Senior Issues – A View From the Past

Senior Issues Health Care

Over the holiday weekend I had a chance to handle some cleanout at home, including the opportunity to review some past forgotten columns in the West Chester Daily Local News. With more than twenty years of columns under my belt, so to speak, there was some history built here. By the way, I did not […]

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House Bill Hints At Future of IRAs

Future of IRAs

Having listened to clients over the years express dismay regarding Required Minimum Distributions from retirement accounts, I recognize their concern.  Generally speaking, the older the holder of an IRA or 401(k) becomes the more he or she needs to withdraw from the account on an annual basis and, therefore, the more taxes need to be […]

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Can I Gift More Than $15,000?

Gift More Than

One of the questions I have frequently been asked as an elder law and estates attorney is “how much am I allowed to gift?”  It is often phrased this way although sometimes the expression is “am I allowed to gift more than $15,000?” or for people who have not recently reviewed federal tax law “am […]

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There Is a Priority of Debts When You Die

Priority Of Debts

Over time I have become accustomed to first actions taken by Executors when a family member dies.  Ironically, one of the first is often to pay off credit card debt.  Nursing home expenses and even funeral bills might initially be ignored or delayed during a time when survivors are seriously concerned about final VISA or […]

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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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The First Mistake In Estate Planning

First Mistake In Estate Planning

After you have completed your Will, executed your Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will, you might think you have done everything necessary to resolve your estate, both during your lifetime and after you pass. At this point, or maybe before, you need to take a crucial step, a […]

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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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