News

Honorably discharged from the US military? You just got another benefit from Uncle Sam.

This Veterans Day, all honorably discharged service members will receive a new benefit – the ability to buy discounted products at military exchanges through an expanded online shopping network.The program will open up military exchanges to America’s 18.5 million veterans – including an estimated 52,000 in Wake County.

Elder abuse needs definition and awareness

It’s hard to address a problem without clearly identifying what the problem is, but such is the case with elder abuse.Researchers and experts can’t agree on what “elder” means – over 60? over 65? or is it a matter of mental capacity rather than an arbitrary age? — let alone what constitutes “elder abuse.” What we do know is that it takes many, many forms — physical, emotional, sexual, financial, neglect, abandonment, etc.

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2018 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance.

Nursing Home Costs See Biggest Increase in 13 Years

The cost of long-term care just keeps going up. Those are the findings of the Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, released last month by Genworth Financial.

November is national Alzheimer’s disease awareness month

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. The Alzheimer’s Association is marking these events by recognizing and honoring the more than 15 million family members and friends across the U.S. who are currently caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s.

New App Aims to Prevent Elder Abuse

People who work with the elderly population in Erie County are getting a new tool to help protect their clients. Dozens of providers and advocates spent Monday morning at the United Way building learning how to use the new Legal Risk Detector App.

Florida's New Durable Power of Attorney Law Effective 10-1-2011

A Durable Power of Attorney should be a part of every Florida resident's estate plan. It authorizes someone (the "agent") to manage the financial affairs of another (the "principal"). The Durable Power of Attorney may also impact on Florida Medicaid planning, as an agent may need certain powers in order to help the principal achieve eligibility for Medicaid long-term care benefits.

Short-Term Care Insurance: An Alternative to the Long-Term Care Variety

A little-known insurance option can be an answer for some people who might need care but are unable to buy long-term care insurance. Short-term care insurance provides coverage for nursing home or home care for one year or less.

Resolving Disputes With Nursing Homes

Disagreements with a nursing home can come up regarding any number of topics, and almost none is trivial because they involve the day-to-day life of the resident. Among other issues, disputes can arise about the quality of food, the level of assistance in feeding, troublesome roommates, disrespect or lack of privacy, insufficient occupational therapy, or a level and quality of activities that doesn't match what was promised.

New round of federal funding targets elder abuse

The federal government will spend an additional $3.42 million to counter physical and fiscal crimes against the elderly, according to the Justice Department. The new awards will emphasize the use of new technology tools, closer interagency collaboration and enhanced legal services, among other approaches.

What Can We Do About Our Parents’ Credit Card Debts?

My wife and I have just become agents under a power of attorney for her parents. They are both in their late sixties, and her mother has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We moved them into a retirement home so her mother can get the extra help she needs. After gaining access to their finances, we've discovered that her father has accumulated over $100,000 in credit card debt spread among several cards.

President Trump's October Executive Order and the Impact on Obamacare

On Thursday, October 12th, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at taking action on Obamacare. Trump said the order is "starting that process" to repeal Obamacare. It will be the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief," Trump said. Administration officials hinted that the Order is just the beginning of the administration’s actions related to the goal of unraveling the current health-care law.

Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive a 2 Percent Increase in 2018

In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums.

Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Your Debts

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally heirs cannot inherit debt, debt can reduce what they receive. Spelling out how debt should be paid can help your heirs.

President Trump Takes Additional Action to Upend ObamaCare

On Friday, October 13th, President Donald Trump announced payments owed to insurers, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSRs), would be cut-off. The CSR payments were created under the Affordable Care Act and reimburse insurers for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for customers making up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level (about $61,000 for a family of four).

It’s National Estate Planning (for Seniors) Awareness Week 2017

In 2008, Congress declared the third week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. This week is to be used for estate planning attorneys to spread the word about their services and why it is so important to put together an estate plan. We think it's equally important to let seniors know the importance of planning with an elder law attorney to address the possibility of needing long term care

The Durable Power of Attorney

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available -- even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" or “agent” -- to act in place of you – the “principal” -- for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated.

New Yorker Article Highlights Abuses in the Guardianship System

Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker titled “How the Elderly Lose their Rights.” Court-appointed guardians can take control of an elderly person’s finances and life and become wealthy while doing so. One expert interviewed describes the guardianship system as “a morass, a total mess.”

Getting Outside Help When Providing Care at Home

Medicare and Medicaid provide some coverage of the medical portion of home health care. Although the coverage is often inadequate, when combined with other resources available to the older person and his or her family, it may be enough to keep a fragile older person at home for a longer period of time. For an explanation of the coverage of home health care available under Medicare, click here. Medicaid offers very little in the way of home care except in New York State, which provides home care to all Medicaid recipients who need it. Recognizing that home care can cost far less than nursing home care, a growing number of states are providing services to those who remain in their homes.

Lack of local treatment for individuals with dementia and aggression

The availability and accessibility of inpatient care and treatment for individuals who are experiencing dementia and aggression is sorely lacking in the Central Pennsylvania area.