All posts by Janet Colliton

How To Stay In Control When Appointing a Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Disability can strike suddenly and is one of the reasons appointing an agent on your behalf to act when you cannot is so important.  One of the most common reasons seniors likely hesitate to sign a Power of Attorney appointing another person to act on their behalf is fear of loss of control and exploitation.  […]

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Loan or Gift? Lending Advice For Parents And Grandparents

Loan or Gift

If you have saved over the years and even if you have only a few thousand in the bank above your living expenses, you might at some point be approached by an adult child or college aged grandchild for a loan or, what sometimes might be even more dangerous, cosigning on a loan or credit […]

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On Vacation – Can You Take Medicare With You?

Take Medicare With You

As seniors venture overseas whether for recreation or new living arrangements, a key question to ask is what benefits travel with them. While Social Security benefits follow Americans to other countries, basic Medicare likely will not and seniors may need to be prepared for alternate arrangements. First, while Medicare does cover residents of Puerto Rico, […]

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Small Things Can Be a Big Deal

Small Things Can Turn Into a Big Deal

When you live in a house that is over a hundred years old,you can begin to notice some small and some major defects over time.  Frankly, this can happen with any property but older properties that have not experienced substantial renovations can really make it impossible to ignore.  Add this to what it is like […]

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The Risks of a Private Life Care Agreement

In the course of my elder law practice I have had occasion to see what I would call a private life care agreement and the effect on the participants. In discussing a private life care agreement it might help first to describe exactly what it is. Frankly, it is not a term in general circulation. […]

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Estate Planning Is Not Just Tax Planning

Estate Planning Is Not Just Tax Planning

As April 15 approaches following massive changes in the tax laws with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, one consistent thought follows. Over the years as the tax code changes both for estates and individuals and corporations, proper planning considers not just taxes but the ultimate goals of the taxpayer whoever that taxpayer might be. […]

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Will Your Bank Honor Your Power of Attorney

BPower Of Attorney

If you find it more difficult in recent years to have your Power of Attorney recognized by banks and financial institutions than previously, it might help to know some of the history behind both changes in the law and in attitude.  As one example, where documents designate your children as agents, the difference of one […]

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How to Decide Whether And When To Retire

Work Or Retire

If you attend financial planning seminars and have reached the 50+ age category you have probably been approached on the issues of when and how to retire.  Retirement itself is taken as a given.  It is assumed you want to retire and then, having so decided, the only question remaining is when and how. This […]

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Executor – Can You Locate the Will?

Do You Know Where the Will Is

After the time spent intently deciding who should receive the grandfather clock, your coin collection, and what specific percentage from the bank accounts and the proceeds of the sale of the house should be distributed to whom, one critical factor often ignored by Will Makers is that the person appointed as Executor needs to know […]

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ABLE Accounts Offer Options for the Disabled

Parents wanting to contribute funds to benefit their disabled children or provide some additional assistance on their death have some options they did not possess even a few years ago. In 2014, one of these alternatives, known as an ABLE account, came into being by federal law. There are limitations but, for those who qualify, […]

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Updating at the Pennsylvania Elder Law Attorneys’ Conference

Sometimes I think clients and the general public might believe attorneys continue on with their practice without feeling a need to refresh or keep up on current developments. This definitely is not the case with the group of elder law attorneys who are members of the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys (PAELA for short). […]

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Do You Really Need A Non-Probate Estate?

non-probate estate

Assuming you have listened to the many presentations voicing the idea you should avoid probate, you might have decided to jointly title all of your assets or make all your accounts payable on death or transfer on death believing that these actions avoid all complications. You anticipate you will avoid inheritance taxes. As a spoiler […]

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Moving to a Care Community? – Read the Agreement

Moving to a Care Community? – Read the Agreement

When you have finally decided to move from home to a senior retirement community that has levels of care – or when moving to a personal care/assisted living community – you and your family might not be in the mood to read legal agreements. The type is usually small and you figure you have no […]

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When You Might Go to Court Because of a Trust

Courthouse Becuase of Trust

Here is a situation you might consider. Your great-great Uncle Cyrus named you as a beneficiary of a Trust established by his Will. Every month (or quarter or year) you receive a distribution that you await with anticipation. You never actually read the documents but you know your cousins have been complaining recently because the […]

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How the Government Shutdown Affects Us

Now that the government’s partial shutdown is entering its fourth week, Americans are asking not just how long it will last but also how it affects them and those close to them. For some estimated hundreds of thousands of government workers the answer is obvious. They have gone without at least one paycheck and are […]

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