All posts by Janet Colliton

Knowing Trusts – What You Can and Cannot Do

Knowing Trusts

From time to time our office receives requests to establish a trust. This might be discussed during an appointment or a caller might simply call the office and say he needs a trust without further information. The caller might have read somewhere about the difficulty of probate or his/her financial advisor might have recommended a […]

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How Joint Accounts and TOD Can Torpedo An Estate Plan

ruin estate plan

You just met a nice person at a bank, you did not remember her position, who told you there might be a way to avoid the horrors of probate by titling all of your accounts jointly with one of your children. On the other hand maybe you received information from a friend or neighbor who […]

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Get Rid of Your Mortgage Before Retiring

Get Rid of Your Mortgage

If you want to retire in peace without the worry of long term bills weighing on you there are few better ways than by getting rid of old mortgage debt and not taking out a new one. There are exceptions, of course, as always. If your assets are such that you are making more by […]

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Holidays Are Times For Heart to Heart Examination

Moving into the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hannukah and New Years provides an opportunity for most people for heart to heart conversations and self-conversation unlike any other during the year. You can reconnect, change old habits, adopt new resolutions and decide who you really are, where you will live, and who you will spend […]

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What To Look For With Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment, the time when decisions are made regarding certain Medicare plans, began this year for 2019 on October 15 and will continue until December 7, 2018. The time is always surrounded by questions and concerns and the many glossy flyers consumers receive do not usually help in their decision making for what kind […]

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Health Care Dialogue Continues

Health Care Dialogue Continues

This is a column I wrote almost exactly a year ago on November 28, 2017. As almost everyone knows the health care dialogue continues without final answers. The only change from November 28, 2017 is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and the personal mandate was eliminated. Work continues. “Earlier this year, February 21, […]

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Do You Need To Retire?

Do You Need To Retire

When you reach a certain age – it could be 65 or somewhat older or younger – someone will likely confront you and ask what are your retirement plans or even assume you must be or should be retiring. Retirement for many who either have generous defined benefit pension plans or have saved over the […]

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Second Marriages Might Complicate Long Term Care

Second Marriages Long Term Care

When illness strikes you do not usually think of legal relationships but when a spouse needs serious care and is married to a second wife or husband, family relationships can bring with them unexpected problems and conflicts both for the second spouse and for children by a prior marriage. This is what sometimes happens. Suppose […]

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Creative Real Estate and Care Solutions

When seniors need to pay for care, they may be cash poor but living in a home with substantial equity. One immediate reaction might be to transfer the house to the children and then figure Medicaid would pay. That is usually wrong. Unless there is a clear exception such as a disabled child or Caretaker […]

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New VA Regulation Threatens VA Benefit

VA Regulation Threatens Veteran Benefits

On April 7, 2015 I submitted a column for publication in the Daily Local News alerting readers to a proposed change in qualifications for a Veterans’ benefit known as Aid & Attendance that would make it significantly more difficult for wartime veterans and their widows or widowers to obtain the benefit. That column and many […]

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Understanding Probate

Understanding Probate

When a family member dies in the midst of all the confusion and grief the person named as Executor or Executrix of the Will could be plagued with some additional questions. “Do I need to probate the Will?” Sometimes even “Is there a Will?” Then “If there is a Will, where is it?” “If I […]

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How Easy Is It To Register To Vote

How Easy Is It To Register To Vote

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and have not checked recently you might be surprised what is involved in registering to vote. Do you have a Smart Phone – an iPhone or Android? Do you have an Internet connection? Can you go on line? If so, there are easier ways to register than the paper […]

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Reasons Why Medical Bills Are Out Of Control

Medical Bills Are Out Of Control

If you ever wondered why you might receive a blockbuster medical bill even if you have health insurance, the reporting of Kaiser Health News can help. KHN, a nonprofit news service that reports on how the health care system works, is editorially independent of another well known nonprofit, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and not affiliated […]

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What Certification Means In Elder Law

Recently, I had the opportunity to review my Certification in Elder Law, a designation referred to as Certified Elder Law Attorney or CELA, and it occurred to me that many, probably most, people do not know what certification in elder law means or how attorneys receive that designation. There are only about 500 Certified Elder […]

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When Should You Stop Managing Your Own Money

When Should You Stop Managing Your Own Money

Some time ago an article in Next Avenue, www.nextavenue.org, a trendy new website for seniors, reprinted with permission an article from MarketWatch.com, and addressed a common question with no easy answer – how do you handle your finances as you age?  The article, titled “At What Age Are You Too Old to Manage Your Money?” […]

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