Monthly Archives: February 2010

Estate Planning: What You Can Do Now

estate-planningElder lawyers are a great resource for planning your estate. An increasing amount of people are seeking advice on estate planning, and there is currently an intense discussion in Congress about an estate tax law. In her latest book, “Estate Planning Smarts”, Deborah L. Jacobs outlines the essential pieces you need to know when planning your estate.
A good estate plan should accomplish these goals:

•    Caring for yourself by authorizing people to handle your affairs if you no longer can because of illness or disability
•    Specifying who gets what after you pass away
•    Providing for children who are minors or who have special needs.
Trusts play critical roles in estate planning, and can be used to hold money for minors, forestall spendthrift family members, protect assets from former spouses or creditors, or even make provisions to care for pets that survive you.
(Source: www.estateplanningsmarts.com)
See an elder lawyer like Adam J. Tobin, or one nearest you to get your estate plan in motion!

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse

Avoiding financial elder abuse with a elder law attorney Massachusetts.Elder lawyers are great resources that can assist in dealing with the subsequent fallout to financial elder abuse. In a blog post dated September 2009, Janice Wallace brings up this unfortunate issue, specifically as it applies to finances. Wallace describes this abuse as “a person taking an elder’s money or property for his/her own needs,” and abusers can use any number of tactics ranging from threats of abandonment to guilt.

(Read the full article here: http://eldercareabcblog.com/protection-from-financial-elder-abuse/ )

As aging children and their parents find themselves in the inevitable role-reversal of care, it’s important to be aware of steps that can be taken to assure your parent, relative, or loved one never has to encounter this situation. It’s also important, yet disappointing, to note that most elder abuse is employed by a family member. Many of these instances go unreported as the elderly individual may feel ashamed that they cannot handle the abuse themselves, afraid of the abuser’s retaliation, or is concerned with being labeled as senile.

Keep an eye out for some of the warning signs:

  • Sudden changes to a senior’s will
  • Checks bounce when there should be adequate resources
  • Unusual activities in bank accounts

(There is also a more thorough compilation of warning signs here: http://www.crimes-of-persuasion.com/Crimes/InPerson/MajorPerson/elder_abuse.htm)

And here are some preventative steps your loved ones can take to ensure elder financial abuse does not take place:

  • Establish a relationship with the personnel at your bank
  • Put all financial instructions in writing and be specific
  • Keep accurate and complete financial records of all transactions
  • Cultivate friends of all ages so you maintain a strong support network
  • Never give out credit card numbers over the phone unless you placed the call

Stay involved in your loved one’s life, and if you still find that they have become a victim of elder abuse, be sure to seek out an elder lawyer such as Adam J. Tobin or one nearest you.

Planning for Eldercare with an Elder Lawyer

Knowing how to plan for elder care with an elder law attorney.In a recent article called “Planning for Eldercare” on the Long Term Care Link, it discusses how Elder Law Attorneys specialize in helping you and your loved ones plan for the future.

Many elderly persons rely entirely on their children, family members or other trusted individuals to help them. This dependence upon caregivers or family members makes an older person more vulnerable to abuse and financial exploitation. Legal arrangements and protective actions by family may be necessary to shield loved ones from making bad decisions or from being taken advantage of.

Adam Tobin, an Elder Law Attorney located in North Andover, Massachusetts specializes in many of your family’s needs. His firm offers estate planning services for estates of all sizes, planning to minimize Gift and Estate Taxes, the drafting and use of many different types of Trusts to maintain control and protect assets, business succession planning for small business owners, and retirement planning for individuals of all income levels.

The complexities of laws and legal issues that may arise

Elder law attorneys specialize in legal issues affecting the elderly. They are knowledgeable about Medicare and Medicaid programs, and can help you apply for and possibly accelerate coverage from Medicaid. If you’re already covered underThey work with the elderly in assisting them and their families with all aspects of estate planning and implementing necessary legal documents for the final years of life. In addition, they help individuals to apply for and possibly accelerate coverage from Medicaid. An elder law attorney can also help with disputes with Medicaid. Other areas of assistance may include:

  • Preservation or transfer of assets seeking to avoid spousal impoverishment when a spouse enters a nursing home
  • Medicaid qualification and application and Medicaid planning strategies
  • Medicare claims and appeals
  • Veterans Benefits claims
  • Social security and disability claims and appeals
  • Disability planning, including use of durable powers of attorney, living trusts and living wills
  • Help with financial management and health care decisions; and other means of delegating management and decision-making to another in case of incompetence or incapacity
  • Probate
  • Administration and management of trusts and estates
  • Long term care placements in nursing homes and assisted living
  • Nursing home issues with patients’ rights and nursing home quality
  • Elder abuse and fraud recovery cases

In the ever changing landscape of Elder Law, we will guide you through the complexities of Medicaid (MassHealth) laws; explain the options available to pay for home health care, assisted living and nursing home costs; assist you in qualifying for MassHealth benefits, and implement a plan to protect your assets from nursing home costs.

For a free consultation email Adam at atobin@adamtobinlaw.com or call 978-725-9083.

If you live outside Massachusetts, the National Care Planning Council has a catalog of elder law attorneys throughout the United States.