Consider Supplemental Needs Trusts for Special Children

Last week, Daily Local News Staff Writer Danielle Lynch reported the results of a two month investigation on special needs children in an excellent three part series, “Special Children, Special Needs.”  The series incorporated interviews with lawmakers, teachers, parents, coaches, administrators, advocates, and program innovators and organizers to provide an intense and insightful view into […]

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Lessons I Learned From Aunt Fran

About a week ago my Aunt Frances who lived in Philadelphia would have reached her 100th birthday.  As it was, she made it to age 92 which was farther than any of our biological family had gone in anyone’s memory. Since Aunt Fran, as everyone knew her, and Uncle Lue, my uncle, her husband, had […]

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2008 Financial Concerns – Their Causes and Relief

The roller coaster ride that the financial markets have been taking lately is hardly the kind of kind of trip that seniors, in particular, would like to sign on for but reliable sources indicate that it may stabilize soon.   This still means that the effect of taxpayers assuming the risk in the buyouts of Fannie […]

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An Election Prediction – Estate Taxes

With the U.S. Presidential Election less than two months away, speculation has built on the impact on taxes with both Democrats and Republicans asserting that their plans will benefit the public best.  Generally speaking, the Obama plan focuses on the middle class described as those with incomes of $250,00 and below, recognizing the economy.  The […]

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Agreements With Facilities – What You Need To Know

Years ago a man came to me with a document asking me to review it before he signed.  It was a Release and I congratulated him for having it examined before it was signed.  Too often I am consulted after damage has been done.  His common sense answer stayed with me.  “It is a legal […]

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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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