I often review existing estate planning documents and in doing so, find that most estate plans consist of a living will and health care proxy which are advance directives dealing you’re your health care matters.  A health care proxy is a document that appoints another individual to make your medical decisions if you are…

This is a real fact pattern. I recently met with a family whose 86 year old Mother was admitted to a nursing home for dementia.  They sought my assistance in obtaining Medicaid eligibility to pay for the nursing home, which cost $15,000 per month.  Mother is still on Medicare which pays for the first 100…

An integral part of our practice involves planning with the assets of individuals who are disabled or have special needs. These individuals are usually persons who have developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, or who suffer from other severe and chronic or persistent disabilities. We commonly refer to these individuals as supplemental needs beneficiaries and the primary…

I recently entered the world of beekeeping. When contemplating this new hobby, I obviously vetted my ideas with friends and family (not the neighbors). Their responses were comical and in all cases, far from the truth. Sitting down to write this piece I thought, this is no different than the practice of elder law. So…

Many people are unsure as to whether a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is sufficient to accomplish their estate planning goals and objectives or if a Revocable Trust (“Trust”) is the more pertinent planning technique. Adding to the uncertainty is the plethora of propaganda disseminated by attorneys who promote trusts. Both serve a purpose but…

I recently received a frantic telephone call from someone whose sister suffered a stroke and was admitted to a hospital. Upon admission, the facility asked if there was a health care proxy appointing an agent to make medical decisions on the patient’s behalf. The sibling answered in the negative. As a result, the hospital refused…

Online social media has become commonplace in our society. Simply consider that there are over 1.50 billion Facebook users. Providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr and others offer a medium for socialization and to an equal extent, storage of personal data. For better or worse, digital media has replaced the traditional mailbox,…

When I meet with people for the first time who are interested in estate planning, their focus is usually on after-death planning. Whether their concern is minimizing estate taxes, planning for minor or spendthrift children, or simply passing assets to the next generation as quickly and efficiently as possible, nearly every meeting begins with a…

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