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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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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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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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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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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When It’s Time To Designate a Power of Attorney

One of the biggest questions we may ask ourselves is who should we trust to manage our financial and healthcare decisions when we no longer have capacity to do so ourselves. This is a tough question for some because designating a power of attorney (POA) is a decision of trust, something not to be taken lightly. Otherwise known as an agent to your principal, a POA has the legal authority
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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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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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Prenups: Not Just For Movie Stars

George and Ginny had a great marriage, with an extended family to whom they wanted to leave everything when they passed. Unfortunately, Ginny was then diagnosed with cancer. She began to worry: What could happen if she died before George did, and George remarried? Or vice versa? What if the second spouse started pushing to get what Ginny and George had intended would be their children’s inheritance? Neither Ginny nor
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Help for Seniors Who Fall Victim to Abuse

In October 2017, President Trump signed into law the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. This bill was designed to combat the growing epidemic of the elderly being taken advantage of financially and abused physically. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging indicates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Although, this number is likely higher according to
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