Showing posts from 2017

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…

Medicaid Recovery

People with limited resources who need long-term skilled nursing care may have to rely upon Medicaid to pay for this expense.  To help recover the cost of these government services, every state must have a recovery program.  In Texas, the program is the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, or "MERP", which gives the state the right to ask for money back from the estate of a Medicaid recipient after his or her death.  
Quite often, the largest asset in the estate of a Medicaid recipient is a homestead.  Fortunately, in Texas there are methods to protect the home from Medicaid recovery.  Through the use of special deeds conveying the house on death (such as Ladybird Deeds or Transfer on Death Deeds), homes can be protected even after the death of a Medicaid recipient.  If you or a loved one are facing a situation in which you have to rely upon Medicaid to help pay for long-term care, consider all the options available to you in protecting your home and other assets from Medicaid…

Documentary on Alzheimer’s Calls for More Funding of Research

A documentary recently airing on PBS, “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts,” calls for more funding for research into the cause and potential cures for Alzheimer’s.  The documentary focuses on the costs associated with care for Alzheimer’s patients, particularly the costs placed on Medicare and Medicaid.  Anyone who has personally experienced the costs associated with the care of a loved one suffering from the disease is well aware that these figures can be staggering, and can be devastating to even those who believe they have planned for long term care. 

The documentary can seen here:

Resolving Elder Care Issues Through Mediation

The inevitable course of the aging process often raises a host of emotionally charged issues. These issues have the potential to trigger divisive family disputes no matter how well-intentioned family members may be. 
The list of potential issues is a long one — whether to live alone and independently; when and where to move; financial management; and, of course, medical treatment decisions, including end-of-life care issues. The list goes on. Often decisions must be made under stressful, time-pressured conditions, and families can easily be torn apart when disagreements arise. 
Mediation can be an effective means of resolving age-related issues without causing undue strain within the family. A mediator is an objective third-party professional trained to facilitate the peaceful resolution of difficult and sensitive issues. Mediation sessions are private, confidential and completely voluntary. Everyone gets a chance to express their interests and concerns in a calm setting. 
The mediator d…

New Article on Caregivers

The NY Times had a nice article yesterday from the perspective of a medical professional regarding the important role of caregivers.  This article noted the sacrifices many adult children are making to care for aging parents, all the while juggling their own children and other family and work responsibilities.  The article ends with links to some resources, such as support groups for caregivers, and also adds a bright note that in some circumstances being a caregiver can strengthen relationships.  Let us hope that all who are caring for their loved ones reach out for the support they need and are aware of resources available to them. 
The full article can be found here: Who Will Care for the Caregivers?

This blog is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as legal advice.