Special considerations for seniors facing bankruptcy

Jonathan Ginsberg, JDJonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
Ginsberg Law Offices
Atlanta, Georgia

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance,
Georgia chapter

The recession of 2008-2009 has especially affected retirees whose fixed income investments no longer provide enough money to live.

For many retirees, credit card balances have increased the past several years and they can’t even afford the minimum payments.  Others make mortgage payments on homes that are now worth less than the total mortgage debt.  Selling and downsizing is no longer viable.

As an option to help retirees out of their financial troubles, bankruptcy is often met with ambivalence.  Moreover, and not surprisingly, to hardworking, industrious men and women, bankruptcy represents both a financial and a personal failure.

Complicating the issue, many retirees hide debt problems from their adult children, or they make ill-advised decisions, such as liquidating retirement plans, long before they meet with their legal or financial advisors.

But before you dismiss the idea of bankruptcy, let’s learn a little more about it. (more…)

The Probate Process – Connecticut's 6 steps can help you understand your state's procedures

Paul T. Czepiga, J.D.Paul T. Czepiga, J.D.
Czepiga Daly Dillman, LLC
Newington & Wethersfield , Connecticut

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance,
Connecticut chapter

 Editor’s note:  The following article about the probate process is a case study of the system in Connecticut.  Although not nati0nal in scope, the steps examined in this article may be useful when doing estate planning in whatever state you live in and for generating questions for your financial and legal advisors.

Many people believe it is important is avoid probate.  Some have heard that using a “living trust” avoids probate.  Others may have had a particularly bad experience with a probate court.

To understand why one might want to use or avoid probate, let’s first understand what the probate court’s role is in processing estates of decedents, sometimes called the estate administration process. (more…)

Estate Planning Tools to Transfer Assets After Death

Ben A. Neiburger, JD, CPABen A. Neiburger, JD, CPA
Neiburger Law, Ltd.
Elmhurst, Illinois

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Illinois chapter

Estate planning helps ensure your assets go to your desired beneficiaries after you pass away.  This article describes the tools, such as gifts, wills, beneficiary designations, trusts, and strategies that elder law attorneys use to create an estate plan. (more…)

Understanding Elder Law

Sanford J. Mall, JD, CELA

By Sanford J. Mall, JD, CELA
Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C.
Farmington Hills, Michigan

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Michigan chapter

Elder law is a specialized area of law that focuses on assisting older individuals and those with disabilities preserve their dignity, protect their assets, and make good decisions despite increasingly complicated laws.  This specialty encompasses such areas as planning and paying for long-term care, asset preservation, housing options, disability planning, estate planning (including the use of financial and health care durable powers of attorney), and when necessary, the involvement of the probate court.


Value of estate planning is lost to half the population

John StewartBy John Stewart
Director of Estate and Asset Services
American Cancer Society

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Georgia chapter

An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries, while providing financial flexibility for the plan’s owners throughout their lives. 

Most Americans can benefit from estate plans, but more than half don’t have one in place.


Medical Issues and Terminology in Long Term Care

Shay Jacobson, RN, MAShay Jacobson, RN, MA
Life Care Innovations
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Illinois chapter

Long term care has evolved into a “catch all” phrase that is confusing to the lay as well as the professional community.  The boundaries among primary, acute, and long term care have blurred.  Instead of concentrating on acute care in hospitals, our health care system’s focus has switched to managing chronic conditions in a variety of settings from home to rehabilitation hospitals.  The long term care goal switches from curing illness to helping individuals function as well as possible while maintaining dignity and independence.  Individuals that require long term care have a compromised ability to live on their own due to their condition.  Long term care encompasses help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. (more…)

Long-term care insurance is not only for nursing homes

Philip C. Benedict, CFP

By Philip C. Benedict, CFP
Benedict Financial Advisors
Atlanta, Georgia

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Georgia chapter

Over the years, I have brought up the topic of long-term care insurance with my clients and friends.   Some got coverage, but many did nothing.  So, I asked a few of the “do nothings” why they took no action.


Take a critical look at financial instruments

Jeff Bernier, CFP, ChFC, CFS

 By Jeff Bernier, CFP, ChFC, CFS
TandemGrowth Financial Advisors, LLC
Roswell, Georgia

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance,
Georgia chapter

In the face of volatile investment markets, rising medical costs, increased taxes, and uncertain social security benefits, many retirees are looking for solutions.

This article is designed to assist retirees in planning for retirement while taking a critical look at the financial services industry’s packaged solutions. (more…)

Generational conversation: Create a late-life plan

Caroline Dott, Ph.D.

By Caroline Dott, Ph.D.
Ageless, Inc.
Roswell, Georgia
How is it that Americans, who enjoy a relatively high standard of living, do not think about creating an equally high standard for their last stage of life?  Does it make sense that when we reach the peak of life experience, knowledge and competency, we stop planning how we will enjoy our lives to the fullest?
Without a plan, we deny the realities of our last stage of life. (more…)

Distance caregiving is new baby boomer challenge

Mandy Merkel, MMSc, CCC-SLP

By Mandy Merkel, MMSc, CCC-SLP
Senior Resource Consulting
Atlanta, Georgia

Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance,
Georgia chapter

After my parents retired to Florida, we thought things would be fine; if something happened to them, we could hop on a plane and take care of things.

Unfortunately, it was not that simple.  Dad broke his hip and needed short term rehab – unbeknownst to us, he had been taking care of Mom as her dementia advanced.

Like many parents, he had kept us in the dark about how much she depended on him and like many children, we chose not to see the realities of her decline.

Now we were in a crisis: (more…)

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