Elder Law

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Don't Go Long-Term Alone (English Version)

1901 W Colonial Dr , Orlando, FL

There are a lot of different options for long-term care, as you can see from this book. Each comes with its own unique pros and cons. One of those is the cost of the care. Assisted living can range from the low $2,000’s all the way up to $6,000+ per month. Memory care usually starts in the high $4,0...

Views: 22

SBB Live interview with Steve Schmidt of Carlson & Burnett

I had a great SBB Live interview with Steve Schmidt, part of the Estate planning team of Carlson Burnett Attorneys at Law.  He and his team are available to assist with you Elder Law issues, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, probate, and more!  They can be reached at 402-934-55...

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Senior Care Spotlight welcomes Sechler Law Firm - helping clients during COVID-19

183 Scharberry Lane , Mars, PA

During these challenging times, learn how Sechler Law Firm is taking steps to ensure that that his client documents are being taken care of, where you can now access and view their Educational Workshops online, steps to complete an Advanced Health Care Directive (FREE) and discounts being offered to...

Views: 146

The Value of a Living Will


My doctor has a collage on one wall about the importance of Advance Directives, or Living Wills, regardless of one’s age. An Advance Directive or Living Will is a document in which we each tell our loved ones how we want the end of our life to be handled – when we are in a permanent unconscious or vegetative...

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Is Your Spouse in a Nursing Home?

Lititz, PA

Are you worried about the impact of a Nursing Home stay on you or your spouse?  You are not alone as the majority of older adults worry about this same possibility.  When a nursing home admission crisis occurs, it is understandably overwhelming.    How will I pay for Nursing Home Care? Medicare coverage...

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The Importance of a Financial Power Of Attorney

York, PA

              Proper estate planning requires carefully crafted documents covering a range of matters. One of the most important is a financial, often called a durable, Power of Attorney (“POA”) which allows you to name the people who will act on your behalf in financial matters if you are cannot, or...

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Planning For The Unexpected

Colorado Springs, CO

We all know there are certain things we can take for granted such as death and taxes. We should also expect the unexpected. Consequently, I think it is helpful to do a simple self-assessment of what plans you have in place if the unexpected happens, as it will. For example: Do I have in place adequate...

Views: 128

Estate Planning Legal Fees

Colorado Springs, CO

Maybe even more important than the amount of your legal fees is how those fees are determined. Estate planning attorneys charge in two main ways; hourly and flat fee. Hourly billing is how attorneys have charged since the beginning of time. Hourly works great for litigation since the time required is...

Views: 67

Medicaid’s Gift to Children Who Care for a Parent

Boulder, CO

In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which transferring a house will not result in a penalty period.   One of those circumstances...

Views: 88

Five Key Considerations as You Plan For Your Future

Fort Colllins, CO

How do I navigate costs for care as I get older and need more support? We work hard for financial assets built over a lifetime and may not want those assets drained by long-term care costs or medical bills. Proper planning (including Trusts and other estate planning documents) allows you to maximize...

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Why Would I Consider a Trust for My Estate Planning?


Everyone needs an estate plan, it doesn’t matter what your socio-economic circumstances are. A simple estate plan will typically contain at least three documents. This will generally include a durable medical power of attorney and a durable financial power of attorney. The other document typically found...

Views: 67

Medicaid Spend Down Planning

When you go into a nursing home and want Medicaid to pay the bill, you must be below the government’s asset thresholds.  Unfortunately, you essentially must go broke before the government will help pay for your care.  When someone with assets goes into a nursing home, they must pay privately for care...

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Navigate Life’s Moments with Confidence

At the law office of Beth Prather, you will find a team ready to help you through some of life’s most difficult moments. Beth Prather’s credentials as a board certified elder law attorney with expertise in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship, Medicaid, and VA planning bring...

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The Best Time to Plan is Before you Need Assistance

“I’m not going to a nursing home, I want to stay in my own home.” Unfortunately, physical and mental capacity issues may require additional care that is difficult and extraordinarily expensive in your home. Transitioning into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility can be exhausting and expensive....

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3 Reasons Simple Will Plans are Insufficient

It’s Not Only About the Money. The problem with simple wills is that they generally deal with who gets the stuff.  General will plans for married families typically distribute assets “all to spouse then to my kids in equal shares.”  Consider this question… is money the only thing you give to your...

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Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are the most underrated legal documents. It seems to be common knowledge that “everyone needs a Will” but many people don’t know that Powers of Attorney are even more important for the majority of people.  Without a Will your estate will usually be divided among your decedents under...

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You May Not Be Able to Plan in Advance Later On


I was working with an Adult Protective Services representative just a few days ago, and she said something very profound. We were attempting to help a family whose mother was showing signs of either rapidly advancing dementia or some other medical issue. They had no powers of attorney in place; they...

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Nursing Home Planning. How do you achieve peace in the midst of uncertainty?

Are you worried about the impact of a Nursing Home stay on you or a spouse? You are not alone! The majority of older adults worry about this possibility. Consider the following: • How will I pay for Nursing Home Care? ? Medicare coverage is available in many cases but is limited in payment duration....

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Why Not Add Your Child to Your Bank Accounts?

Clients frequently tell me they want to add a child as a joint owner on their accounts and assets for “convenience”. There are numerous reasons why this should not be done, and why it is probably the most inconvenient thing that you can do. The biggest reasons people want to do it are to avoid inheritance...

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Life Care Planning – A Fresh Approach to Elder Law

As we age we navigate many changes including social, work, physical, and financial to name a few.  We’ve become pretty good at addressing our physical, work and social opportunities. We might downsize to a smaller home as our children move out.  We may plan for retirement by considering volunteer and...

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The Medicaid 5-Year Look Back Period Explained

There is nothing in Medicaid Law that causes more confusion than the 5-Year Look Back Period. Many people mistakenly believe that you can’t do any planning within 5 years of needing care. This isn’t exactly true. Here’s how the Look Back Period Works: If you go into a nursing home and want to apply...

Views: 91

Why is a Durable Power of Attorney Necessary?

Sometimes I am asked what planning documents are most important, and people are often surprised when I first mention the need for powers of attorney. A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that appoints a person to act as your “agent” in your absence or when you are unable to act for yourself....

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Estate Plan: More Than Just a Will

An estate plan is more than just a will. Think of it this way: a will is like just having a bicycle as your only means of transportation in a big city. You shouldn’t depend only on your Schwinn or Huffy to pedal you around town. You have other options. A will is a good start, but there’s much more to...

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Avoid the Five Common Mistakes of Estate Planning

When – or if – people prepare for their death or disability, they often are unaware of the five common mistakes people generally make. A well-written estate plan helps you avoid those five mistakes. What are they? Mistake 1. Loss of control. Surprisingly, disability is more likely in the short term...

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Should I Give My House and Stuff to My Kids to Protect My Assets?

This is a common question from clients, especially from baby boomer and senior clients. When I ask them why, they usually say they were told that is the best way to protect the house and stuff from the nursing home. As an elder law attorney, I always answer that doing so is very risky, and rarely...

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A Will or Trust: Which is Best for You?

When it comes to deciding whether a will or trust is best for you, it is important to understand your options and which one is most appropriate for your situation. Will A testamentary will (simply referred to as a “will”) is a legal document used to transfer an estate to beneficiaries after the death...

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Do I Need A Will Or A Trust?

Do I Need A Will Or A Trust? That is one of the most common questions I am asked. The problem is that is the same as asking if you should turn left or right without saying where you are or what your destination is. In fact, those are typically my first two questions in an initial meeting. First:...

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Advantages to Utilizing a Revocable Trust in Your Estate Plan

A critical piece in one’s estate plan is the disposition of assets upon death. This can be done through a last will and testament or a revocable trust, which is referred to as a “will substitute.”  When a revocable trust is utilized, it is the governing instrument as to where assets go, and it does...

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Why Would I Consider a Trust for my Estate Planning?

There are times when a trust might be an option in your estate planning instead of or in addition to a will. So why should you consider a trust? Trusts are useful estate planning tools that can accomplish a variety of goals. They can help avoid probate, minimize taxes, and be used to give property to...

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Is a Will Necessary?

“Is a Will really necessary?  I have everything in joint tenancy with my spouse so I really don’t think I need a Will.” This is a common yet misguided thought among many individuals.  Yes, it is necessary to have a Will.  In this day of fast paced travel who knows if both you and your spouse will die...

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Planning for Disability and Long Term Care

You know that you’ll die someday, and hopefully you have a good estate plan in place for that. But have you planned for incapacity? We all know people who’ve had an unexpected stroke, brain injury, or even dementia and if that happens to us without a good plan in place, the hassles for our family can...

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What is Medicaid Planning?

I am often asked “What is Medicaid Planning?” Let’s break that down. Medicaid is a government program that unlike Medicare will pay for long term care costs in a nursing home, however, it has strict financial limits. Medicaid planning is simply the process of acquiring Medicaid eligibility while preserving...

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Estate Planning: Not Just for Boomers!

A well-executed estate plan is critical for everyone. A will or trust, and powers of attorney are the best way to ensure your wishes are honored after your death, and during any period of incapacity. In past columns we have discussed the importance of estate planning for seniors.  Here, we’ll look at...

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Don't Believe You Need an Estate Plan?

Estate planning can mean many things to many people. For some, it may simply mean the creation of wills or trusts.  For others, it may involve the creation of a special needs trust to provide a safety net for a child with developmental disabilities. And many people are concerned over the prospect of...

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A Will or Trust: Which is Best for You?

When it comes to deciding whether a will or trust is best for you, it is important to understand your options and which one is most appropriate for your situation. Will A testamentary will (simply referred to as a “will”) is a legal document used to transfer an estate to beneficiaries after the death...

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Planning Options and Consequences for Retirement Plans

There are several types of qualified retirement plans (QRP) including: 1. Employer plans such as defined benefit plans that are funded by the employer with no contribution by the employee (401(k), 403(b) and 457(b)), and defined contribution plans that are funded by contributions from the employee’s...

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Durable Power of Attorney Documents: Why They Are IMPORTANT

  Adults make decisions every day in life. You make financial choices regarding banking, paying bills and managing assets. You decide with whom to socialize and also where to live. You make health care decisions such as consenting to or refusing treatment, obtaining medical records and choose a course...

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According to the study, Aging in Place in America, more people over the age of 65 are afraid of moving into a nursing home than are afraid of death. Ignoring the possible need for nursing home care means that you miss out on the valuable chance to plan ahead. Planning ahead gives you time to find alternatives...

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Estate Planning: Is It For Me?

Many of us feel like we don’t have enough assets to do any fancy estate planning. In fact the words “estate planning” feel completely irrelevant to many people, as they imply that you must own enough assets to call it an estate … and much of our wealth is hidden in things that really aren’t available...

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Medicaid Planning - How to Pay for the Nursing Home Without Going Broke

 With the monthly cost of care in a nursing home averaging $8,500 in the Denver and Boulder metropolitan area, one of the greatest challenges faced by elders and their families is how to pay for such care.  For many, the Medicaid Program is there to help. To qualify for Medicaid for long-term care,...

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Advance Medical Directives

  Advance directives are written instructions relating to medical care for an incapacitated person.  Estate planning is not just about planning for after death; it is also about planning for who will make medical and financial decisions in the event of incapacity and explaining a person’s end of life...

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Share your wishes in 2015

Share your “wishes” in 2015 After the often hectic buzz and planning of the holidays, we need a little time toregroup, reflect and set new resolutions come January. Maybe youʼve plannedthe holidays, the gifts, the decorations and who gets the guest bedroom. Now itʼstime to think about you.Do your loved...

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A Guardianship… To Help Our Loved Ones

A Guardianship… To Help Our Loved Ones All of us have family or friends who need assistance, whether financially, physically or, in the case of this article, mentally. In caring for our loved ones, it is important to know some legal guidelines to best serve them. When a person loses the...

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A Will or Trust: Which is Best for You

A Will or Trust: Which is Best for You? When it comes to deciding whether a will or trust is best for you, it is important to understand your options and which one is most appropriate for your situation. Will A testamentary will (simply referred to as a “will”) is a legal document used to transfer an...

Views: 6
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