No matter the reason, hiring an attorney usually means you’re dealing with a stressful situation.
Maybe it’s an emergency: You’ve been charged with a crime, or you and the company you own has been sued for wrongdoing.
Or maybe you’re planning for the future, creating a will, setting up a power of attorney, which can be a different type of stressful: it’s forcing you to contend with literal matters of life and death.
It’s in situations like these that you’d be best served by seeking out the services of a Doylestown, PA elder law attorney.
Continue Reading How to Find a Qualified Elder Law Attorney
Last month, the U.S. government began issuing new Medicare cards to every Medicare recipient in the country.
The roll-out is happening in phases, going state-by-state, with all new cards expected to be distributed by April of 2019. Residents in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland are among the first getting the new cards.
Continue Reading New Medicare Cards Are Coming. That Means New Medicare Scams
It’s important to understand the medicaid gifting rules. If you are admitted to a nursing home, you will usually want to qualify for Medicaid benefits as soon as possible. However, even if you qualify in all other respects, if you have made a gift within five years of applying for Medicaid, you may not qualify. The PA Department of Human Services will penalize you one month of ineligibility for every $10,043.28 you gave away.
Continue Reading How to Prove that a Gift was not Made to Qualify for Medicaid
Every year, America’s senior citizens lose close to $3 billion due to financial exploitation, either from scam artists or unscrupulous caregivers.
It’s this type of abuse that led lawmakers this year to pass the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, put forward by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and signed into law by President Trump in mid-October.
The law creates tougher penalties for frauds, expands information sharing rules to prevent financial fraud targeting seniors, and expands the federal criminal code to include email marketing schemes.
“Exploiting and defrauding seniors is cowardly, and these crimes should be addressed as the reprehensible acts they are,” Grassley, himself a senior citizen, said earlier this year.
When you work as an elder law attorney, you see people who have fallen victim to these sorts of crimes all too often. And while stronger penalties are no doubt a good thing, there are things you can do to prevent your loved ones from falling victim to financial elder abuse:
Continue Reading What You Need to Know: Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act
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
A Codicil is a legal document that changes specific provisions of your Last Will and Testament but leaves all of the other provisions unchanged. As long as you are mentally competent, you can change, modify, update, or completely revoke your Last Will and Testament at any time. The question becomes, should you make a Codicil or should you rewrite your entire Will?
Continue Reading What is a Codicil to Your Last Will and Testament?
Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that short term annuities are a viable Medicaid planning tool for nursing home residents attempting to protect a portion of their resources and qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Many people believe that in order to qualify for Medicaid in a nursing home, you must deplete all of your resources. This is not correct. Medicaid annuities permit you and or/ your spouse to protect a significant portion of your resources.
Continue Reading Short Term Medicaid Annuities Approved by Court
When a parent gets older and begins to need additional care, it can create a lot of stress within a family. Sometimes, it can create conflicts and misunderstandings between family members as well.
For example, siblings might argue over what’s best for an aging parent. Or if one family member is doing the bulk of the care, it can lead to resentment within the family, especially if the person providing the care is also receiving compensation for the work.
One way to deal with these issues is with an elder mediator. Continue Reading Elder Mediation Can Reduce Family Strife