How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A power of attorney allows someone to appoint another person -- an "attorney-in-fact" or “agent” -- to act in place of him or her – the Read More

VA’s Telehealth System Now Operational Nationwide

  On June 11, the Department of Veterans Affairs passed a major milestone with the introduction of a telehealth system known as “anywhere-to-anywhere.” This system allows qualified practitioners to access the VA’s telehealth system and provide care to patients across the nation. This issue of The ElderCounselor will take a closer look at this telehealth system, which is part of the VA Mission Act. One Read More

Understanding the Importance and Implications of Guardianships and Conservatorships

  Often in estate planning, attorneys present the idea of guardianship and/or conservatorship as a bad thing - something to be avoided. In a perfect world, we could move through our lives from cradle to grave without such things as guardianships and conservatorships. But in order to achieve this perfect world, we have to do advance planning to provide for our own care if we become impaired or Read More

Five Things that Elder Law Attorneys are Thankful For

1. The Ability to Help Clients Plan Before a Crisis Happens Elder Law attorneys care greatly for their senior clients and like to see things go smoothly for them, especially as difficult issues arise, such as finding and paying for long-term care.  Clients who understand the need to plan early are more likely to find a smooth path into these transitions. While typical estate planning includes planning for Read More

Medicare Advantage Plans to Offer Greater Benefits in 2019

On April 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. As a result, when these plans roll out their coverage for 2019, new benefits may include air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, and Read More

Medicaid and Work Requirements

On January 11, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director Letter providing new guidance for Section 1115 waiver proposals that would impose work requirements in Medicaid as a condition of eligibility. As of press time, CMS has approved work requirement waivers for Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas. As many as 13 other states have pending waiver requests and/or have stated Read More

Underestimating the Risk of Disability – The Importance of Being Prepared

No one likes to think about the possibility of their own disability or the disability of a loved one. However, as the statistics below demonstrate, we should all plan for at least a temporary disability. This issue of The ElderCounselor TM examines the eye-opening statistics surrounding disability and some of the common disability planning options. Disability planning is one area where we can give each and every Read More

How Will Tax Reform Impact Seniors and Persons with Disabilities?

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) is now officially law. Both the House and Senate passed the new tax reform bill in December with straight party-line votes and no support from Democrats. President Trump signed it into law right before Christmas. It is the first overhaul of the tax code in more than 30 years. In this issue of The Elder Counselor, we will mostly look at how this tax law is likely to impact seniors Read More

The Importance of Adequate Intake of Fluids

By the National Care Planning Council Dehydration – failure to consume adequate fluids to replace those that are lost – is a major problem for the elderly. About 10% of all hospitalizations are directly attributable to dehydration. Seniors are particularly susceptible to becoming dehydrated. It can even result in death if severe enough. As we age our bodies store less water. This is because muscle mass Read More

What 2017 Has Brought for Seniors, Veterans and Persons with Disabilities

It has been a year packed with activity on the presidential and congressional level. We have seen proposed, amended and failed legislation, blocked executive orders, investigations, and charges of collusion on both sides. In this issue, we will summarize how developments from 2017 are likely to impact seniors, Veterans, and persons with disabilities. What Happened with Health Care? 2017 saw multiple attempts by Read More