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Elder Law

Elder Law: The Role of Power of Attorney

Setting up and enforcing a power of attorney (otherwise known as a POA) can be confusing. Yet it is an essential estate planning tool – particularly for aging individuals and their families attempting to create a solid plan to cover future care needs and protect their family. Power of attorney documents allow the principal to decide in advance who they want to trust to act on their behalf if they become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for their own care or finances, etc. The individual the principal designates as able to act on their behalf, is referred to as the agent. What...

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Elder Law: How to Pick Up on Elder Financial Abuse

There are too many stories of older adults being robbed of their life savings, their home, or their investments and as elder law attorneys, we hear them all. Sometimes the theft comes at the hands of an unknown individual, but in other cases, the theft comes from those who should be guarding them against harm: their family or their caretaker. According to the American Psychological Association, at least four million cases of elder abuse and neglect go on record every year. And that does not take into consideration the 20+ unreported instances of abuse or neglect that occur for every...

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How to Accommodate Alzheimer’s Disease and Decision Making with Elder Care Planning

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Alzheimer’s disease is one of the common scenarios that many are unprepared to deal with on both the legal and financial front. Both legal and medical experts suggest individuals recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or similar chronic health issues (especially those issues that are known to cause declining mental and physical health) examine their financial arrangements and estate plans as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed, immediately contact your elder care attorney to review your estate plan, including the will, living trust, advance directives, etc. These necessary legal and financial documents are in place...

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How to Appropriately Report a Case of Elder Abuse

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Did you know that the U.S. Department of Justice estimates about one in every ten senior Americans experiences abuse or negligent abuse each year? The chances are that someone you know has already been affected by this hot button issue. How to recognize and report elder abuse have become two of the most frequently asked questions related to eldercare. Types of Elder Abuse: Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Psychological or Emotional Abuse Financial Abuse or Exploitation Self-Neglect Neglect What makes this issue even more concerning is that only one in twenty-three elder abuse cases are reported to appropriate channels. These numbers are very...

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Elder Law: How Alzheimer’s Impacts Retirement

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Have you taken the possibility of Alzheimer’s into consideration when planning for retirement? The risk that at least one spouse will develop Alzheimer’s is significant. The risk is one more reason to make careful financial planning and estate planning a top priority. The Alzheimer’s Association states that 13% of those 65 and over have Alzheimer’s. They further indicated that of those 85 and older, 43% have Alzheimer’s. Baby Boomers will only see an increase in the prevalence of the disease due to a longer life expectancy. Even in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, an individual’s financial skills may notably...

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Elder Law FAQ: Defending Against Identify Theft

Everyone is susceptible to identity theft regardless of age or any other factor. The major data breaches that have made headlines in the last year serve as proof of this fact. But some segments of the population are more susceptible to identity theft and more likely to be targeted. One such segment is the older population. Seniors can be more vulnerable to identity theft than others. “Identity theft” refers to the theft of personal identifying information to create a new identity or to steal money from the victim. Identity Theft: Why are Older Adults Targeted More Frequently?  They tend to have more...

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How to Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care Costs

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Remaining independent as long as possible is a top priority for many Americans. Yet the majority will eventually need some type of housing or care support as they grow older. There are a number of options that provide for various needs. It is best to consider the options before you need them so you can plan for the unexpected and have access to the resources you need when the time comes. For many, the first option is in-home care. Approximately 80% of in-home care is provided by family members or nonprofits. As many are unpaid family members, this mode often comes...

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Do You Understand Florida Medicaid Programs?

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Some questions are rhetorical. Others simply don’t deserve an answer. Some don’t have an answer at all and then there are the questions that have answers so big we don’t quite know what to do with them. One such question of epic proportions is: Do You Understand Medicaid Requirements? The Medicaid programs are federal programs administered on the state level. The program is designed as a means of offering assistance to low-income individuals that meet eligibility criteria set by each state. Florida’s eligibility is determined by age or disability in combination with income and asset limits with financial eligibility changing annually. Medicaid...

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5 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

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Most people associated Alzheimer’s or dementia with memory loss that disrupts daily life. This is one of the symptoms of the condition, but it is not the only one. It is also not necessarily the most common symptom. As Alzheimer’s affects more and more people and requires extensive health care services, it is important to complete estate planning early to prepare for unexpected situations later in life. It is also important to watch for early signs of Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the conditions that requires the most extensive long-term care services. Other Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s: Memory (already mentioned): It’s...

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What You Don’t Know About Medicaid

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Are you familiar with Medicaid? What do you actually know about it? And more importantly, what don’t you know about Medicaid? What You Don’t Know About Medicaid: Medicaid was created in 1965 and is now the nation’s largest health insurer. It is an integral part of the American economy and society as a whole. Medicaid covers care at the end of life for millions. In addition to providing elder care to many seniors, approximately half of U.S. births are covered by the program. Medicaid is jointly financed by the federal government and the individual states. The coverage provides access to various health benefits for...

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