Page 16 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRiDAy, SEpTEmbER 8, 2023 CHEERLEADERS | FROM PAGE 15 SPECIAL POWERS OF APPOINTMENTS IN DEEDS E state planning attorneys use special powers of appointments in order to reserve in the Grantor the limited power to change who will ultimately receive the real estate and under what conditions. A Massachusetts Appeals court in 2017 approved such a reserved special power of appointment in the case of Skye v. Hession, 91 Mass. App. Ct. 423. This case has not been appealed to the Mass SJC. The court held that the reserved power in the deed itself (and the later exercise of that power) were valid. The grantor (owner of the real estate) wanted to protect the real estate in the event nursing home care was needed. However, she also wanted to preserve the right to change who would ultimately receive the real estate upon her death. She exercised the special power of appointment contained in the deed via her Last Will and Testament. Once her Will was submitted to the Probate Court for allowance, one of the individuals whose interest was reduced fi led an objection to the Will attempting to declare it null and void. The court stated that since the grantor had reserved a life estate in the deed, the individuals receiving an interest in the real estate at that point in time did not have a “present possessory interest”, but rather had a “remainder interest”. The interest of those individuals at that point in time was circumscribed by the grantor’s reserved special power of appointment. In effect, those individuals had originally received a “fee simple defeasible” interest. In a nutshell, the Appeals Court stated that the grantor could actually deed the property to one or more people, reserve a life estate in the deed itself, and still reserve the right to change who would ultimately receive the real estate, and, in what percentages. Once the five-year look back period has been met, the grantor will not have to include the real estate as a countable asset for MassHealth eligibility purposes. Why is this so? The reason is that the grantor did not reserve a general power of appointment. The grantor herself cannot receive the real estate back. The grantor cannot “appoint” the property to herself, her creditors, or the creditors of her estate. The reserved special power of appointment, even without a reserved life estate in the deed itself, also allows for a “step-up in cost basis” upon the grantor’s death. This means that the fair market value of the real estate on the date of the grantor’s death becomes the new cost basis going forward. Therefore, future capital gains may be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. A reserved life estate by itself, under the current tax law, will accomplish the same step-up. As it stands now, the case is important to elder law attorneys as such a reserved special power of appointment in a deed will not jeopardize MassHealth eligibility. Joseph D. Cataldo is an estate planning/elder law attorney, Certifi ed Public Accountant, Certifi ed Financial Planner, AICPA Personal Financial Specialist and holds a masters degree in taxation. For Advertising with Results, call The Advocate Newspapers at 617-387-2200 or Info@advocatenews.net this year. I also coach a travel softball team alongside Nicole Buonopane, and our U-18 team ended up winning it all in Atlantic City, N.J. Through it all, I continue to play softball in local competitive leagues, while still making time to live the life of a normal 23-year-old.” Setting her priorities early on Mejia played youth softball and lacrosse, besides cheerleading early on. “The three of us – Rafi, Kloey and I – were all on the same youth softball team for a few years. But I knew I was destined to be a cheerleader, when my favorite part of softball was cheering on my teammates from the dugout,” she said. “Cheerleading and attending tumbling classes were always my priority.” Mejia graduated from North Reading High School in 2018 and was a varsity cheerleader for eight seasons. She was a team captain for three seasons. “We had a successful run [in North Reading], advancing to the state championship almost every season, while placing third in New England once. We even attended the NCAA National Championships in 2018,” she added. The Everett native then went on to Clemson University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in the Biological Sciences. Coaches encourage future coaches But cheerleading remains her passion, just like her friends and now fellow coaches Kloey and Rafaella. “Cheerleading taught me to be confi dent in myself, never give up, always set goals and be a team player,” Isabella said. “I love the feeling of adrenaline you get when performing in front of hundreds of people. One of the happiest moments in my life so far was being crowned a national champion in [2012]. Being a cheerleader has given me a lifetime of memories.” Isabella works full-time as a talent associate at Talent Retriever in North Andover. But her avocation is still cheerleading. “Although my cheerleading career ended in high school, I knew that my relationship with the sport was just getting started. I have always loved cheerleading, and I now want to give back that love and passion to the next generation [of Everett Pop Warner cheerleaders]. Ever since I was a Crimson Tide cheerleader, I knew I wanted to grow up and be just like my coaches. I’m forever thankful for, and inspired by their dedication,” she said. Say nr Sa a y Senior Seni by Jim Miller How Seniors Can Save H Si C S on Prescription Drug Costs Dear Savvy Senior, I take several medications for multiple health conditions and the prices keep going up, even with my Medicare prescription drug insurance. Can you recommend any tips that can help cut my costs? Tapped Out Tina Dear Tina, The high cost of prescription drugs is an ongoing problem that stings everyone, but it usually affects seniors more because they have a greater need for medications and because Medicare doesn’t cover all their drug costs. While the Infl ation Reduction Act, that was signed into law last year, will help seniors save on their medications by negotiating lower drug prices and caping out-of-pocket spending at $2,000, it will be a few years before the law is fully enacted. In the meantime, here are some different strategies that can help reduce your costs so you can aff ord what you need. Talk to your doctor: A good fi rst step is to review your medications once a year with your doctor to fi nd out if any of them can be stopped or reduced. If you’re taking any brand-name drugs check to see if they are available in a cheaper generic form. Also, for any drugs you’re taking long-term ask your doctor for a cheaper three or six-month prescription, versus a one month. And fi nd out if any of the pills you’re taking can be cut in half. Pill splitting allows you to get two months’ worth of medicine for the price of one. If you do this, you’ll need to get a prescription for twice the dosage you need. Review your insurance: Carefully review your drug coverage during the open enrollment period, which runs Oct. 15 – Dec. 7 for Medicare beneficiaries. Make sure all your regular medications are covered in the plan’s formulary; that your current pharmacy is in the plan’s network; and that your plan covers additional medication coverage in the gap. To shop and compare Medicare prescription drug plans go to Medicare.gov/ plan-compare. Pay cash: Not using insurance for prescriptions seems counterintuitive, but in some cases, it may save you money. For example, many chain pharmacies and big-box stores like Walmart and Costco have their own prescription savings programs that may be lower than your insurance copayment. Or you can use coupons through GoodRx.com or RxSaver.com that can save you up to 80 percent off the list price of generic and some brand-name drugs in certain pharmacies. Shop online: You can also save on regularly used medications by having them sent to you from a mail-order pharmacy. Check with your health insurer or regular pharmacy to see whether it will get you a better deal. If not, check online pharmacies like CostPlusDrugs. com or HoneybeeHealth.com. With these, you may spend less in some cases than you might with insurance. Buy from Canada: Because prescription drugs are often much cheaper north of the border, many Americans have chosen this option for years. While this is technically illegal in most states, the Food and Drug Administration generally does not stop people from doing it. If you want to explore this option use PharmacyChecker.com, an online tool that will help you identify reputable Canadian and international online pharmacies. Get more help: If your income is limited, you may also be able to get help through Medicare’s Extra Help program (Medicare.gov/basics/ costs/help/drug-costs), your state pharmaceutical assistance program (Medicare. gov/plan-compare/#/pharmaceutical-assistance-program/states) or patient assistance programs (Medicare.gov/pharmaceutical-assistance-program). Visit each website to see if you’re eligible and to apply. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. nior ior

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