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ABLE Program Update

The federal ABLE (“Achieving a Better Life Experience”) Program, signed into law in December, 2014, was created to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities. The Texas ABLE program, enacted a year later and administered by the Texas Comptroller’s Office, is not yet open for enrollment, but the Texas Comptroller announced on February 16, 2018, that significant progress had been made on implementing the program. The program manager is completing the marketing, enrollment, and record-keeping websites and developing program material. No date has yet been announced as to when the Texas program will be open for enrollment.
In the meantime, however, eligible Texas residents can open an account in any state with an active ABLE program that accepts out-of-state residents. Over twenty states currently have active ABLE programs, and most of those programs will accept Texas residents.
Of further note, there have been so…

What to Bring to Meet an Attorney

Meeting with an attorney can feel like a daunting task for some.  The Dove Firm hopes that all of our potential clients leave our office feeling better than when they came in.  In order to do that, our attorneys need adequate information to review.  What you bring in will depend upon your legal need. For example, here are a few things you may want to bring in with you, if you are meeting with an attorney about an elder law issue for the first time:
Copies of all estate planning documents, including powers of attorney, wills, and trust agreements. A most recent personal tax return A list of assets, including real estate addresses, bank and financial accounts, personal property, and approximate values of each Insurance policies, including life insurance and long-term care insurance Contact information for family members and caregivers Copies of any court order regarding a guardianship currently in place This list may be longer or shorter, depending on the case, but these documents are …

Today, June 15th, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today, June 15th, is the annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) as first declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Elder abuse is increasingly recognized as an important worldwide problem, and one that is likely to grow as many countries experience the rapid aging of their populations. 
In the U.S. alone, some 10,000 people turn 65 every day. The focus of this year’s WEAAD is financial abuse of the elderly — a very common form of elder abuse which, for the most part, remains hidden and unreported. It is hoped WEAAD will raise the general awareness of this form of elder abuse and by so doing reduce its frequency.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2017 — Financial Abuse

The theme of the 2017 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) to be observed at the United Nations Headquarters on June 15th is “Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue.” 
Financial exploitation of the elderly is a common and serious problem, experienced by an estimated 5 to 10 per cent of seniors globally. It is a crime that, for a variety of reasons, often goes unreported. Cognitive and other impairments often limit the ability that older victims have to identify and report financial abuses perpetrated against them. In addition, the perpetrators are often close family members and trusted caregivers, adding an element of shame and embarrassment to an already painful situation. 
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day throws a bright public light on this unfortunate situation, and provides an opportunity for the whole world to voice its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted upon far too many of our senior citizens.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The United Nations has designated June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The first WEAAD was observed in 2012, and was marked by meetings and conferences at UN headquarters in New York. The day aims to focus global attention on the physical, emotional, and financial abuse that is often targeted at elders. The global population of people over the age of 60 is a rapidly growing demographic group. World Health Organization data indicates that at least 4 to 6 per cent of the elderly experience some form of abuse. WEAAD seeks to bring together senior citizens and all those who care about them to exchange ideas about how best to reduce the incidence of elder abuse and to improve the reporting of such abuse that does occur.

May is National Elder Law Month

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed May as the month to honor Americans who are 65 and older.  The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys supports this proclamation, declaring May to be National Elder Law Month.
Today, over 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day.  Older individuals often have unique and special needs that require legal attention.  Elder lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to deal with these important legal issues, and are dedicated to meeting the needs of our older citizens. 
The list of issues in which elder lawyers can be of service is a long one.  It includes wills and estate planning, drafting financial and medical powers of attorney in the event of incapacity, Medicare and Medicaid planning, issues surrounding long-term care, guardianships and probate, and elder abuse and exploitation, just to name a few. 

Whatever the issue, an elder law attorney can help deal with the challenging legal problems often associated with aging.

ABLE Accounts

ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. ABLE accounts were created by federal legislation passed in 2014 (“the ABLE Act”), which recognized the fact that millions of individuals with disabilities rely on public assistance such as SSI and Medicaid for their living expenses, housing, and health care. Eligibility for these public benefits has a strict means test — no more than $2,000 in savings and other assets. Recognizing that the living costs for disabled individuals are often significantly higher than normal, the ABLE Act provides that special ABLE savings accounts can be established by the individuals and their families without jeopardizing eligibility for public assistance. 
The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals whose disability had its onset before reaching 26 years of age. Annual total contributions made on behalf of any individual are limited to $14,000 at present. 
ABLE accounts are to be administered by th…