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Your senior years should not be plagued with money woes. The stress that money problems bring not only ruins your aging experience but can also be disastrous to your health. Rising health care costs and your increased need for health care can add up to big bills that can further tax your health. To age well, you must use sound financial judgment as well as make healthy choices for your body and mind. The goal is to remain as healthy as you can for as long as you can and have a healthy bank account to support those goals. Beyond…
Somewhere in the world, every three seconds, someone is being diagnosed with dementia. Dementia is a catchall phrase that refers to many types of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases bring about the onset of dementia including but not limited to: Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia, vascular dementia (currently the second most common form of dementia), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the most recently identified LATE (limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy) which mimics Alzheimer’s symptoms but is caused by a different brain mechanism. There is a long-held view that cognitive decline is a normal consequence of aging; however, this has been…
Technology is providing seniors with a multitude of applications to improve their health, lifestyle, safety, and entertainment. While the younger generations may think these older Americans are the equivalent of technology dinosaurs, the truth is mid-life, and older Americans are becoming more digitally connected than ever before. The largest tech participating group of these seniors is generally more affluent and has higher degrees of education than their counterparts. Seniors with more limited incomes and lower levels of educational attainment are the most notably absent group in the digital divide between younger and older technology users. Smartphone ownership and its associated…
Estate planning for the future inheritance of your children and grandchildren should include protective measures to keep assets from disappearing or being claimed by a creditor.  A simple way to achieve inheritance protection is through a trust. A trust can pass your wealth bypassing probate. This allows specific trust provisions to ensure the money left to a beneficiary is not immediately mismanaged, squandered or lost through ill-advised spending, or divorce action of the beneficiary. Divorce is one of the primary obstacles to contend with when trying to minimize issues of wealth transfer and preservation. High divorce rates, especially among aging…
Previously, disabled people could only get government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid if they had very little money, or if their access to property was tightly confined by restrictive trusts. Federal legislation now permits disabled people to set up their own tax-free accounts, by which they can keep their benefits and still spend a substantial amount for themselves. The 2014 legislation, called “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE), permits disabled people on public benefits to deposit and spend up to $100,000.00, or a lot more than that depending on the state, in tax-free accounts. Before ABLE, disabled…
It is lamentable that criminals come out of the woodwork whenever people are vulnerable or in need, and nobody needs reminding, these days, how many of us are in precisely that condition. The opportunities to exploit fear and need are especially rich and varied in the COVID-19 environment. ABC News reports that as of April 10, the Federal Trade Commission has logged $12 million in COVID-19-related theft. Given that the epidemic didn’t start to bite in the U.S. until March at the earliest, that is some impressive number for less than two months. This article cautions against only a few…
Many people have been told that it is important for people to “avoid probate.” But just because people may have heard that term, doesn’t mean they know exactly what probate means, why it can be a problem or how to successfully avoid it. In this post, we will take a look at the term probate to understand exactly what it means, and what the process includes. What is Probate? The term probate most literally means “to prove” a will. Today it covers the entire legal process necessary to settle a person’s estate after they die. The appointed representative (usually a…
Whenever someone, a principal, loses their own mental capacity to be able to act in their own best interests, and agent may be able to step in to continue taking care of the principal as the principal would if they could. A typical example would be an adult caretake child stepping in to continue paying bills and making medical decisions for their elderly parent stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. Certain documents should be in place to account for such a contingency. In the absence of such documents, the alternative is Guardianship.  What is a guardianship?  A guardianship is usually defined as…
During this COVID-19 pandemic, a difficult question especially demands an answer: if you or a loved one is taken down into life-threatening illness, how far would you want extreme life-prolonging measures to be tried? For those of us who are particularly vulnerable – seniors, those with compromised immune systems, those already struggling with medical conditions – this question is particularly stark. Many people are familiar with DNR orders, where DNR stands for “do not resuscitate.” These are usually intended for cardiac arrest. The threats posed by the current virus, though, more often implicate breathing problems. The longer time spent on…
Many seniors enjoy being generous to their children by gifting them monetarily. In certain circumstances, however, there is a real concern that people who may be in need of long-term nursing care in the near future should not give gifts. It can be complicated trying to adequately plan for long-term care and consider gifting. We can guide you through the planning and gifting process. The Medicaid Rule on Gift Giving For Medicaid to cover the huge expense of nursing-home care, seniors must show that they own nothing more than a statutorily-permissible amount: around $15,500.00 for a single person in New…
The importance of making end of life preparations cannot be stressed enough. Many people put off making these plans thinking there is always time. The sad reality is that none of us are guaranteed time. Others may be bothered by the thought of death itself and allow this to paralyze them when it comes to making plans and getting their affairs in order for the end of life. However, most of these same people have wishes and thoughts about where and to whom their assets are distributed. Many of them also have ideas about what they do and do not…
For care providers and aging seniors in the information age, the future is now. While still with some challenges, adoption of virtual care as a standard in senior living and aging services has become a fully integrated and accepted practice to overcome obstacles in senior healthcare. Virtual care techniques have been in use for over a decade and have moved beyond infancy stages. Several top providers in the senior living space now accept virtual care as an effective means to administer services. Furthermore, seniors and staff providing care recognize the value that technology-enabled solutions offer. If you are an aging…
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 from a calming place of love and concern. Speak to them respectfully about how the coronavirus pandemic has you thinking about the importance of their planning and preparedness. Once you begin the conversation, move away from the topic pandemic so as not to harp on the issue and unwittingly create…
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 legal requirements of the state where they were executed. According to Caring.com, the prevalence of will and estate planning has been on the decline since 2017 but this trend is quickly reversing itself with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. So, who needs a will? Ask yourself if…
An attorney at times is bound to come across a situation where their area of practice may overlap with another distinct and separate type of law. To name just a few instances, estate planning attorneys often need to know various aspects of business, real estate and elder law; matrimonial attorneys oftentimes encounter estate planning, real estate and business issues; and criminal defense lawyers may also be incorporating immigration law into their practice. One such interdisciplinary “cross-pollination” arises when a public benefits recipient becomes a personal injury action plaintiff. Though not personally engaged in practicing elder or disability law per se,…