example we will guide you through schedule by schedule the preparation of a federal and Massachusetts estate tax return along with an explanation of the different estate planning techniques you may encounter when preparing these returns as well as whether they are included in the estate or not, such as revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, first and second to die variety, Medicaid income only trusts, limited liability companies, and much more with special attention paid to a joint trust and the application of § 1014(e) to the trust and the possible double step-up in basis through a combination of the federal QTIP election and portability.  So, sharpen your pencil and come to this hypothetical-packed session ready to “do the math.”

Live Conference

Date:  TUESDAY, June 6th, 2023

Time:  9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location:  Marriott Courtyard Natick

Address:  342 Speen Street Natick, MA

Speaker: Todd E. Lutsky, Esq., LL.M., Cushing & Dolan, P.C., Waltham

CPE Credits:  4


 MAA – Massachusetts Association of Accountants

Gift Tax Preparation Form 709 (Gifting Strategies & Form 709 line by line)

Trusts in Massachusetts From A to Z

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Gift Tax Return Preparation Workshop

In this program, we will cover the following:

  • Preparation of sample gift tax returns
  • Gift-splitting
  • Gifting to Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs)
  • Computation of the value of gifts using traditional discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control
  • Computation of the value of gifts with retained interests using IRS tables (GRATS and QPRTS)
  • Distinguish between complete and incomplete gifts
  • Discuss the use of grantor trusts to make gifts of S-corporation stock and/or LLC non-voting interests
  • Allocation of generation skipping transfer tax exemption to get an inclusion ratio of zero
  • Understand and apply the new IRS proposed regulations dealing with clawback when the basic exclusion amount was higher on the date of death than the basic exclusion amount on the date of the gift Reg-118913-21 (April 26, 2022)

Zoom Live Video Conference

Date:  TUESDAY, June 13, 2023

Time:  12:30 PM – 4:00 PM


  • Leo J. Cushing, Esq., CPA, LLM, Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
  • Todd E. Lutsky, Esq., LLM, Cushing & Dolan