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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Using a Donor-Advised Fund May Be a Way to Get a Charitable Tax Break Under the New Tax Law

Donor-advised funds are a growing trend in giving that may get more popular due to the new tax law. These funds allow you to donate money, receive a charitable tax deduction, and continue to grow the money until you are ready to distribute it to a charity or charities of your choice. 

A donor-advised fund is established through a charity or nonprofit. The way the fund works is that you donate assets (it can be cash, stocks, or real estate) to the fund. The gift is irrevocable – the nonprofit controls the assets and you cannot get the assets back.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Assisted Living – Part II: Questions to ask when selecting a facility and the financial aspect of living in an assisted living community.

            On March 14th our blog, “Assisted Living – Part I:  What is Assisted Living and how do I decide if it is the right move for me or my loved one?” discussed what an assisted living community is and gave five strategies for talking about and determining whether assisted living is right for you or your loved one.  In follow-up, today’s blog will present items to consider and questions to ask when selecting an assisted living facility.  We will also discuss how to plan for the financial aspect of an assisted living facility.

            By 2030, 20 percent of U.S.
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Monday, March 25, 2019

Death and taxes

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage about nothing in life being certain except death and taxes.  However, if you are settling the affairs of a loved one who has died, you may not be so certain about dealing with your responsibilities regarding taxes. 

Many people have heard about estate or inheritance taxes, but for the vast majority of people in Indiana, inheritance tax is not an issue under current law.
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Assisted Living – Part I: What is Assisted Living and how do I decide if it is the right move for me or my loved one?

In our previous blog on February 25th, we addressed how to “Age in Place” and how to safely remain at home during retirement and as one ages.  However, for many older adults, advancing age means they will face a time when living alone is no longer feasible.  Certain aspects of daily living become more challenging, and finding that you need assistance to do things like caring for your home and yourself, may mean that it is time to consider moving into an assisted living facility. 

            What does assisted living mean?  Depending on the state and the individual facility, assisted living can mean different things and it may go by other names, but the concept of assisted living is simply that:  Older adults move to a facility where they can receive assistance with the daily tasks of living.  Assisted living facilities offer some level of care or assistance to older adults who are unable to manage these tasks of living on their own, such as cooking, bathing or toileting.
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Friday, March 1, 2019

Elder Law Attorneys: Not Just for Old People

I am proud to tell people that I work in the field of elder law.  It is incredibly humbling and enlightening to work with our clients who have been around for decades longer than I have.  Even though clients come to our office seeking our advice in preparing for the final years of their lives, I always come away from our meetings having gained a new perspective or having learned something I never knew before.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Aging in Place - How to Help Your Loved One Remain in Their Home Safely

An estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 in the U.S. every day and at that rate the retirement population is projected to nearly double by 2030 with the number of adults aged 65-74 growing to nearly 73-million. If you figure in adults aged 50 and over, that statistic grows to 132-million. So where will this exploding population of retirees spend their golden years?

According a recent AARP survey, 73-percent of people over 45 plan to retire in their current residence as opposed to a nursing home or other institution.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Power of Words: Elderspeak

As an elder law attorney, I am fortunate to work with people who range in age from younger than I am to almost as old as my grandmother, who was 101¾ when she died!  One of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to hear stories from people who were adults before I was even born – I am always learning something new or gaining a new perspective. 

I also work with many people who have had to step into the role of caregiver for their elderly parents or relatives, and I helped my mother and her sisters as they cared for my grandmother in her home.  We often took note of the difficult role reversal everyone experienced as my grandma’s children and grandchildren began to take care of her as she took care of us when we were young.  My grandmother was hard of hearing, and as she aged she lost her vision.  In the last decade or so of her life, she needed help eating, dressing, keeping her house clean, and moving around.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Seven Winter Safety Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

            As Indiana begins to see the start to a frigid and snowy winter, we want to bring you a list of items to help you, your loved ones, and caregivers to be safe this winter.  Our list provides seven items to use as a checklist and reminders of how to maintain safety during the winter months.

  1. Food and Medicine

    While grocery shopping for essentials is important, also make sure that your loved one is getting a balanced diet during the winter months and that they have plenty of food and water to last five to seven days.  Many people eat a smaller variety of foods during the winter months which can lend itself to nutritional deficits.  Ensuring that pantry and fridge are stocked with varied foods, such as those fortified in Vitamin D like milk, grains, salmon and tuna, help with varying their diet and avoiding nutritional deficits.
    Read more . . .

Friday, January 4, 2019

Taking against the will: your Last Will and Testament may not be the last word on your probate estate

Most people are confident that their Last Will and Testament is the last word on how their probate estate will be distributed after they have died, and in most cases, they are probably right.  However, if you are married, Indiana law dictates how much of your estate your spouse is entitled to receive upon your death, regardless of what your Last Will and Testament says.  It is important for people who are married (and for people who are planning to get married) to understand how this law works and what they can do to ensure that their wishes can be carried out.

Here’s a basic overview of the law.  Read more . . .

Friday, December 28, 2018

Caregiver Checklist for Assisting Your Loved One to Their Doctor Appointment

Is taking a senior loved one to the doctor one of your hallmark caregiver duties? In addition to medication management and financial assistance, providing transportation to and from the doctor (as well as specialists, lab work, etc) is one of the most common tasks caregivers help with. 

There are many benefits to attending a doctor’s appointment with your loved one including:

  • Getting the most up-to-date information regarding health conditions, preventative screenings, medications, etc.
  • Allowing you to voice questions and concerns in person with medical staff and get answers right away
  • Simplifying the process of having the doctor refill a prescription or write an order for a new one
  • Giving you the chance to schedule future appointments that work with your’s and your loved one’s schedule

    The truth is, however, that doctor’s appointments can be overwhelming undertakings, especially if your loved one is ill (which is why you are seeing the doctor in the first place) or if they have a disability. Transferring in and out of the car can take extra time and effort as can remembering to pack everything for you both need (i.e.
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Understanding Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Medicare's hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare's most comprehensive benefits and can be extremely helpful to both the terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead of time may help Medicare beneficiaries and their families make the difficult decision to choose hospice if the time comes.

The focus of hospice is palliative care, which means helping people who are terminally ill and their families maintain their quality of life. Palliative care addresses physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs while also supporting the terminally ill individual's independence, access to information, and ability to make choices about health care.
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