File this under the 'Life Hacks' category!

Discounts are often available in restaurants, supermarkets, department stores and even travel deals...some of them even start at the young age of 50!

The key here is to remember to ASK for your discount! For a list, click on the link below:

https://www.onmogul.com/articles/this-list-of-senior-discounts-for-people-over-50-might-be-the-best-thing-you-learn-all-day#.VL2PLOzzFzw.facebook  

A cautionary tale: Lillian Palermo tried to prepare for the worst possibilities of aging. An insurance executive with a Ph.D. in psychology and a love of ballroom dancing, she arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to go to her husband, Dino, eight years her junior, if she became incapacitated. And in her 80s, she did.

Mr. Palermo, her husband who was the lead singer in a Midtown nightclub in the 1960s when her elegant tango first caught his eye, now regularly rolls his wife’s wheelchair to the piano at the Catholic nursing home in Manhattan where she ended up in 2010 as dementia, falls and surgical complications took their toll. He sings her favorite songs, feeds her home-cooked Italian food, and pays a private aide to be there when he cannot.

When a loved one passes away, it is an understandably stressful time. It can be even more stressful and/or traumatic trying to remember all of the details that must be taken care of related to a person's death.

If you are in charge of handling the affairs of the person who has passed, click on the link to the list below which goes over some of the more important things to consider.

Checklist of What To Do When A Loved One Dies

Life is an ongoing learning experience and often hands us questions that we may not  have the answers to. It is best to talk to an expert for advice. On topics such as Estate PlanningMedicaid and other Elder Law concerns, our firm can help!

We have several seminars coming up on various topics in the next few months and hope to see you at one or more of them. New seminars as they are confirmed will be added to this site as well as posted on our Facebook page in the upcoming weeks, including seminar registration information and location.

If you have any questions or are interested in having one of our attorneys Robert W. Haley or Jessica S. Henson speak at your next gathering whether it be for your church, group, company or organization, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make it happen! 

Click on the link below for a current list of upcoming seminars!

Seminars/Events

A sad sign of the times, but seniors are often targeted by scammers of all kinds. This is something that can be avoided!  For example, if an elder is looking to have some work done around the house, give us a call! We can refer you to trusted, honest and dependable contractors we have used ourselves for our Life Care Planning clients who are not fly-by-night and will get the job done right!

In the news recently, a Virginia man has been arrested for contractor fraud specifically targeting senior citizens. Richard Hare  is believed to have used several business names to solicit residential construction contracts with senior homeowners, he then requested customers provide down payments for supplies and, according to the victims, never started nor completed the promised renovations. To date, a total of 30 victims have been identified, with a total monetary loss of about $74,000.

Hare was arrested on Jan. 8 and served with several felony warrants. An investigation into this fraud scheme is ongoing. The companies identified as fronts for Hare are: All Pro ConcreteAll Star SolutionsAll ProAll Pro SolutionsAll Star Moisture and Environmental Solutions, and All Pro Contracting

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Hare should contact their local law enforcement agency. 

For more news about this development, check out the link below:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Va-Man-Arrested-in-Fraud-Scheme-288068151.html

You already know that Social Security is complicated and there are lots of rules. When you try to figure out those rules on your own, you can be swamped!  We have tools that take advantage of all of the rules, and allow you to compare. so you can see how a scenario applies to a particular situation. While there may be thousands of rules, here are 5 that are important to know:

Contrary to the popular jingle, Jack Frost doesn't just nip—he often bites. And, far from attacking just your nose, he targets the largest organ you possess—your skin.

The bitter cold and blistering winds of winter can quickly strip skin of its moisture, leaving it prone to itching, cracking and bleeding. Broken skin is a recipe for infection, says Rebecca Baxt, M.D., a board certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Even the welcoming warmth of a climate-controlled building adds to your skin's suffering. According to James C. Marotta, a Long Island-based facial plastic surgeon, the same heating system that keeps your house toasty also sucks much of the moisture out of the air.

Seniors are particularly prone to skin issues. Over time, a person's skin becomes thinner, drier and more fragile.

Check out this article from agingcare.com for tips of protection your skin!

In our law firm, we deal with the Medicaid laws and regulations on a daily basis.  These have been described as some of the most arcane and complex laws imaginable.  Social Security is another area of the law surrounded in mystery!  Everyone knows they can retire after 62, but seldom do folks know there are strategies allowing you to maximize your claim to ensure you have income security for all of your life expectancy.

Soon we will begin offering our clients a personalized Social Security Solution Report so that they can plan how best to claim their Social Security benefit to maximize the payout!  

Stay tuned for news of our first seminar Solving the Social Security Puzzle!

Reversing a trial court, a Louisiana appeals court determines that a nursing home resident improperly transferred close to $50,000 to his caregiver nephew and the nephew’s wife because the payments were not made pursuant to a valid personal care agreement. David v. State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (La. Ct. App., 1st, No. 2014 CA 0791, Dec. 23, 2014).

Widley David entered a Louisiana nursing home in 2008.  Between 2008 and 2010, Mr. David wrote six checks to his nephew and his nephew’s wife totaling $49,195.  According to Mr. David, the checks were intended to repay his closest living relatives for the daily care that they provided him in the nursing home.  When Mr. David applied for Medicaid in December 2010, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) assessed a nearly 15-month penalty period due to the transfers. 

This story is out of Ohio and illustrates two eternal truths:  First, government intervention, even with the best of intentions, ends up doing more harm than good. And second, politicians care about nothing but getting elected.

Some physicians say they will stop accepting new patients, or stop treating those covered by Medicaid, with the end of federally funded fee increases during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act. With Congress unlikely to extend enhanced fees, the Ohio State Medical Association is lobbying Gov. John Kasich to pick up the $630 million-plus annual cost in his proposed two-year state budget.

For most 15 minute patient visits, doctors received a paltry maximum reimbursement of  $71.09 last year from Medicaid, which now drops to a ridiculous $40.38 this year!!! “Some may feel they can’t continue to see the extra patients they took on” as fees drop by nearly half to 2012 levels, said Tim Maglione, Senior Director of Government Relations for the State Medical Association.

The Kasich administration acknowledges that primary care physicians visits ensure much fewer, more expensive trips to the emergency room and hospital:  

"The Kasich administration appreciates that primary care and care coordination can reduce long-term health-care costs, Maglione said, and “has not said no” to his group’s pitch to restore the higher payments to physicians."  

"Cathy Levine, Executive Director of the Universal Health Care Network of Ohio that lobbies for affordable health care for all Ohioans, warns that sicker patients and increased costs will accompany the cut in physician funding. “Medicaid patients will have a harder time securing ongoing primary care without resorting to emergency rooms and increased hospitalizations” if they can’t promptly see doctors for chronic conditions and preventive care, she said."

Don't put your faith in the government for your retirement or long-term care! The time to begin planning is now, regardless of your age! Contact us to see how we can help!

 http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/01/03/cut-in-fees-will-sour-doctors-on-medicaid-patients.html

It's the Season where families come together all around us.  A season of joy and peace that flows seamlessly into the New Year's celebrations! It's a time of reflection and renewal.  It can also be a time of review and preparation.

Throughout this year, I have reviewed countless estate plans.  Plans, in most cases, drawn up by very competent attorneys.  Yet, no one will review your estate plan like an elder law attorney!  There was not one plan that I did not recommend some change or update!  As my colleague Andy Hook always emphasizes,  an elder law attorney does not sell documents!  Drafting an estate plan is much more than filling in blanks on pre-printed forms. It is assessing a family situation in its proper context, then drafting the plan that best suits the needs and desires of the family.