Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Power of Attorney in Elder Law

While drafting power of attorney is a relatively “small” affair, the language of the document can have significant long-term negative impact. The power of attorney is generally signed in advance of a person’s onset of a disability in order to name someone to “stand in her shoes” in order to manage all daily financial decisions should the principal become incapacitated. That’s where the agent — the person named to handle the affairs — steps in and takes command of a variety of business and daily transactions. The issue is that no one knows when he or she suddenly may become incapacitated. Failure to have the document in place prior to the disability renders the principal unable to execute a document when it’s most needed.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/legal/2016/08/29/Elder-Law-Getting-the-right-power-of-attorney/stories/201608280049

Friday, August 26, 2016

How elder law attorney can help seniors

Here's a familiar scenario: A husband or wife has an immediate need for a nursing home. They are financially unprepared and have no one to guide them on their options when a loved one needs long-term care. Too often they believe they have no choice but to sell their largest asset, their home, to pay for that care. When potential clients in this situation call me, the first thing I ask is whether they have consulted an elder law attorney. Too often, their answer is no, as 55 percent of Americans die without a will or an estate plan. An experienced agent should immediately let you know that an elder law attorney could be the key to protecting your family’s health and financial well being, including the assets such as the family home you worked so hard for.

 Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/real-estate/2016/08/19/seniors-have-more-options-than-selling-their-home/YFNQPmV9QBwYNOWweh8ibO/story.html

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why You May Need a Revocable Living Trust

As an estate planning and elder law attorney, clients often ask they should have a revocable living trust. With the increased expense of probate and the overuse of the court system, a revocable living trust can be a good estate planning option. In addition to avoiding probate, there are many benefits to holding your assets in a revocable living trust. 1. Providing for You if You Become Incompetent. If you are competent, you will generally be your own trustee. However, if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, your trustee or successor trustee has a fiduciary obligation to act in your best interest.

 Read more: http://www.bendbulletin.com/ads/ads_health/4592779-165/estate-planning

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wills, trusts - when planning for estate

Wills and revocable living trusts are both common terms in estate planning. Both apply to distributing assets, but although the two are sometimes related, they serve very different purposes. A will provides instructions about distributing property after a person’s death. Most living trusts are “revocable” because they can be changed along with circumstances or wishes, and they are “living” because they are established while a person is alive. A will only goes into effect when you die, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it. Whether you need one or the other depends on many individual factors that are best sorted out by an estate planning professional. Stephen Lane, an estate and trust attorney, says there is no simple estate. “Everybody has complexity,” he says.

Read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/life/retirement/34137174-303/wills-trusts-big-decisions.html.csp

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Estate Planning with an Attorney

Many jurisdictions prevent spouses from being disinherited, so a court could void provisions in a will that leaves everything to children from a prior marriage. Remarriage also doesn’t revoke a will. Sometimes a surviving spouse has a right to take an “elective share” of the deceased spouse’s estate regardless of the language in a will. This is typically one-third or one-half of the estate. Your estate can include almost all your property. This may result in your children receiving less. Be sure to discuss this situation with your estate planning attorney so the proper language in your will can be drafted. This is a good time to discuss all your estate planning documents including your durable power of attorney, advance medical directives, trust provision, and your beneficiary designations.

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/money/money-matters-financial-and-estate-planning-for-second-marriages/41264984

Estate Plan - for digital assets

From bank accounts to Paypal, a good percentage of our personal and financial lives are online. If you fail to account for those digital assets in your estate plan, you risk burying your family or friends in red tape as they try to get access to and deal with your online accounts that may have sentimental, practical or monetary value. One potential problem with failing to plan for these assets is that your executor will have a hard time tracking everything down. That could mean some of your assets are simply lost.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-include-your-digital-assets-in-your-estate-plan-2016-08-17

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New York Elder law attorney learned from her aging parents

I had a wide-ranging interview with Menzies about her job as an elder law attorney, her interest in creating a center on aging in Western New York and what it was like as the primary caregiver to her elderly parents during the last four years of their lives. The topic of the last years of someone’s life – and the importance of planning for them – is so vast, and Menzies’ comments were so illuminating. 

Read more: http://refresh.buffalonews.com/2015/01/10/elder-lawyer-learned-lot-parents-last-years/

Elder Law Attorney on Medicaid

In most states, a house that is a person’s primary residence is exempt for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. But there are conditions for exemption. The net value of the house can’t exceed $500,000. (States have an option to increase that to $750,000, but only a few have done so.) And the owner needs to sign a form stating her intent to return to the house, even if that seems an unlikely prospect and she remains in a nursing home.

 Read more: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/ask-an-elder-law-attorney-medicaid-and-the-primary-residence/

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Elder Law Attorney may help aging parents talk finances

Lots of people don't like to talk about their finances. It can be especially difficult with seniors because the conversation is often about more than just money. Speaking about money with family makes some seniors very uncomfortable, said Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton, New Jersey. Discussing finances could also create a situation where someone feels you're trying to trying to control and take your parents' money, he said. To avoid that, if possible, bring in help from the outside. A financial planner, estate attorney or Certified Public Account can be more objective and less threatening, Lynch said.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-can-i-get-my-aging-parents-to-talk-about-money/

Estate Planning Lawyer comes to your home

Many people know they need to have a will, but they just have a hard time getting around to it. Plus, who wants to cart around a box of all the necessary documents you’ve dredged up, and then wait around in an attorney’s office? Florida Attorney Anne Moore has solved that problem with her business, Florida Wills on Wheels. Having an attorney come to your home is usually an expensive proposition. Ms. Moore uses technology to offset those costs. “There are a lot of attorneys who will go to a client’s home and meet with them and do their estate planning,” she says. “But that costs more money because of the attorney’s time and traveling, and the attorney is conducting the entire interview. 

Read more: http://charlotte.floridaweekly.com/news/2016-07-21/Business_News/Wills_on_Wheels_brings_estate_planning_to_your_hom.html

Friday, August 12, 2016

Estate Plan's critical elements

Question: My children approached me about going to a lawyer and getting a “power of attorney.” They say it will help them care for me should I get ill. They make it sound pretty straightforward but I just want to do my homework. Answer: A power-of-attorney (POA) is a standard legal document that is an important part of any estate plan, it allows you to appoint a person (or organization) to manage your affairs. The person authorizing the other to act is referred to as the principal, grantor, or donor. The one authorized to act – likely one of your children – is the agent. The principal determines the amount of power given to the agent. This individual can be given authority to deal with only one particular issue, or to handle most of the principal’s personal and financial matters.

 Read more: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2016/07/29/dont-forget-critical-element-your-estate-plan/87624214/

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Questions for your estate planning attorney

You may think of estate planning as something simple. You may have seen the forms for the statutory will or patient advocate designation and thought, "I can fill that out." Or maybe you have seen the advertisements for the online do-it-yourself plans. In reality, estate planning is anything but simple. Estate planning is one of the most complex areas of the law. Think about it. You want to make sure that you are in control of your assets while you are alive and well. In the event of your mental disability, you want to provide for you and your loved ones. And when you are gone, you want to give what you have to whom you want, when you want and the way you want. You want to do this at the lowest overall cost to you and those you love. Planning for you and your estate, both during your lifetime and after your death, is the legal equivalent of heart surgery. This is going to require lots of instructions. To make the proper instructions, the estate planning attorney has to have a working knowledge of six areas of the law — estate planning, elder law, business, real estate, taxation and probate.
Read more: http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/money/2016/08/06/six-questions-you-should-ask-your-estate-planning-attorney/88289448/

When marriage needs an estate plan

You know that I rarely use the expressions “always” or “never.” My usual expression is “it depends.” However, I might break that rule regarding second (or subsequent) marriages and the need for an estate plan instead of just Wills. Wills affect only probate assets, those titled in your own name, not jointly titled, and have no beneficiary designation. An estate plan looks at the whole picture and considers who will receive what on your passing regardless how the assets are titled now. For second marriages, I might even go so far as to say that every second marriage needs an estate plan. Beginning with those least affected I will explain why.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/business/20160808/colliton-every-second-marriage-needs-an-estate-plan

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Elder care law can cause intense family situations

Imagine this common scenario: Aging Parents are slowing down. Their adult children, concerned for their safety, want to move them into assisted living, but they insist they are doing just fine and will stay at home. Or this one: Aging parents are ready to move to a nursing home, but the children balk, fearing their inheritance will be consumed. Caring for and coping with aging parents are issues that will affect most families, often reviving sibling rivalries and recriminations as brothers and sisters struggle for control.

 Read more: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Q-A-In-elder-care-law-be-prepared-for-intense-9126201.php

Friday, August 5, 2016

Estate Planning for College Bound Children

If your child is not 18 yet, they will be soon. At that point, they are no longer a minor under your control. They are a legally independent and afforded all rights associated with achieving the age of majority – including a right to privacy and protection of assets. This can sometimes create a headache for parents wanting to provide and manage funds for the new student. Parents often want to help their children while allowing the child to have more independence. With a durable power of attorney (DPOA) you can provide funds to your child and manage those funds without owning the account. A DPOA is a legal document that gives a person the power to act in your place. In the case of a child in college, it allows a parent to set up an account in a child’s name, allow the child to be responsible for the account and begin to create a credit history

Read more: http://shawneemissionpost.com/sponsored/estate-planning-kc-kids-heading-out-this-fall-you-may-want-to-do-this-first

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Estate planning advice from attorney

There is an old television commercial tag line that said “you can either pay now or pay later”. The “pay now” approach to estate planning means preparing in advance for a physical or mental incapacity and the disposition of your estate at death. The “pay later” approach means being unprepared by doing nothing or underprepared by relying on out-of-date or “do it yourself” documents which will force your loved ones to react to situations that happen. I always advise my clients that they have the same choice. The choice is between having an estate planning attorney draft the appropriate legal documents at a flat fee or paying substantially more in hourly fees to react to an incapacity or death in the family. Worse yet, if there is no plan or a bad plan in place it might cause family discord, disinheritance or wasting of assets.

 Read more: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2016/08/01/estate-planning-pay-now-pay-later/87909276/

Elder Law Financial Advice on Aging

There’s an emergency room in your hospital and you’re judgment proof. Show up and demand treatment, but don’t breach the peace or you’ll end up in detention. Utilize your V. A. clinic, but don’t fib about your service. Apply for use of the Lincoln County indigent fund and see if you can get on Medicaid and food stamps at Income Support. Medicaid can pay some of your Medicare premium. Get your vaccines at Dept. of Health and utilize the local mental health center. Talk to friendly pharmacists about help from big pharma (all the little cards). Use senior center transportation and elder supplies, and Alzheimer’s Association care provider respite vouchers. Read the front section of the phone book; it’s full of things I’m not including.

Read more: http://www.ruidosonews.com/story/life/columnists/2016/07/28/elder-law-tidbits-aging-gracefully-no-dinero/87622274/

Elder Law: About Medicare

Medicare is a federally program providing health insurance for people who are 65 or older, or for people who are under the age of 65 with certain disabilities. Medicare provides individual coverage only, and each spouse must be covered separately.To be eligible for Medicare one must be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident of the U.S. for at least 5 continuous years, at least 65 years old, or if under age 65, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for at least 24 months, or have end stage renal disease (ESRD), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. There are no income or asset requirements, so everyone who meets the eligibility requirements above is entitled to Medicare coverage.

Read more: http://blogs.lawyers.com/attorney/medicare-and-medicaid/elder-law-qa-what-is-medicare-37454/