Families Living Together – How To Do It

As seniors live longer and adult children struggle to find a way to care for them without traveling long distances, a phenomenon is sweeping the country.  Parents and children are buying homes together. The “why” is easy.   Parents, sometimes flush with cash from sale of their own home, might choose to live with family.  A […]

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Retitling Assets- the Plusses and Minuses

When I speak at gatherings of seniors where assets are considered, one topic of constant interest is whether to title or to retitle assets, when to do it, how to do it, and whether this action avoids probate or taxes. Retitling could be done into the names of parents and adult children jointly or exclusively […]

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Parents of Disabled Children Should Consider Supplemental Needs Trusts

When parents of a disabled child plan their estates, some believe they should leave inheritances to another family member, often another son or daughter, so the person they designate will care for their disabled child on their deaths. The reasoning is  “I cannot leave a third of my estate to Joseph since, with his disability […]

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When Parents and Adult Disabled Children Live Together

When parents live long term with their disabled child, the arrangement sometimes benefits both the parent and the adult child.  There are times when, as a parent ages, she or he is no longer able to handle household chores.  Her adult child, although not well enough to work, may assist in tasks at home and, […]

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Gran Torino’ Is a Movie For Seniors That Defies Stereotypes

Rarely does an elder law attorney have the opportunity to review a latest movie directed by a screen legend, but “Gran Torino,” the latest from Clint Eastwood, deserves the credit.  For those who have not yet seen the movie, I will not spoil the ending but, suffice it to say that the storyline keeps you […]

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When Times Are Tight, How To Decide What Bills To Pay First

If reports are correct, because the real estate market is relatively more stable here, Chester County is not experiencing nearly so many of the financial problems that affect the rest of the country now.  However, everyone is watching what he or she is paying and that affects both the individual and society at large. For […]

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News Flash – Required Minimum Distributions Suspended in 2009

While the details of the federal Economic Stimulus Plan are being resolved, some relief measures affecting individuals have already taken effect. One of these that affects seniors is temporary suspension of the Required Minimum Distribution rules for IRA’s, 401(k)’s and similar retirement accounts.  The Worker, Retiree, Employer Recovery Act of 2008 provides that account holders […]

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Family Agreements Go National – Report From the NAELA Unprogram

Twice a year I always travel to meet up with groups of elder law attorneys for a few days and refresh what we know.   July means Harrisburg or Hershey, Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute sponsored “Elder Law Institute.”  In January it is Grapevine near Dallas or Houston, Texas for the National Academy of Elder […]

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Plan For Care Before Funds Run Low- the $50,000 Problem

Some dilemmas reoccur with such frequency, I give them a name.  This is true of the “$50,000 problem.”  For some families, $50,000 may be $75,000 or $20,000 or nothing but for many, it seems that, at about the $50,000 point in liquid assets, families with parents or spouses in assisted living or, for that matter, […]

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Financial Decisions Do Not Have To Be Difficult

Traveling can give a person added time to think and new perspective. I found this to be true last weekend while rushing through Philadelphia International Airport for a plane to Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday and then waiting what seemed like endless hours for my return flight from Dallas to Philadelphia on Sunday. The occasion for […]

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Caring for An Aging Parent?

Sometimes family members caring for an aging and physically disabled relative, lose track of the fact that they need care themselves at times.  They may also never have never thought of whether the services they provide should be compensated.  This factor is especially significant in Pennsylvania where, according to  government reports, over 80 percent of […]

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Penn Treaty and Conseco Long Term Care Insurers In the News

Long term care insurance policyholders for two companies with ties to Pennsylvania will need to stay tuned for developments relative to their long range fiscal health. On January 6, 2009, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a Press Release, “Insurance Department Takes Control of Struggling Allentown-based Insurer & Subsidiary,” relative to Penn Treaty Network America Insurance […]

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Joy Is Timeless

New Year’s Day brings with it time to reflect on growing up, aging and the capacity for joy.  What follows is from a previous column.  I thought readers might enjoy sharing these ideas again. “One of the most memorable New Year’s Eves I remember was spent in a nursing home.  The lights reflected into the […]

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Joy Is Timeless – A Reprise

New Year’s brings with it time to reflect on growing up, aging and the capacity for joy. What follows is from a previous column. This is a time, I thought, with all of the crises that face us, readers might enjoy sharing these ideas again. “One of the most memorable New Year’s Eves I remember […]

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2008 Changes Meaning of a Billion Dollars

Often I end the year with a column on memories of New Years Eve’s from years past.  This year one story eluded comment in the press and public and was so obvious and yet unspoken that I just could not resist.  Beyond reporting of the Presidential election and the current financial crisis, the disturbing thought […]

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