News

Do We Have to Report My Father's House on a Medicaid Estate Recovery Form If He Transferred It to His Wife?

My father went into a nursing home in Pennsylvania in December 2005. He immediately applied for Medicaid and had to cash in all his assets. His spouse was allowed to keep all her assets, their home, and one vehicle. In January 2005, my father transferred their home into his spouse's name only. My father lived in a nursing home until his death in April 2018. His spouse is still living in the home. We got a Pennsylvania estate recovery program questionnaire asking my father's spouse to list all of his assets and properties. Does the home have to be reported if the spouse's name is the only name on the deed?

It's Important to Shop Around for Your Medigap Policy

Medigap premiums can vary widely depending on the insurance company, according to a new study, so be sure to shop around before choosing a policy.

Financial Benefits for Veterans and their Survivors

If you are a veteran, or if you are caring for one, it is essential to understand the many veterans’ benefits programs available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Often, financial support is available to a veterans spouse or their survivors as well as the veteran themselves. Even if there has never been a claim made for veteran benefits before based on a veteran’s current age, physical condition, or low income they may now qualify for financial help.

Artificial intelligence and aging

Senior care is being re-envisioned with the advent of artificial intelligence. There is a need to provide an ever-increasing aging population with consistent and competent health aides. In the United States the healthcare industry employs over 4.5 million nursing aides and orderlies and home health aides and personal care aides, and yet it is not enough to address the future needs of the American elderly. New solutions are being developed for animatronic artificial intelligence and the more standard device driven artificial intelligence to meet the demand.

Silver Alert: What Does It Mean and How to Avoid Needing It

Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prone to wandering. This is often caused by the decline in cognitive functioning and symptoms such as restlessness and confusion that are associated with this decline. The more these diseases progress, the more likely it is that the senior will wander. This wandering causes additional stress on family and caregivers. It is important to take measures to keep these individuals safe. There are many ways that caregivers can help to keep seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia safe, as well as national and local Senior Alert programs.

Power of Attorney Misconceptions

A durable power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have.It allows someone who you appoint (your agent) to make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. If you have not appointed an agent then your friends and family may not have the authority to make decisions on your behalf. In that case, a judge may have to appoint someone for this task, which can require a court process that is expensive and tedious.

Medicaid Planning in the Guardianship Context

As elder law attorneys we advise our clients to execute durable powers of attorney in order to ensure that someone they trust is authorized to manage their property in the event that they no longer have the capacity to do so. In the absence of a durable power of attorney, or if the instrument does not provide sufficient powers and direction to an agent, it may be necessary to apply to the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. This process has many disadvantages, such as expense, delay, and loss of privacy.

Points 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 proactive conversation early in a parent’s aging process most families have a reactive discussion under high levels of stress and emotions while their parent is experiencing an adverse health event.The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has reported that 85 percent of time long-term care decisions are made during a medical crisis. The message is clear, be proactive and start discussing the important financial questions with your parent.

Points 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 proactive conversation early in a parent’s aging process most families have a reactive discussion under high levels of stress and emotions while their parent is experiencing an adverse health event.The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has reported that 85 percent of time long-term care decisions are made during a medical crisis. The message is clear, be proactive and start discussing the important financial questions with your parent.

How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations.

Things to Know About Nursing Home Evictions

Nursing home evictions are an issue for many elderly people. Reports of evictions and complaints against nursing homes attempting to evict patients are widespread. Nursing homes are businesses and eviction problems often occur for residents when financial issues arise.

Spousal Dementia and its Effect on a Marriage

When someone you love, in particular, your spouse, becomes ill you want to help them get well. But what happens when the illness is dementia? A marital relationship that could have spanned years or decades becomes subject to enormous change, and that change is not a slow linear progression of predictability. It is an up and down interaction of being recognized and accepted by your spouse, or not.

Reasons to Take Your Social Security Benefit Early

Receiving your social security benefits at an earlier age will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Because you will be taking it at a younger age, your monthly payment will be smaller than if you had waited but the aggregate payout overtime will be the same amount. To see how the numbers work out use the Social Security table or Social Security detailed calculator to understand how your monthly benefit payout amount differentiates depending on when you claim your benefits.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is very beneficial for the elderly or disabled person who need will services or support to meet their personal care or health needs. However, it is important to understand long-term care insurance before the time comes when the benefits are needed. Unfortunately, many people wait and then miss out on what long-term care insurance can offer.

3 Things to Consider When Your Special Needs Child Turns 18

Having a special needs child has many challenges. One of the toughest challenges faced by many parents is knowing how to best care for their special needs child as they reach adulthood. There are many areas that need consideration when planning for the transition of a special needs child to adulthood. Let’s take a look at some of these areas.

4 Steps to Choosing the Right Nursing Home

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is an important decision and should be carefully considered. It is important for families to take the time to explore nursing home options and to carefully assess the nursing home facilities in order to choose the best care for the loved one. Below are some steps designed to assist families in choosing a nursing home.

Don't Wait Too Long to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

The older you get, the harder it is to qualify for long-term care insurance. If you are interested in buying this insurance, it is better to act sooner rather than later.

Proposed New Medicare Payment System May Affect Beneficiaries

Medicare is proposing a new flat rate reimbursement system for doctors who treat Medicare patients. Some worry that the plan may reduce payments to specialists and cause fewer doctors to accept Medicare patients.

VA Mission Act not Living up to Expectations

It is no secret that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced criticism in the past for its treatment of wounded veterans and their caregivers. On June 6, 2018, President Donald Trump sought to remedy this by signing the VA Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act, or VA Mission Act. The Act was primarily designed to provide options and aid to expand private health care options through the VA. The Act also will eliminate, in stages, the previous limitation for caregivers of veterans who were wounded before 9/11 to receive government training and stipends.

The rise of bankruptcy in the lives of aging Americans

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. Older Americans are increasingly filing for consumer bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, the population aged 65 or more are filing for bankruptcy at a two-fold increase, and there is nearly a five-fold increase in the percentage of seniors in the US bankruptcy system. The economic risk for seniors is running rampant, and thesad truth is currently 97 out of 100 people aged 65 and over are not able to write a check for $600 or more due to insufficient funds.