Terri Schiavo: The lesson from the loss

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If we can all agree upon one thing, it is that similar situations can be avoided with advance planning and discussion with family members. Elder Law attorneys are uniquely qualified to assist individuals and their families when confronted with difficult decisions regarding medical treatment, or the withholding of medical treatment. …

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

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Elder law attorneys are a unique and specialized group of attorneys who focus on the legal needs of the elderly. The concentration of elder law evolved in the mid 80’s as the number of elders increased and their legal and financial needs became more complex. An Elder law attorney must …

Beware of Living Trust Scams

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Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common to hear about unscrupulous companies stepping up their efforts to market costly living trusts to older Americans, resulting in the jeopardizing of the buyer’s economic security. According to the AARP, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and a number of state attorneys general, …

Why You Need a Will

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If you think wills are only for the rich, you’re wrong. A will is an essential part of any estate plan. It is the primary document for transferring your wealth upon your death. If you die without a will, (intestate) state law controls the disposition of your property. Without a …

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Elder Law? Elder Law is an area of the law that deals primarily with planning for incapacity. Many documents used in Estate Planning overlap with Elder Law planning such as Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies and Living wills. Do I need a power of attorney and a …

Definition of “Homebound” Clarified

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Many are covered by Medicare for home health services. To receive such services, each beneficiary must: 1. Require skilled nursing care on a periodic basis, physical or speech therapy or need to maintain occupational services after skilled nursing or therapy has stopped; 2. Be under the care plan of a …

Durable Powers of Attorney – Part 1

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Let’s start with the basics. A durable power of attorney is a document in which you can delegate certain powers over your financial life to another person or persons. While it takes effect immediately upon signing, it is most useful at a time when, for a variety of reasons, you …

Durable Powers of Attorney – Part 2

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Although this document starts with a bold faced warning, few read it, and those who do fail to understand its inherent legalese. In fact, it has been reported that many older principals sign their documents based only upon the limited information given to them by their “abuser agent”. It’s just …

Durable Powers of Attorney – Part 3

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A common example in an Elder Law attorney’s office might go something like this…A son may come into the office and say that his Mom is bedridden and has been diagnosed with the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease. Immediately we are concerned with the capacity of the client, at least down …

Advance Planning in Second Marriages

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Second marriages, particularly those later in life, can pose issues and challenges which require careful consideration. Prenuptial Agreement – a written agreement or contract drafted by lawyers and signed by the prospective husband and wife before the marriage – are designed to cover each spouse’s rights in the event of …