If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to start planning immediately. There are several essential documents to help you once you become incapacitated, but if you don’t already have them in place you need to act quickly after a diagnosis. Consulting with an elder law attorney is an essential part of this process.
Having dementia does not mean that an individual is not mentally capable to make planning decisions. Simply having a form of mental illness or disease does not mean that you automatically lack the required mental capacity. As long as you have periods of lucidity, you may still be competent to sign planning documents.
Here are some essential documents for a person diagnosed with dementia:
Continue Reading Four Legal Steps to Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Moving your spouse into a nursing home can be a weighty decision, emotionally and financially.
If you don’t take the right steps, there is a chance that transitioning to a nursing home will drain your spouse’s finances, and possibly even your own.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some common mistakes to avoid before your spouse transitions to a nursing home.
Continue Reading Costly Mistakes to Avoid When a Spouse Enters a Nursing Home
For those of us who are still relatively young and in good health, it can be difficult to understand how frightening it can be to grow older, and experience the feelings of helplessness as various parts of your once-strong body begin to betray you.
If you have a senior in your life who is beginning to experience some of the negative physical or mental affects of growing older—or if you happen to be a senior yourself—you may be thinking about the various benefits and drawbacks of moving into a senior living facility, or simply aging in place in your own home.
Continue Reading Assisted Living vs. Aging in Place: How an Elder Care Lawyer Can Help
You may be young – or at least young at heart – but that doesn’t mean you won’t someday require the services of an elder law attorney.
In this blog post, we’ll outline the many ways an elder law attorney can help you or your loved ones prepare for your golden years, so that you can choose the opportune time to meet with one to discuss your specific needs.
Continue Reading When Should You Speak With an Elder Law Attorney in Bucks County?
When you hear the word “retirement,” what do you picture yourself doing? Traveling the world? Catching up on all the books you were too busy to read? Spending time with your children and grandchildren?
Those are all fine, noble goals, and we want to see you achieve them. But first, there’s work to be done, and we’re not talking about your career. We’re talking about the financial and legal measures you need to take to plan for your future.
Here are five ways an elder law attorney can help you prepare for your later years.
Continue Reading 5 Steps to Help You Plan for Your Future
Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple than for a young couple just starting out. Before making this decision, you should consider consulting your elder law attorney to review your situation, including the following:
Getting married can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if you exclude your new spouse in your will, he or she is permitted to take an elective share against your estate (usually one-third). One way to prevent this from happening is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before your marriage.
Continue Reading Is It Better to Remarry or Just Live Together?
People have been leaving wills since the days of Ancient Greece, but living wills have only come about in the last 50 years.
The living will was first created in 1967 by Luis Kutner, the attorney who helped found Amnesty International.
Half a century later, there are living will laws in every state. But what do these documents do, and why do people need a living will? Gummer Elder Law has your answer.
Continue Reading When Do I Need a Living Will?
In the early 1850s, Charles Dickens published his popular serialized novel Bleak House, which deals with the British court system.
At the center of the book is a court case called Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, a battle over an inheritance that drags on over several generations.
Dickens used the plot to satirize the court system of his time, but 160 years later and one ocean away, there’s something about the story that rings true: not making your wishes clear can make things difficult for your heirs.
That’s where the PA probate system comes in. Probate – from the Latin for “prove the will” is the process of ensuring your assets are passed on according to the terms of your will. It can be a very simple process, or more complicated, depending on the circumstances.
Continue Reading Understanding Probate of an Estate in Pennsylvania
Whenever we elect a new president, we hear a lot of talk about something called a “blind trust.”
This term refers to a financial arrangement in which a person in elected office sets aside their business interests to avoid a conflict of interest.
It’s one of many types of trusts, all of which are designed to keep assets safe in the long term, either for you or for your loved ones.
Let’s look at some common types of trusts, their benefits and what pitfalls to avoid.
Continue Reading What Type of Trust is Right For You?
As we get older, we begin to think about the legacy we’ll leave behind.
On one level, our legacy is something intangible: What kind of person will people say I was? How did I treat people? How will I be remembered?
But we’re here to talk about the more practical aspect of leaving a legacy: What will happen to your assets after your death.
By coming up with a solid plan for your estate, you can ensure that you’re able to provide for your family without saddling them with added debts. Here are some estate planning steps you can take to make sure your legacy is secure.
Continue Reading How to Make a Great Estate Plan