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Bankruptcy Among Senior Citizens Is an Increasing in America Today

The golden years are turning into bankruptcy red for many retired and aging Americans. While medical advances are keeping seniors alive longer, the associated healthcare costs in the quest for longevity are being off-loaded onto the older individual at a time when reduced income is a hallmark of senior living.  […]

Make Your Health Care Wishes Known: Artificial Nutrition or No?

By now, many of us have witnessed the slow and dehumanizing death by Alzheimer’s of friends and loved ones. In the final stages of this and other dementia diseases, there comes a time when the person can no longer speak, recognize loved ones, or move purposefully. With that poor quality […]

Comparing Medicaid and Medicare – What’s the Difference?

Medicaid and Medicare are two programs that people often confuse, so what really is the difference between them? Most people who work in healthcare may recognize the acronym LASA, which stands for “look-alike-sound-alike” and is usually seen when referencing medications.   When it comes to federal programs, Medicaid and Medicare, in […]

What You Should Know About Gift Taxes

The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of assets, cash or property, to another without receiving something of equal value. The asset has to be of a certain value for the tax to apply; otherwise, it falls under the gift tax exclusion, either annual or lifetime. If the […]

Legal Planning with Alzheimer’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease. Projections by the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) are that by 2050 more than 14 million Americans will suffer from this disease. What can you do if you are medically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Aside from following […]

Aging in Place Presents Physical Challenges

According to AARP aging in place is a goal for 3 out of 4 Americans aged 50 or more. These seniors and near seniors are willing to employ alternative solutions to facilitate this. The alternatives include home sharing (32%), building an additional or accessory dwelling unit (31%) and locating into […]

The Autism Cares Act

Much attention over the last ten years has been given to the research for causes and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD.   The Combating Autism Act became a law in 2006,  was reauthorized in 2011, then again reauthorized and renamed to Autism CARES Act in 2014 (Autism […]

Who Ultimately Pays for Elder Care?

The astronomical expense of long-term nursing care is no longer news. Costs can run around $7,000.00 or more per month, depending on location. Hundreds of thousands of people presently need that kind of care and the numbers are rising. Ten thousand “baby boomers” a day turn 65, and it’s projected […]

How Life Insurance Figures into Estate Planning

Recent events have made many of us think about our mortality and how to make sure our loved ones are taken care of especially if we die unexpectedly. Life insurance can be an affordable way to provide for our children, a spouse, a sibling, aging parents, and other loved ones. […]

Coronavirus Causing All Ages to Look into Wills

There has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will online. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has created the scramble to set up wills and end-of-life-directives. However, online do it yourself (DIY) wills are often deemed invalid as they do not comply with all of the […]

Completing Your Estate Plan Online

There is no doubt you have read or heard from medical professionals that keeping a safe distance from others can reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Call or email us to find out how we can help you complete your estate plan without taking a single step outside your safe […]

COVID-19 Causing Stress and Anxiety

Many of us are facing unprecedented challenges during this coronavirus crisis in America, and it has increased anxiety and fear levels in all of us. The reactive part of your brain called the amygdala, a human physiological response when faced with fear, takes control of your actions, and you enter […]

Speaking with Your Parents About Estate Planning

It is essential that as your parents’ age, you have conversations with them about their finances. To broach the topic, you might bring up current events like the coronavirus pandemic, its effect on economic conditions, and how it relates to the security of their financial future. The conversation should come […]

How to Write a Letter of Intent for Your Special Needs Child

Writing a letter of intent (LOI) for your special needs child can help bring them family continuity and comfort after you are gone. As a parent, the most valuable asset your child has is you and your ability to care for them. You, like no other, fully understand the nuances […]

COVID-19 Pushes Adoption of Telehealth

Through the use of videoconferencing over wireless devices and remote health tech monitoring, telehealth can connect patients to vital health care services. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), fully 76 percent of US hospitals are using some form of telehealth for their patient groups. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the […]

Helping Seniors Adopt New Technologies

You are a caregiver to your parent, but you live 4 hours away and can’t be there to help with everyday activities. Technology can help, but only if you and your parent(s) are able to understand and use it effectively. Each year in Las Vegas the Consumer Electronics Show offers […]

Use These Tips When Purchasing Special Needs Housing

If you or a loved one is in the market for a home that will meet a physical or developmental need, there are some tips to consider before you begin the process. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website lists state, local government, and other organizations that […]

Fraud in the American Hospice Care System

A newly released Inspector General Report from the Department of Health and Human Services exposes the vulnerabilities in the Medicare-funded hospice program. The report consolidates patient and Medicare payment data back to the year 2005 and concludes that some hospice care providers are neglecting patients and defrauding Medicare. The report […]

COVID-19 Closes VA Regional Benefits Offices

All Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices are closed to the public for veteran walk-in claim assistance, counseling, scheduled appointments, and other in-person services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The offices will remain open to essential personnel as services will be provided to veterans through the Veterans Administration website […]

What This Decade Holds for Baby Boomers

The baby boom generation is comprised of those Americans born 1946-1964, and according to the US Census Bureau (Bureau of Census), their numbers are estimated to be 73 million strong. This number represents nearly 20 percent of the American public. As they enter their 60, 70, and 80th decades, their […]

D.C. Court Affirms Ban on Medicaid Work-Rules

The Trump administration has failed once again to engraft into Medicaid an Arkansas requirement that before low-income adults up to age 49 can receive health-care benefits, they must work, attend school, or volunteer.[1] In a stinging opinion, a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that the […]

New Tech Revolutionizing At-Home Medical Care

The silver tsunami of Americans aging into 65 or more years puts additional strain on an already overtaxed US health care system which is running low on doctors, nurses, and caregivers. The surge in baby boomer seniors and near-seniors has put a focus on Telehealth and mHealth technology platforms which […]

Passing on Your Family’s Values

Successfully addressing and legally formalizing inheritance of family values and assets can be challenging, especially if parents wait too long to begin instilling family values. Undoubtedly the best time to teach and empower your children as eventual inheritors of your family legacy is during childhood, then continuing throughout adulthood. Waiting […]

Keeping Your Home While on Long-Term Care

Homeownership is the American Dream. People work hard all their lives to own a home, and it is often their most valuable and significant possession. So when health begins to fail and the need for long-term care arises, we often get this fear-filled question from our clients: will they take […]

Social Security Disability Income and Qualifications

Anyone can become either temporarily or permanently disabled. Some projections are estimating that Americans in their 20s today have an approximate 30 percent chance of experiencing a disability profound enough to cause them to miss three or more months of work before retiring. Despite the risks, most Americans do not […]

Seniors Who Lose Hearing Can Suffer from Depression

The findings from a ten-year study by the Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) reports of a link between hearing loss and health risks. The risks include a 50 percent greater risk of dementia, a 40 percent greater risk of developing depression and nearly a 30 percent higher risk […]

Hybrid Policies on the Rise

You have probably heard about the astronomical costs of nursing-home care if you become seriously ill or injured. You might also know that Medicare would cover only a minimal amount of those costs. Private insurance doesn’t seem like a good bet either if you’ve heard horror stories about skyrocketing premium […]

Why is a Living Will Important?

A living will lays out your preferences for life-sustaining medical treatment.  It is often accompanied by a health-care proxy or power of attorney, which allows someone to make treatment decisions for you if you are incapacitated and the living will does not have specific instructions for the situation at hand.  […]

The 3 Ps of Long Term Care

Americans are facing an escalating long-term care (LTC) crisis. Industry driven, massively underpriced policies are playing fiscal catch up with hefty premium rate increases. This price increase is forcing some aging Americans to abandon their policy while others struggle to reduce their amount of LTC coverage to keep their rates […]

Congress Passes the SECURE Act of 2020

Congress has passed a bipartisan appropriations bill. In the contents of this spending bill is a piece of legislation known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE), the first significant change in retirement legislation since the Pension Protection Act in 2006. The President signed the Act […]

Seniors Suffering Financially from Gray Divorce

Americans aged 50 or more are experiencing gray divorce more than ever. The term gray divorce generally refers to the baby boomer generation and affects all classes and education levels. Research shows that splitting during middle age is particularly damaging to your financial well being. According to Bloomberg News, the […]

Not Adding Your Kids to Your Bank Account

Although it can be useful to have another party available to keep track of bills when you’re sick or away, adding a child’s name to a bank account may be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Doing so may have unintended consequences for both you and the child. First […]

Health and Financial Questions to Answer Before Turning 65

In the United States, turning 65 years of age is a milestone on many levels, but before this birthday, there is a hefty checklist that you need to address to continue aging successfully. Overall the most crucial thing to do before turning 65 is to invest your time wisely crafting […]

Is Bacteria Responsible for Other Diseases?

Health experts have been advising people for years about unhealthy habits being the cause of “lifestyle” diseases that are increasing across the US. These lifestyle diseases become more common with age and include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Around the globe, these diseases account for […]

Google’s New Evolution of Medical Records

When Google Inc. became a publicly-traded company in 2004, its founders wrote a letter that said, in part, Google and its employees are “committed to significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible.” Google is famously known for its search engine and is part of many inter-related technology […]

Genetic Testing Fraud on the Rise

An alert has been issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General about a fraud scheme that involves genetic testing. The warning is for Medicare beneficiaries across the nation, and the federal government is working with law enforcement to put an end to the […]

Dealing with Abuse in Senior Living Facilities

If you have an elderly family member or friend living in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, it is imperative that you stay attuned to the signs of abuse to your loved one. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports the most common types of abuse include physical (29%), […]

Rethinking Your Retirement Investments

Kiplinger.com is suggesting it is time to rethink your financial retirement portfolio. You may have built up a significant nest egg in a 401(k) plan, but it does come with serious baggage during your golden years. It is impossible to argue against the early stages of a 401(k) when employers […]

The Benefits of Inter-generational Living

Master plans for inter-generational community living models are changing the shape of the aging experience from the ages of 8 up to 80 years of age and beyond. Dubbed “new urbanism” it is the belief that a living environment with high standards can have a positive effect on the quality […]

Hospice Providers Have a Lack of Oversight

When a loved one enters hospice care, the whole point is to provide peace of mind and comfort to the patient and the family. And yet a lack of regulation, oversight, and available information means that isn’t always the case. The HSS Inspector General has found that, between 2012 and […]

Seniors Affected by Recent Data Breaches

Data breaches have been one of the hot topics this year in the wake of the Capital One data breach which compromised nearly 100 million Americans. But what hasn’t been receiving much major media coverage are the recent breaches affecting seniors. One such breach occurred last year in May, and […]

Do You Know Which Hospital You’ll Go To?

When you dial 911 for emergency medical services (EMS) your transport may route you to a hospital that is not near your home. While you have the right to ask to be transported to the hospital of your choice, either out of preference or to stay in your insurance network […]

Protecting Your Spouse from Poverty

30 years ago, Congress put in place protections for the savings of married couples using Medicaid. These protections prevent husbands and wives from bankrupting themselves trying to fund care for their loved ones. They originally required states to allow spouses of nursing home residents to maintain a certain amount of […]

Wealthy Retirees are Holding on to Their Money

While the US economy is in a cycle of more than ten years of economic growth, its citizens, even the “wealthy” ones, are worried about running out of cash and are scared to spend. Bloomberg.com is reporting many retirees, and near-retirees are sitting on their wealth in much the same […]

How Can I Benefit From an Elder Law Attorney?

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 51 million Americans are currently aged 65 or older, and the number is steadily increasing while medical and technological advancements are allowing seniors to live longer and better lives than ever before. The expanding needs of the US aging population are contributing […]

Your Guide to Advance Directives

Kevin stands at the door of Winnie’s nursing home room, tears streaming down his face. The medical staff just finished inserted a feeding tube into Winnie – an act Kevin knew she didn’t want. Unfortunately, Winnie couldn’t express her wishes due to advanced dementia, and she had no legal documents […]

Will Social Security Be Funded in the Future?

Social Security benefits, which are funded through 2 trusts, may not be available for much longer. The US Social Security Administrations funding trusts are known as the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. In their annual report to Congress, the Board of […]

Battling Dementia with New Technologies

A study by The Lewin Group of Falls Church, VA for the Alzheimer’s Association is predicting a skyrocketing number of Alzheimer’s incidence and prevalence. By the year 2040 more than twice as many baby boomers will have Alzheimer’s disease as compared to 2015; 10.3 million as compared to 4.7 million […]

The Newly-Appointed Property Guardian Checklist

Your grandfather Martin can no longer make decisions on his own. A court appoints you to be Martin’s guardian of property, to help Martin manage his money. You become Martin’s “fiduciary.” The law now requires you to act to a high standard of good faith and honesty. There’s a lot […]

Seniors Continue Spending Billions on Tech

It isn’t just assisted living and nursing home workers employing the latest technology to improve caregiving for elder Americans. According to an AARP survey upwards of 84 billion dollars will be spent annually on technology products for personal self-care use by the 132 million Americans aged 50 or more by […]

How to Manage a Loved One’s Benefits

You have been appointed to help your seven-year-old nephew Roberto manage his Social Security benefits. In the Social Security system, you’ll be called Roberto’s “representative payee.” The situation is similar if you’re appointed to help your elderly father, who has dementia, manage his Veteran’s benefit checks. In the Veterans Administration […]

New Service Helps Seniors Pay Bills

If you are a senior or have a loved one who is struggling with the process of paying their household bills, Silver Bills can eliminate the task and alleviate the worry about proper handling of monthly bills. As many baby boomers continue to opt for aging in place, home administrative […]

The Internet of Things Comes to the Medical Field

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are looking to the future of the US health care system, and it is projected to be overloaded with seniors needing medical care. In 2010 the US elderly population accounted for about 13 percent of the US population yet accounted for 34 percent […]

The Real Risk to Social Security

According to a recent government report, available here, Medicare and Social Security are at risk of insolvency. Unless action is taken, Social Security will exceed its income by 2020, whereas Medicare is projected to exceed its hospital insurance fund by 2026. Social Security will have to start spending down, potentially […]

Assisted Living is Going Through a Change

With changes in medicine, technology, and socioeconomics, it’s no surprise that assisted living is changing, too. The rising cost of assisted living means that some families are looking to new alternatives, while those who consider traditional assisted living have new options to consider. Alternatives to assisted living include multigenerational housing […]

What to Discuss with Your Aging Parent

Your parent is getting on in age, but you don’t have a clear idea if there is a plan in place for their care.  It is a difficult topic to broach; no one wants to talk about death and the financial realities that come with aging. Instead of having a […]

A Dementia Diagnosis May Tell You Where to Live

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report acknowledging that from 2000 to 2017 deaths in the US that have dementia as an underlying cause has more than tripled. Underlying Alzheimer’s disease accounts for more than 46% (261,914) of those deaths in 2017. The trend is […]

Digital Afterlife: An Estate Plan For Your Facebook Account

Did you ever wonder what happens to your digital footprint when you pass away? Well you should, particularly if you are part of the 77 percent of Americans who go online every day. As the internet has become more of an integral part of our lives, our information — pictures, […]

Retirement Planning for Business Owners

For many employees, saving for retirement is usually a matter of simply participating in their employer’s 401(k) plan and perhaps opening an IRA for some extra savings. But, when you’re the owner of a business, planning for retirement requires proactivity and strategy. It’s not just the dizzying array of choices […]

Finding the Right Fit: Questions For Prospective Wills and Trusts Attorneys

It goes without saying that estate planning is incredibly important and is more than just having a will or a trust. Estate planning offers a sense of security for you and your loved ones that your wishes will be carried out. With such an important and personal endeavor, selecting the […]

What to Do with Your Beloved Collection

Whether your beloved collection consists of artwork, books, cars, music, or other significant items, you should not forget about this valuable asset when estate planning. You have likely spent quite some time — whether years or your entire life — building your collection; you should not leave its fate to […]

Steps For Starting the End-of-Life Conversation

No one likes to talk about death and dying, at least not their own. And yet, it’s a critical time in everyone’s life and we know we need to prepare for it. While many people would like to share their wishes, something always seems to keep us from openly communicating […]

Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance When You are Divorced

Consider this story. Beth’s divorce from her husband was recently finalized. Her most valuable assets are her retirement plan at work and her life insurance policy. She updated the beneficiary designations on both to be her two minor children. She did not want her ex-husband to receive the money. Beth […]

Powers of Attorney in Virginia Explained

Powers of attorney ordinarily form an important part of a comprehensive estate plan, whether in the form of an Durable General Power of Attorney or an Advance Medical Directive. Virginia adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, effective July 1, 2010. Read the text of the Act here: https://law.justia.com/codes/virginia…

Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: How They Differ

Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is, as Martha Stewart would say, a “good thing.” However, many of us don’t take the steps to get that estate plan in place because we don’t understand the nuances between wills and trusts – and dying without either. […]

What if Treating Your Children Fairly Means Unequal Inheritances?

When planning their estate, most parents express the desire to treat their children equally out of a sense of fairness.  However, sometimes being fair or doing what’s right by your children may not mean equal or the same inheritances. The Key Takeaways Treating children fairly does not always mean equal […]

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?

Payable on death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate in the last decade or so. What is a POD Account? A POD account is a type of bank account authorized by state law which allows the account owner to designate one or more beneficiaries […]