As Baby boomers approach retirement, many may be revisiting legal documents addressing long-term care, estate planning, emergency care and other elder law and estate law topics. Others may be thinking about some of these issues for the first time. In both cases, a recent article reminds us that it is never too early to plan for the unexpected.
With rising health care costs, there has never been a greater need for skilled long-term care planning. Even for elders with retirement benefits, cost-of-living increases and the potential need for increased medical services can strain even the budget of seniors who receive retirement benefits from sources such as the Social Security Administration, employer-provided pension plans, and/or individual retirement accounts.
In our last entry, we talked about some of the policy issues involving a health care proxy or health care power of attorney. Readers may have questions about how that option is different than a living will.
Every competent adult shall have the right to appoint a health care agent by executing a Health Care Proxy... but do we think of our 18 year old children as adults? Upon turning 18, children instantaneously transition from needing parental consent to needing to give consent to make medical decisions and to access medical information.
Many public benefit programs, including SSI and MassHealth, typically include, without limitation, an asset limit test. An individual with excess assets typically cannot give away assets in order to establish eligibility without the imposition of a disqualification period. Federal law contains some exceptions to the transfer of asset rules.
Care planning is a topic that many people simply wish to avoid. No one really wants to think about what would happen if they become incapacitated or can no longer live by themselves. However, not planning for incapacity ahead of time can present quite an issue for your family to deal with, especially when your loved ones don't know your wishes.
Families will often make financial gifts for specific purposes, such as to help a child with debt, pay for a grandchild's tuition, help a family member place a down payment to purchase a home, utilize the annual gift tax exclusion, or celebrate major family milestones. So, when would these gifts not be considered gifts?
It's been over a year since legislation was passed in Massachusetts to put a stop to - or at least slow down - the perpetual increase in insurance costs for long-term care. The new regulations are meant to provide protection to people who are purchasing long-term care insurance policies or keeping their current policies in effect.
Obesity is a problem affecting millions of people in the United States. According to researchers, the effects of obesity on seniors are substantial, including an increased risk of heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression, as well as other serious health conditions. However, obesity may also be linked to diminished mental capabilities, according to researchers with "HealthDay News." While the actual results were not available, the researchers said that thinking skills and memory function were lower in 60- to 70-year-olds who had high body mass indexes.
Advocates for elder care in Massachusetts say that the rules for dementia and Alzheimer's care units in nursing home facilities have been delayed because of the state's Department of Health. Last year, the state's legislators finally approved legislation that would ensure the development of dementia and Alzheimer's care standards in nursing homes that were licensed by the state.