When is Guardianship of an Elderly Parent Needed?

When people think of guardianship, they often think about a minor child in the care of a designated adult family member or friend, or perhaps a disabled adult child who needs care after turning 18. However, guardianship of an elderly or aging adult, usually a parent, who is losing their physical and mental health capacities is also fairly common. While the process is similar, there are some distinct differences when
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Estate Planning or Elder Law: What do You Need?

As you get older and begin to plan for living life in retirement, you may hear the terms “estate planning” and “elder law” brought up regularly. There are some clear differences between estate planning and elder law, but they also have some important similarities. Even though these two types of law are technically utilized for two different stages in life, elder law and estate planning are often handled at the
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Signs of Elder Financial Fraud and Elder Abuse

Elder financial fraud and elder abuse and two important topics that are important to discuss and be aware of as we age.  We like to think that these issues won’t hit us or our loved ones, but elder abuse is much more common than many people realize. According to the World Health Organization, around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older have experienced some form of abuse in the
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When to Talk About Your Parent’s Financial Future

Finances is one of those topics that many families avoid talking about. The stigma around talking about money can leave many wondering what to do as our parents get older. But financial experts agree that waiting to talk about finances with your aging parent is a mistake, especially if they are already experiencing cognitive decline or signs of dementia. It takes time to gather all the information you need to
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Estate and Long-Term Care Planning for Veterans

People often come into our office wondering if military veterans are permitted to use their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to help cover the cost of long-term care? The answer is, unfortunately, complicated. For example, a much-underused pension benefit known as Aid and Attendance can provide some money to cover costs for daily living assistance. Aid and Attendance benefits may even be available to veterans with incomes above the eligibility
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Medicaid, Long Term Healthcare, and Your Home

It’s no secret the baby boomers are getting older, which means there has been a dramatic increase in the need for affordable long-term support services in America. Costs for long-term senior care are getting increasingly expensive, and many families are wondering what to do and how to pay for a long-term care insurance policy or monthly bills from a nursing home. According to the US Department of Health & Human
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Social Security Changes Coming 2021

Every October, the Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes upcoming changes to its social security program. The social security program is dynamic and impacts nearly 65 million people as of 2020.  In 2021, social security payments will grow by 1.3% and the changes made will take effect on January 1. These changes can impact your retirement age, how much you get paid per month, and more. It is good practice to create a
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Estate Planning During a Pandemic

Whether you are young or old, COVID-19 has us all thinking about our mortality and health more these days. This pandemic took us all by surprise, did you have your affairs in order before? According to one study, approximately 1/3 of all Americans did not have an up-to-date estate plan as of 2017. We expect and hope that number will rise in 2020. Now that we are all thinking about
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Aging in Place Tools and Technology for Seniors and Caregivers

Technology is central to 21st century life in America. It’s also becoming surprisingly popular among senior populations as tech companies target this growing market demographic. By 2030, AARP projects that close to 132 million Americans aged 50 or more will spend more than $84 billion annually on technology products. Today, 91 percent of people aged 50 or more are computer competent, and 94 percent speak positively about technology, saying that it
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Should I Add My Kids to My Bank Account?

Many clients walk into the Michaelson & Associates law firm saying that they want to leave their bank accounts to their children after death. The easiest solution might be to just make the children joint owners, but that is not always the best course of action.  The idea of making your kids joint account owners sounds better than it actually is. Yes, you will avoid probate court proceedings for the
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Alzheimer’s Disease and What to Know for Your Estate Plan

Did you know that there are over 400 different types of dementia? The number of different types is staggering but the most common cause of dementia is due to Alzheimer’s disease. At least, that’s what the Alzheimer’s Association‘s published 2020 Facts and Figures reports. Other relatively common types of dementia include vascular, Lewy Body disease, frontotemporal dementia, and early-onset dementia. No matter the type, dementia can be traumatizing for both
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Isolation May Increase the Risk of Elder Abuse

Older adults represent some of the most at-risk American citizens because of COVID-19. Many of them are choosing to stay home to lower their risk of infection as the rest of the world begins to open up. With the coronavirus spreading throughout communities and no sign of a vaccine yet, elderly adults are choosing to put their health before their well-being. The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that an unfortunate
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Caregiving for the elderly during Coronavirus

With the spread of coronavirus across the globe, many are worried about the health and safety of our most vulnerable populations. The elderly, immune-compromised, and sick individuals are vulnerable to severe illness from contracting COVID-19, which has many concerned with how to support and provide care for the elderly during a pandemic.   If you are providing care for, or living in close-proximity with, an elderly person, you want to take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and that person safe. Keep the following tips from John Hopkins Medicine in mind:  Spending Time with & Providing Care for the Elderly
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Health is Wealth (Even the Government Agrees)

If you are one of the millions of Americans looking for ways to improve your health this year, you’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released their updated Physical Activity Guideline for Americans. According to the latest guidelines, adults should include the following in their fitness routines: Aerobic exercise Strengthening exercise Balance training By using this three-pronged approach to health and wellness, Americans can improve
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Being a Caregiver for Others…and Yourself

Every year, millions of Americans find themselves in situations where they become much-needed caretakers for members of their family. For example, adults may find themselves needing to take care of aging parents, or grandparents may need to step in and take care of their grandchildren. These situations may arise unexpectedly and feel strange and scary. Caregivers can often experience a loss of freedom, coupled with stress and anxiety about the
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Points to Discuss with Your Aging Parent

Your parent is getting on in age, but you don’t have a clear idea if there is a plan in place for their care.  It is a difficult topic to broach; no one wants to talk about death and the financial realities that come with aging. Instead of having a proactive conversation early in a parent’s aging process most families have a reactive discussion under high levels of stress and
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Artificial intelligence and aging

Artificial intelligence is here and senior technology is taking advantage. We have an ever-aging population and they are in need of consistent and competent health aides. In the United States, the healthcare industry employs over 4.5 million nursing aides and orderlies and home health aides and personal care aides. But it will not be enough to service the silver tsunami in this country. The United States Census Bureau found that
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NEWS FLASH! 2018 VA Pension Rule Changes

As your attorney, I’m sending you this alert so you can be aware of some critical changes in the way the Veterans Administration is handling eligibility for VA pension for wartime veterans or their surviving spouses.  You or someone you know, may be in need of these benefits. Depending on circumstances, action may be needed by October 18, 2018 to ensure eligibility. On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published
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When It’s Okay To Take Your Social Security Benefit Early

Are you thinking about taking your social security benefit earlier rather than later? Contrary to popular myth, receiving your social security benefits earlier will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Your monthly payment may be smaller than if you had waited, but the amount paid to you overtime will be the same. To see how the numbers work out for yourself, check out the Social Security
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New Law Makes it Easy to Report Elder Financial Abuse

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law on May 24, 2018. There are a few important factors of the Act to keep in mind: There is a section in the Act that was once a stand-alone bill from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)– designed to encourage elder (age 65 and older) financial abuse reporting. The Act does not mandate that financial institutions report financial abuse,
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3 Tips for Traveling with Disabilities

Welcome to our blog! With Summer here, and vacations on our mind, we wanted to share some tips for those traveling with disabilities to make your travels go more smoothly. Traveling with disabilities or accessible traveling can seem, for some, like an overwhelming task with so many extra considerations. However, it doesn’t have to be if the right research, planning, and preparations are done ahead of time. There are even
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