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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.

Does Co-Signing a Student Loan Affect Medicaid Eligibility?

My mother co-signed for a student loan. The loan is still active. Due to health issues she is now applying for Medicaid. Will being a co-signer on a loan affect her ability to receive Medicaid? If so, what can be done to remedy the situation?

America is Facing a Family Home Caregiver Shortage

The aging population of the United States is widely reported as the bulk of the baby boomer generation is already retired or nearing retirement. However, what has not been widely reported is how the rest of the nation will provide care for this large, aging population. According to a 2017 Merrill Lynch study, nearly 95% of caregivers are family members. These family members are providing over $500 billion worth of free care annually. For perspective, that’s three times Medicaid’s professional long term care spending. The number of family caregivers is shrinking at a time when the population that needs them is expanding at a rapid rate. In 2020, there will be over 56 million people in the U.S. age 65 and older. In 2010, that number was just 40 million.

Fraud and patient neglect for profit 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 calls into question the quality of hospice patient care as well as the financial integrity of the program itself.

Helpful Ways to Pay for Assisted Living Costs

Assisted living rent can vary from $2,000 to $5,000 monthly. Depending on what type of care your loved one needs, assisted living can be the most affordable solution when compared to a nursing home ($5,000 to $10,000 or more per month) or long-term in-home care. If closely monitored medical supervision is not necessary for your aging senior, assisted living might be the best financial choice.

Benefits Available to Wartime Veterans

There are many benefits available to wartime veterans, surviving spouses, and children. First let’s discuss who qualifies as a wartime veteran. A wartime veteran is one who served active military duty during one of the eligible wartime periods. They include the Mexican Border Period, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, and the Gulf War. Eligibility requirements for a wartime veteran are outlined clearly at https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/vetpen.asp. It is also important to know that a veteran is automatically classified as totally disabled at age 65 or older. It is also important to check income requirements for eligibility which can also be accessed from this webpage.

The Fiduciary Rule. What it is, why it matters, and why the Government will no longer be enforcing it

On March 15, 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Labor Department acted outside of its authority by creating the fiduciary rule and no longer has authority to enforce this Obama-era protection for retirement savers.