The Pluses and Minuses of Retitling Assets

We Americans have fairly standard ways in which we title assets.  One of them is, as to married couples, to title the family home and banking and investment accounts jointly in the name of husband and wife as tenancy by the entireties.  When either spouse passes away, the survivor is often left with a choice.  […]

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What Happens Without a Power of Attorney?

Sometimes readers suggest ideas for columns.  One suggestion that has arisen more than once is “you really should tell people what happens if they do not have a valid power of attorney.” Powers of attorney, it should be remembered, are those documents that give authority to someone else to act on behalf of the maker.  […]

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Medical Bias Seen Toward the Elderly

The next time you hear a medical professional say that what ails you is “old age,” keep in mind that the age “diagnosis” for patients over 50 is being challenged.  Along these lines, an August 13, 2008 on-line article published by the National Care Planning Council at www.longtermcarelink.com, “The Bias of Medical Care Providers Towards […]

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Wealthy Parents Need To Leave Behind More Than Money

Robert Frank, author of “The Wealth Report,” an on-line column at the Wall Street Journal, published a commentary on May 12, 2008 titled “10 Things the Wealthy Should Leave Their Kids – Besides Money. “  The reference was cited by Neil Hendershot, a noted Harrisburg estate planning attorney, in his August 6, 2008 Pennsylvania Elder, […]

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Be Prepared for More Aggressive Medicaid Estate Recovery

When I first practiced elder law, Medicaid estate recovery was one of those relatively inconsequential programs that mandated we complete a form on behalf of a client and move on.  Since the federal Deficit Reduction Act, a law that went into effect in 2006, and, especially during the past year, that understanding has changed. Even […]

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News Flashes from the Pennsylvania Elder Law Institute

Every year for the past 11 years in July,  I pack my belongings and trek to Harrisburg for what I refer to as “Elder Law Boot Camp, ” joining hundreds of lawyers for two days to brush up on hot new changes in elder law and to network with the lawyers who comprise the Pennnsylvania […]

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Losing Money By Saving It

Years ago, my first exposure as a young associate to law in Philadelphia included litigation defending architects who had been sued for serious personal injury or property damage.  In every case it seemed our architect defendants had acted properly pointing out the risks and designing safe and effective structures.  Almost always the tragic and costly […]

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With PFFS Americans May Pay More For Less Medicare

About a month ago I was discussing a medical bill with a local hospital billing office and noted that the statement could not be correct since, even under original Medicare, the program available to those over age 65, the deductible would be less than the hospital’s charges.  My client was clearly over age 65 at […]

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Stretch Assisted Living Dollars With Tax Deductions

While many have not yet recognized this fact, assisted living facilities such  as Sunrise, New Seasons, Bellingham, and others and the assisted living portions of continuing care retirement communities are gradually standing side by side with nursing homes as a primary residence for those with serious chronic care needs.  This movement results partly from programs […]

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Abuse Has No Age Categories

In response to last week’s column on elder abuse and “World Elder Abuse Abuse Awareness Day”, a reader e-mailed me a comment that she knew of a woman who was being abused by her elderly parent.  The e-mail remainds me that abuse does not depend on age.  Special legal protections are extended to the elderly […]

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Elder Abuse Awareness in PA on WEAAD

Neil Hendershot, a Harrisburg attorney with the law firm of Goldberg Katzman, PC, a friend and colleague, has from time to time and with permission, included in his excellent Pennsylvania Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog, www.paelderestatefiduciary.blogspot.com, excerpts from some of my Daily Local News columns.   This week, Neil suggested that I might borrow and […]

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How Formal Must a Will Be

Curious inquirers sometimes ask me what is the least formal legal document that will still be considered valid.  Must the Power of Attorney be notarized?  Will it be accepted without witnesses?  What happens if the maker of a Will cannot easily locate someone outside the family to witness the signing of his Will?  Can he […]

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How Active Duty Military Can Access Legal Assistance

This past May 23, in honor of the upcoming Memorial Day commemoration, a friend and colleague, Neil Hendershot, included in his blog valuable references to estate planning information for military personnel.  Neil, a Harrisburg attorney with the law firm of Goldberg Katzman, PC, hosts the Pennsylvania Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog, a prolific site […]

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Qualified Veterans Can Benefit From Aid and Attendance

When Americans think of medical care for ailing and disabled Veterans, the first access point that comes to mind is the sprawling network of Veterans Administration Hospitals.  Although VA Hospitals are invaluable resources and provide many benefits locally including much needed prescription assistance and acute care at the Coatesville Veterans Administration Hospital, long term care […]

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Caregivers Need Legal Advice

Caregivers today, more than ever, need legal advice.  Most of them are not receiving it.  When Mom moves in with her son and daughter-in-law or Dad jointly titles assets with one of his sons after his wife’s death, there may be legal consequences, both good and bad.  Sorting through the issues up front becomes critical. […]

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