Category Archives for 2019

US and Canada Rotary Districts Plan For the Future

Last week I took some days from the office to travel to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada for a purpose very dear to my heart.  Anyone who knows me well knows I have a close involvement with Rotary.  This year I had the privilege of being inducted as the president of our own Greater West Chester […]

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What To Consider When You Gift


In later years if you feel you are comfortably situated you might take a look at gifting either as a way of moving assets out of your estate or to pass some of your wealth on to your children before you die.  Charitable gifting during lifetime can also be a satisfying way to benefit organizations […]

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Retirement and Widowhood


A recent article from a Forbes online source raised the issue of retirement and widowhood.  (William Baldwin, “Retirement and Widowhood“) While we frequently plan for our estates considering what we leave to our spouses and children it is probably a fact that we rarely consider the long life ahead for many spouses as widows or […]

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Exploring What Is the Best State for Long Term Care

Long Term Care

If your parents live in Kentucky and you live in Pennsylvania and your brothers and sisters live in California and New York, chances are you may have had “the conversation” discussing with your parents where they might live if one of them needs long term care.  It is not just a question whether they might […]

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Do Shared Living Arrangements Make Sense

Multi Generation Family

When a daughter travels great distances to assure her mother is well or son visits so often with father that each of them figure it might be easier if they simply joined households, it might be time to begin to question whether a joint living arrangement might make sense for everyone.  Multigenerational living is likely […]

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Know When to Use or Not Use A Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage

As seniors and their families struggle to deal with the cost of long term care, reverse mortgages become a continuing topic.  While seen by some as a convenient source of ready cash, this strategy can come with pitfalls that must be recognized in advance.  One of the most consistent myths is that a reverse mortgage […]

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Advice When It Comes Time To Transition the Family Business

Few decisions are as individual and personal for the owner of a family business than the decision to move on.  Sometimes moving on simply means moving on to another business, hence the expression “serial entrepreneur.”  Sometimes it means transitioning to a time when you can finally relax and do the many tasks, which might include […]

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Executor – Can You Locate the Will?

Last Will and Testament

In all the busy running around from day to day it is easy to lose track of important documents.  It can also be helpful to know which ones are needed in original form and when a copy (or electronic version) will work as well.  Here is some general information.  Of all the documents that need […]

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Protecting Your House and Medicaid

Protect Your House Medicaid

While reading an article recently on asset protection for physicians I was struck by some of the same issues, but on a different level, for Medicaid and the Medicaid estate recovery program.  In particular I noted concern regarding the house.  Whether it is a $120,000 property or one substantially higher in value property owners are […]

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Reporting Back From PAELA and the 2019 Elder Law Institute

Elder Law

Suppose you had the opportunity to sit around a huge table along with about 70 or 80 of the brightest people in your field and ask and answer questions regarding issues that have you all scratching your heads as to the best way to go. At the same conference you can also listen to  people […]

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Should You Be A Trustee?

Trustee Responsibilities

A recent article in Elder Law Answers,, an online publication primarily for lawyers but also available to the public, discussed “A Brief Overview of a Trustee’s Duties.”  It occurred to me then that most members of the public, while aware of the term “Trustee,” did not really know what a Trustee does.  If asked […]

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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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