THE TOP 10 LEGAL DOCUMENTS EVERYONE NEEDS

This week’s article about Legal Documents was written by Debra K. Schuster, M.H.A., J.D., from St. Louis, Missouri.

Attorney Schuster is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Everyone hates going to the dentist. However, if you don’t go, bad things can happen that may have been prevented if you had gone. The same is true with having legal documents created. You may say to yourself, “Well, I see your point, but I can go on the internet and create documents for myself using one of the do-it-yourself legal websites that are a lot less expensive (and don’t require an appointment) than what a lawyer will charge me.

Ok. But would you do your own dental work?

Now that this is out of the way, there are 10 legal documents that all adults (people over the age of 18) need.

Drum Roll Please:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document allows you to name who you want to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so for yourself. (During surgery, if you have an incapacitating illness, are unconscious from an accident or traumatic incident)
  2. Living Will. This documents stands on its own, in that it expresses your end-of-life treatment wishes to whatever health care provider (hospital, doctor, etc) reads it. You can state that you want all, some or no artificial means of maintaining your life (i.e., ventilator, CPR, dialysis, surgery, etc) when you are at the end of your life.
  3. Financial Durable Power of Attorney. This documents allows you to appoint who you want to make financial decisions for you (pay bills, enter into contracts for goods and services for you, handle your insurance and all assets you own) if you are determined by your doctor to be unable to handle your financial decisions yourself. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Choose a person who is financially secure and responsible to serve in this role. It is very tempting to someone who is not financially stable to dip into your money (“I am just borrowing this money – I’ll pay it back) at a time when every cent should be used for your care.
  4. Beneficiary Deed. If you own real estate, you should have this type of deed created to name who you want to inherit your real estate (home, timeshare, vacation home, empty lot) when you die. If you do not have a beneficiary deed (or your property is not held in a trust), it will end up in probate.
  5. Beneficiary designations. ON EVERYTHING – life insurance, money market accounts, IRAs, 401K and other retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.
  6. HIPAA authorization. This is the form allows you to name who you want to be able to contact your doctor, hospital, any health care provider to obtain information and discuss your care when you are still making your own health care decisions (for example, if you have just had a root canal, if your adult child wants to call your dentist to request a prescription for pain medication)
  7. POD and TOD designations. Banks allow you to make Pay Upon Death designations on your checking and savings accounts with a Pay Upon Death (POD) card naming who you want to inherit the account balance when you die; The Department of Motor Vehicles has a Transfer Upon Death form (TOD) to enable you to name who you want to inherit your vehicle when you die.
  8. Digital Asset Inventory. You should create and keep an up-to-date a list of ALL on-line accounts, reward programs, passwords, financial and bill pay sites, social media, professional organization profiles, etc. to enable your family to manage your on-line presence when you are incapacitated and die.
  9. Last Will and Testament. This is a document that allows you to name who you want to handle your affairs after you die (your “Personal Representative”) and to explain how you want your assets distributed after you die. A WILL DOES NOT KEEP ASSETS OUT OF PROBATE – YOU MUST MAKE BENEFICIARY, TOD AND POD DESIGNATIONS ON EVERYTHING!
  10. Personal Property Memorandum. This is a legal document you CAN create yourself that lists personal, non-monetary, sentimental or family heirlooms you want to specifically pass to identified individuals when you die. This list should be attached to your Last Will and Testament.

(11. I know I said 10, but there is a #11 – a Trust. There are many different types of trusts with varying uses, but the most common type of trust is the Revocable Living Trust that allows you to title almost all of your assets in the name of your trust (other than IRAs, retirement accounts and bonds) so these assets will be handled by the person you name as Trustee according to the instructions in your trust. Not everyone needs a trust – so long as they make beneficiary designations on everything. However, when properly funded and handled, a trust keeps all of your assets out of probate and allows you to be as creative and detailed as you wish regarding when and how you want your property distributed after you die (for example, to delay when an 18-year-old can receive a large inheritance).

So, go see your dentist and a lawyer now to have these documents prepared to make sure you are ready if/when you need to use them.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters, #elderlawattorneys


People with Disabilities Will Soon Be Able to Create Their Own Special Needs Trusts

This week’s article about Special Needs Trusts was written by Sheri R. Abrams, Esq., from Oakton, Virginia.

Attorney Abrams is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others, has passed the Congress. The measure was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has now been sent to President Obama for his expected signature.

The Fairness Act, introduced in 2013 by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), will fix an especially frustrating drafting error in the Social Security Act that has prevented people with disabilities from creating special needs trusts to hold their own funds. Under current law, only a parent, grandparent, guardian or court can establish a first-party special needs trust to hold the beneficiary’s assets. This forces a competent person with disabilities to incur unnecessary expenses and waste time to set up a trust that she could otherwise create on her own with the help of an attorney. In most cases, not setting up a special needs trust is not an option, since the trust is typically needed to protect a person with disabilities’ access to government benefits.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act inserts language into the Social Security Act to give individuals with special needs the same right to create a trust as a parent, grandparent, guardian, or court. If competent to do so, they can now create a trust on their own behalf using their own assets. The two-sentence bill makes no other changes to the Social Security Administration’s treatment of trusts and it does not alter the requirement that first-party trusts contain payback provisions allowing state Medicaid offices to recoup costs from a trust after the beneficiary’s death. The Fairness Act will apply to trusts established on or after the date that the Cures Act is enacted.

A special needs trust should still be set up only with the help of a qualified attorney.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters, #specialneedsattorneys


5 Reasons Elderly Adults Should Know Their Family Health History

This week’s article was written by Frank L. Henderson, Owner of Heart of the Carolinas Homecare in Mauldin, South Carolina.

Mr. Henderson is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Understanding your family heritage, traditions, and culture are important because they give you an idea of where you come from and what family members before you have done to celebrate holidays. Knowing your health history is also important because it gives you an idea of what health problems you, your elderly parent, and other family members are at risk for. Your family history does not only include any illnesses or health problems your current relatives have, but also those that ancient ancestors have developed.

As your parent gets older, they are at risk for developing a number of health problems. Knowing what health issues they may develop will help their doctor make more efficient diagnoses. If your loved one still is unsure of what information their family health history holds, here are five reasons they should find out.

1.    Understand the risks

By doing a little digging to find out of what health challenges their ancestors have suffered from, the elder will have a better idea of what they have an increased chance of developing. Knowing this information will also give the senior more motivation to take preventative measures against the illness.

2.    Makes the doctor appointments quicker

Especially when attending an appointment with a new doctor, there will most likely be a number of forms that need to be filled out in order to get a better idea of what medical conditions the senior is at risk for. By having a formal family health history recorded, this information will be readily available when needed. This will free up a great deal of time filling out a stack of paperwork at the appointment.

3.     Allergies are easier to diagnose

From being gluten or lactose intolerant to being allergic to certain ingredients in medications, pinpointing whether or not the elder is suffering from an allergic reaction can be a difficult task. But by discovering if there is an allergy in the elder’s family, they will have a better chance of finding out if they are allergic to the same thing their ancestors were.

4.      Discover any dangerous behaviors that run in the family

Does alcoholism or drug abuse run in the family? If so, you and the elder have a higher chance of developing the same unhealthy behaviors compared to those who do not have a family history of it.

5.      Determine if psychological disorders are present in the family history

Aside from finding out what physical ailments you should be concerned by, psychological disorders can also be discovered through family health history research.

Finding all of the information needed for the senior’s family health history can be difficult to do alone. Yet, with the help of a senior care provider, they will be able to get a better idea of what conditions they may be at risk for.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters


Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Medicare Beneficiaries in 2017

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Chad R. Oldham, Esq., from the Oldham Law Firm in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Attorney Oldham is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Medicare Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Beneficiaries in 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has announced the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances for 2017. After holding steady at $104.90 a month for four years, the standard Medicare Part B premium that most recipients pay will rise 4 percent to about $109 a month.  However, approximately 30 percent of beneficiaries will see their Part B premium rise from $121.80 to $134 a month, a 10 percent increase.  Meanwhile, all beneficaries will face a higher Part B deductible, which will go from the current $166 to $183 in 2017.

The reason for the two different Part B premiums is that about 70 percent of beneficiaries are protected from any increase in premiums when Social Security benefits remain stagnant, as has been the case for the last several years. Medicare beneficiaries who are unprotected from a premium rise include those enrolled in Medicare but who are not yet receiving Social Security, new Medicare beneficiaries, seniors earning more than $85,000 a year, and “dual eligibles” who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

For beneficiaries receiving skilled care in a nursing home, Medicare’s coinsurance for days 21-100 will inch up from $161 to $164.50.  Medicare coverage ends after day 100.

Here are all the new Medicare payment figures:

  • Basic Part B premium: $109/month (was $104.90)
  • Part B premium for those not protected: $134 (was $121.80)
  • Part B deductible: $183 (was $166)
  • Part A deductible: $1,316 (was $1,288)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $329/day (was $322)
  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 and beyond: $658/day (was $644)
  • Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $164.50/day (was $161)

So-called “Medigap” policies can cover some of these costs.

Higher-income beneficiaries will pay higher Part B premiums:

  • Individuals with annual incomes between $85,000 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,000 and $214,000 will pay a monthly premium of $187.50 (was $170.50).
  • Individuals with annual incomes between $107,000 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,000 and $320,000 will pay a monthly premium of $267.90 (was $243.60).
  • Individuals with annual incomes between $160,000 and $214,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $320,000 and $428,000 will pay a monthly premium of $348.30 (was $316.70).
  • Individuals with annual incomes of $214,000 or more and married couples with annual incomes of $428,000 or more will pay a monthly premium of $428.60 (was $389.80).

Rates differ for beneficiaries who are married but file a separate tax return from their spouse:

  • Those with incomes between $85,000 and $129,000 will pay a monthly premium of $348.30 (was $316.70).
  • Those with incomes greater than $129,000 will pay a monthly premium of $428.60 (was $389.80).

The Social Security Administration uses the income reported two years ago to determine a Part B beneficiary’s premiums. So the income reported on a beneficiary’s 2015 tax return is used to determine whether the beneficiary must pay a higher monthly Part B premium in 2017. Income is calculated by taking a beneficiary’s adjusted gross income and adding back in some normally excluded income, such as tax-exempt interest, U.S. savings bond interest used to pay tuition, and certain income from foreign sources. This is called modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). If a beneficiary’s MAGI decreased significantly in the past two years, she may request that information from more recent years be used to calculate the premium.

Those who enroll in Medicare Advantage plans may have different cost-sharing arrangements.  The average Medicare Advantage premium is expected to decrease slightly, from $32.60 on average in 2016 to $31.40 in 2017.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #medicarearticles


Wandering For Seniors with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Memory Loss

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Bruce Barnet, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Store in Palm Beach, Florida.  Mr. Barnet is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Wandering For Seniors with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Memory Loss

Those suffering with Alzheimer’s or most forms of dementia or memory loss have a tendency to wander whether they are at home or in unfamiliar surroundings.They are trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in at that moment.Patients will sometimes leave clues that they are about to wander by announcing that it is time to go home,when they are home. They may get dressed to go to work when they stopped working long ago. Their past memories are now present.

Without warning they may start to wander into forbidden or dangerous areas within their own home.Locked doors can just make an ordinary situation more severe. There are variety of Alzheimer’s wandering products that discourage roaming or alert caregivers when it is occurring. For those suffering with dementia there is HELP.

Clear, easily recognizable stop signs are excellent deterrents. One of our earliest memories in childhood is a STOP sign.Even late stage patients recognize OFF-Limits areas when they see these red and white signs. There is a Fire Rated Door Murals that are approved for commercial facilities as well as home use. One is a picture of a bookshelf that is so real you have to touch it to know that it is a mural.The dementia oriented person no longer sees a door to go through. This is great for hiding utility closets or basement doors.

At night, mattress alarms and indoor motion sensors can alert caregivers of a wandering “loved one”. Patient monitoring pads can also be placed in a dementia person’s chair for daytime observation.

GPS devices are the newest technology.  A true GPS tracking/wandering  device must be secured on the wanderer’s wrist with a locking mechanism. Alzheimer’s patients have a tendency of removing their clothes. The Alzheimer’s Patient can be tracked from any computer,tablet or smart phone.

Regardless of your patients progression or need,whether at home or in a facility there are products that can be a solution to the symptom. We have what you need to keep the caregiver and the patient safe and comfortable.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #alzheimersarticles


Elder Care / Senior Care Article

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Brian Andrew Tully, JD, CELA, CSA, CLTC, Founding Partner of Tully Law, PC in Melville, New York.  Attorney Tully is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Medicaid: Spousal Refusal Risks

In the current environment of budget deficits, and the mandate handed down by the State to the Counties to pursue recoveries from community spouses, and the estates of Medicaid recipients and their spouses, litigation by the Department of Social Services over the payment of Medicaid benefits is on the upswing. Once a spousal refusal has been submitted, there are issues which a community spouse should be aware of. The most significant risks to the effectiveness of your long term care planning include the following:

1) The execution of a spousal refusal by an excess-resourced community spouse.

A spouse who is deemed to have excess resources may be sued by the Department of Social Services for support on behalf of the institutionalized spouse. Even when this does occur, however, the community spouse almost always still comes out ahead because of the difference between the private pay rate and the Medicaid pay rate, which translates into a significant savings to the community spouse even if full support is required.

2) Claims against the estate of the community spouse.

A community spouse who is found to have had excess resources at the time benefits were paid may be found to have an “implied contract ” with the State to pay back the benefits paid out on behalf of the institutionalized spouse. This implied contract may ultimately be enforced as a claim against the estate of the community spouse.

3) The spousal elective share right.

If the community spouse dies before the Medicaid spouse, the Medicaid spouse will have a statutory right of election against the estate of the community spouse. A Medicaid Trust of the community spouse will be considered to be a testamentary substitute, and therefore included in calculating the net elective estate for elective share purposes. However, even if the Department of Social Services does move to enforce this right, only one-third (1/3) of the net elective estate is required to be paid out to the institutionalized spouse, and given proper planning it may be possible to preserve up to fifty percent (50%) of the elective share amount for family members. If possible, Waivers of the right of election should be signed by both spouses in advance of the Medicaid application.

4) Transfers After Medicaid Eligibility is Determined.

Once a spousal refusal Medicaid Application is accepted, under current New York law the community spouse may transfer assets without penalty. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), however, has indicated that a state may treat any transfers or gifts made by the community spouse as a disqualifying transfer for the Medicaid recipient. At this time New York State’s regulations do not adopt this policy, but there is a risk that the Department of Social Services may attempt to recover resources that have been gifted by a community spouse based upon New York’s Debtor and Creditor Law, by alleging that the transfers are fraudulent. Therefore, any asset transfers done “post-eligibility” must be carefully planned and executed.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #medicaidarticles


Elder Care / Senior Care Article

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Brian Chew, Esq., Founding Partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys in Irvine, California.  Attorney Chew is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

TITLE:  6 Events Which May Require a Change in Your Estate Plan

Creating a Will is not a one-time event. You should review your Will periodically, to ensure it is up to date, and make necessary changes if your personal situation, or that of your executor or beneficiaries, has changed. There are a number of life-changing events that require your Will to be revised, including:

  1. Change in Marital Status: If you have gotten married or divorced, it is imperative that you review and modify your Will. With a new marriage, you must determine which assets you want to pass to your new spouse or step-children, and how that may relate to the beneficiary interest of your own children. Following a divorce it is a good practice to revise your Will, to formally remove the ex-spouse as a beneficiary. While you’re at it, you should also change your beneficiary on any life insurance policies, pensions, or retirement accounts. Estate planning is complicated when there are children from multiple marriages, and an attorney can help you ensure everyone is protected, which may include establishing a trust in addition to the revised Will. Depending on jurisdiction, this may also apply to couples who have established or revoked a registered domestic partnership. If one of your Will’s beneficiaries experiences a change in marital status, that may also trigger a need to revise your Will.
  2. Births: Upon the birth of a new child, the parents should amend their Wills immediately, to include the names of the guardians who will care for the child if both parents die. Also, parents or grandparents may wish to modify the distribution of assets provided in their Wills, to include the new addition to the family.
  3. Deaths or Incapacitation: If any of the named executors or beneficiaries of a Will, or the named guardians for your children, pass away or become incapacitated, your Will should be revised accordingly.
  4. Change in Assets: Your Will may need to be changed if the value of your assets has significantly increased or decreased, or if you dispose of an asset. You may want to modify the distribution of other assets in your estate, to account for the changed value or disposition of the asset.
  5. Change in Employment: A change in the amount and/or source of income means your Will should be examined to see if any changes must be made to that document. Retirement or changing jobs could entail moving to another state, thus subjecting your estate to the laws of that state when you die. If the change in income modifies your investing, saving or spending habits, it may be time to review your Will and make sure the distribution to your beneficiaries will be as you intended.
  6. Changes in Probate or Tax Laws: Wills should be drafted to maximize tax benefits, and to ensure the decedent’s wishes are carried out. If the laws regarding taxation of the estate, distribution of assets, or provisions for minor children have changed, you should have your Will reviewed by an estate planning attorney to ensure your family is fully protected and your wishes will be fully carried out.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

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Elder Care / Senior Care Article

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Lauren Spiglanin, Owner and Founder of Family Connect Care in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  Ms. Spiglanin is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

Elder Care / Senior Care Article

TITLE:  Are we born happy and positive?

Turns out we are NOT born happy and positive, but we can’t help it. It’s not our fault that we have difficulty being happy. Many of us feel happy is a thing you have to schedule.

Sadly, we aren’t wired for it.

Our nature and historic DNA predisposes us to negativity – that pesky fight or flight and survival of the fittest. Our earliest ancestors spent most of their time in avoidance – avoiding hunger, avoiding being eaten, and fighting to survive.

Our predilection to avoid negative outcomes has us prewired for a negative bias. It leads our brain into using up to two thirds of its neurons detecting negativity: should I fight or should I go? That constant focus is further complicated because it’s stored in our long term memory. We hold on to negativity longer, making bad feelings stronger than good.

It’s not all gloom and doom though.

We can turn it around, and we should, because stress takes a toll on us with higher blood pressure, increased aches and pains, cognitive impairments, and a diminished quality of life.

We all seem to have time for stress in our lives. In my work, I see that family caregivers of those living with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s/Dementia appear to have a particularly high level of stress.

So, how do we do it? How do we GET happy?

Since we spend a great deal on negativity, we have to rewire ourselves, retrain our brains. It’s the pursuit of positive experiences and the techniques associated with storing and holding on to them that leads to the Holy Grail of HAPPINESS.

Here are 4 Happy Practices to rewire and retrain your brain

1. Practice Healthy Habits

Not surprisingly, eating a healthy diet and adopting a regular exercise routine allows us to feel better. It doesn’t take more time to eat right. It takes focus on feeling better, which leads us to a more positive outlook.

Okay, exercising might take some extra time. Instead of watching another episode of Real Housewives of Wherever, try just 20 minutes of walking a day. That alone can lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels. The National Institutes of Health suggests that aerobic exercise is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. It may even slow the progression of dementia.

2. Practice remembering the positive moments

Do you know a particularly happy person? They seem alive, walking with a bounce in their step and nothing ever seems to get them down, leading you and others to believe that nothing bad or negative happens to them. That’s simply not true. Bad things happen to everyone but, if we focus on finding positive moments, we don’t have to see the negative or, if we do, we learn to let it go quickly.

To rewire ourselves we must spend as much time with our positive moments as possible. We currently take time to ruminate on the negative so let’s take THAT time to reminisce on the positive.

Journaling helps to savor the moments by spending more time on it. Write about how it felt and what you saw. Think of colorful adjectives to describe the experience. Studies suggest that something as simple as “listing” our gratitude’s – or counting our blessings is effective in holding positive moments.

We ask family care givers to focus on the good days — Take MORE time to consume those good-day-making moments. Was Dad more lucid today, resulting in the two of you having a great conversation? Wrap your arms around that conversation. Write about it, feel it, experience it. It was a good day!

Consider other moments you might experience. Every moment has the ability to envelop all our senses, enabling the ability to build a positivity bias.

3. Practice flipping the script

The adage when life gives you lemons, make lemonade is a great example of a script flip. We get to control how we imprint what happens to us. Now there’s a time-saver.

For family caregivers living with an Alzheimer’s sufferer, new behaviors seem to appear out of nowhere that we find unpleasant and over which we have no control. Such might be the case when Mom arrives to the breakfast table wearing nothing more than a strand of pearls and a smile.

You have some choices: get angry, reason with her, or simply say —

Nice pearls Mom. Let’s make a fashion statement and pair it with that pink robe you have then pour her a cup of coffee.

Questioning the behavior or displaying anger doesn’t help Mom and it certainly doesn’t help you. Letting it go helps you, reframing the situation (or flipping the script) helps you.

4. Practice Mindful Meditation

Meditaion is one of, if not the, most important way of developing focus on positivity. It’s like a clearing of the brain. We are returning our brains to a state of equilibrium which allows us to recharge, replenish, and rest. Through it, we develop greater present moment awareness and emotional regulation–in other words–we are less stressed.

The benefits cannot be overstated. Studies show that we can change the structure of our brains in as little as 8 weeks of meditation. We gain greater clarity, feelings of calm, and even increased cognitive ability as the practice, “changes gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes and emotional regulation.”

With the ability to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase cognitive ability, family members caring for someone with Dementia/Alzheimer’s will benefit greatly from the practice. What’s more promising is the growing body of evidence supporting the positive aspects of meditation in that it made seniors feel less lonely and isolated — a link to an increased risk of developing the disease.

There are fundamental ways we ask family caregivers to prepare themselves for the journey from addressing legal and financial issues to learning as much about the disease as possible. Self-care is paramount for the journey too. It gives you, the family caregiver, the strength and tools for navigating the road ahead. Taking time to adopt Happy Practices will go a long way in ensuring your own self-care.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles


This Week’s Elder Care / Senior Care Article

TITLE:  Medicaid Planning: The Importance of a Well Drafted Power of Attorney

This is a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case that highlights how important a power of attorney can be in proper planning. In this case an executor who was also the agent under a power of attorney for the decedent was forced to account for his use of the power of attorney prior to the death of the decedent. The objections to how the power of attorney was used were not appealed so we did not get all of the details on the document itself. However, the opinion does shed some light, at least by inference, on Medicaid planning with a power of attorney.

Briefly, Medicaid planning is a process where someone accelerates their eligibility for Medicaid (Medical Assistance in PA) by restructuring or transferring assets so that they meet the financial qualifications for Medicaid eligibility sooner and preserve more resources for their loved ones. Sometimes this restructuring is done directly by the applicant (usually an older or disabled adult), through their agent under a power of attorney or by their legal guardian. Today courts are more likely to allow guardians to engage in this planning to protect the healthy spouse, less so to protect an inheritance for the children unless one or more is disabled or a minor. There has been some discussion, but few cases, as to whether a guardian has the power to engage in this planning for other purposes given that a guardian should be able to do anything the incapacitated person can do for him or herself.

Frequently this type of planning is performed via a power of attorney as in the Binnig case. While the details were not provided in the case as to the terms of the power of attorney, it was abundantly clear that the power of attorney lacked certain provisions that allowed for the transfer of assets that occurred prior to death (thereby reducing the size of the estate and causing another beneficiary to object). Not only does the power of attorney need to allow the administrative function of the transfers (i.e. the ability to convey real estate or transfer assets in a bank or brokerage account) but it needs to clearly identify the reasons why the transfers may occur (Medicaid or Asset Protection Planning). An agent under a power has a fiduciary obligation to the principal (the person who authorizes the agent to act on the principal’s behalf). Therefore he or she cannot simply transfer assets of the principal to him or herself unless doing so is in the best interest of the principal absent authority in the power of attorney to do so.

One can infer from the Court’s opinion that, had the power of attorney been properly drafted with this type of planning in mind and discussed with the principal at the time of execution, the plan would have been carried out and the objections dismissed. Particularly after Act 95 of 2014 where sweeping changes were made to the requirements of powers of attorney in Pennsylvania, it is important that you review your financial powers of attorney to make sure your agent has the ability to do what you would want them to do if you are unable to act.

This article was written by Robert M. Slutsky, Esq., of the law firm Robert Slutsky Associates in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Slutsky is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

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This Week’s Elder Care / Senior Care Article

 

TITLE:  A Cautionary Tale… Protect Your Hard Earned Money

In the land of opportunity, many people have “made it” and made it big. Mr. Roman Blum did just that. However, having amassed close to 40 million dollars, he died last year at the age of 97 with no apparent heirs to his fortune. According to the state comptroller’s office, Mr. Blum’s estate is the largest unclaimed estate in New York State history. His story illustrates how critical it is to engage in estate planning.

 

Mr. Blum was born in Poland. Having survived the Holocaust, he met and married his wife, also a Holocaust survivor, after the war. They migrated to the United States and settled in Forest Hills. He was a real estate developer who seized the opportunity to develop land in Staten Island when the Verrazano Bridge opened in 1964. He ultimately moved to Staten Island himself. He and his wife never had any children. It was said that the former Mrs. Blum suffered from infertility after being a subject of Dr. Mengele’s experiments while she was held in Auschwitz. The couple eventually divorced and Mrs. Blum later died in 1992. Mr. Blum was said to have had a wife and children in Poland before the war, but there is no evidence of any surviving relatives.

 

In a case like that of Mr. Blum, in which no will was found, the estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. This means that the estate will go through an “administration proceeding” where an administrator (the equivalent of an executor in a will) is appointed to handle the estate. The following list of individuals may petition to be the administrator of the decedent’s estate:

(a)  surviving spouse, (b)  children, (c)  grandchildren, (d)  father or mother, (e)  brothers or sisters, (f)  other persons who are distributees (entitled to receive under the law).

 

If none of the above individuals exist, the Public Administrator of the county will be appointed. Currently, the Richmond County Public Administrator’s office is handling the estate of Mr. Blum. The Public Administrator is charged with collecting his assets, selling them, and paying the appropriate federal and New York State estate taxes. The Public Administrator is also conducting a thorough search for a will, and is hiring a genealogist in an effort to find Mr. Blum’s relatives. If any relatives are found, the order of individuals entitled to inherit from Mr. Blum’s estate is as follows:

  1. surviving spouse and descendants (children, grandchildren, etc);
  2. surviving parents;
  3. surviving descendants of parents (i.e. siblings, nephews and nieces);
  4. surviving grandparents or the descendants of grandparents (i.e. uncles, aunts, and cousins)

 

If no will is found and no relatives are located, Mr. Blum’s estate will be turned over to the New York City Department of Finance. After three years, if no relatives come forward, the funds will then go to the New York State Comptroller’s office as unclaimed funds. If any relatives ever surface, all the funds will be returned.

 

Mr. Blum’s case is a stunning example of the importance of engaging in estate planning. Even if you do have close relatives, it is imperative to take control of your own estate. Why have New York State determine who your beneficiaries will be? Be proactive and make sure that you have a well-prepared will, power of attorney, statutory gifts rider, health care proxy, living will, and living trust. If Mr. Blum had planned ahead, he could have specified in a will that his estate would go to charitable organizations serving Holocaust survivors. Or, he could have engaged in more complex estate planning to avoid or minimize estate taxes and provide for an extensive list of beneficiaries.

This article was written by Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq, CELA, managing attorney of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates in Great Neck, New York.  Mr. Fatoullah is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.

21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories

If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with your estate plan or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.

  1. ElderCareMatters.com
  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com
  3. ElderCareWebsites.com
  4. ElderCareAnswers.us
  5. ElderCareArticles.us
  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us
  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us
  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us
  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net
  10. FindElderCareMediators.net
  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net
  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net
  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net
  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net
  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net
  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net
  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net
  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net
  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net
  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net
  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#EstatePlanning, #findEstatePlanningAttorneys, #eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #elderlawarticles, #elderlawanswers, #elderlawattorneys, #findelderlawattorneys, #EstatePlanningArticles


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