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Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Importance of Beneficiary Designations Matching Your Estate Plan


In a typical year, Severns & Howard usually sees during the summer months an increase in interest to establish or update their estate planning documents.  This could be due to the nice weather and the beginning of summer travels, timing of retirement, a health event that occurred for them or a loved one over the winter, or just finishing those spring to-do lists.  While this year has seen some changes in the above causes, we are still seeing an increase in interest to make sure that their estate plan is following their current final wishes. 

One service that Severns & Howard provides to our estate planning clients is to ensure that all assets follow the estate plan you set out in your documents.  Many types of property and investments pass outside of Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Free Brain Games for Senior Citizens


Article by Senior Directory written by Rhianna DeVries

We’re all working hard to take care of ourselves and to stay happy and healthy while we’re staying home during the pandemic. But while we’re stretching out our legs on morning walks and eating nutritious meals, it’s important to remember to exercise one of our most vital organs: our brain. We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what can we do to nourish our minds? These brain games for seniors will keep you alert and your brain on its toes—all while being entertaining.

Mahjong to try something new

There are hundreds of free brain games available online, from strategy and numbers to puzzles and words, there’s something to fit everyone’s tastes and moods. But if you’d like to try something a little different, you might like Mahjong.
Read more . . .


Friday, June 5, 2020

Four Ways the Coronavirus Pandemic May Affect Long-Term Care Insurance


The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This has raised questions about how the virus has influenced the costs and provision of long-term care insurance, which covers care in facilities and sometimes at home as well. 

If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may wonder how it is affected by the pandemic. If you don’t have a policy, you may wonder if the pandemic will make it more difficult to get one. An article by Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pandemic Relief: Retirement Account Owners Do Not Have to Take Required Distributions in 2020


Retirement account owners, many of whose retirement balances have been pummeled by a stock market drop due to the coronavirus pandemic, do not have to take mandatory withdrawals this year. 

Federal law requires individuals who were age 70 1/2 before the end of 2019 to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement plan in April of the year after they turned 70. (Note that those who were younger than 70 ½ at the end of 2019 can wait until they turn 72 to take RMDs) The amount of the distribution is based on the value of the account at the end of the previous year, but the funds you withdraw are treated as taxable income in the year you take the distribution.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

May is Mental Health Month


May is Mental Health Month, and right now it’s more important than ever that you keep tabs on the mental health of yourself and the people you love.  I know that many of our clients, and many of our own loved ones, are struggling with the isolation, disruption, and anxiety caused by the COVID -19 pandemic. 

I know that I have had to be diligent in using my coping skills to help keep my own mental health on track.  I’ve also been keeping an eye on my kids, who are tired of being cooped up and deprived of their social lives, and on my mom, who is diligently practicing social distancing while continuing to mourn the death of my father, who died in January.  It’s been a tough year so far for my family, and I imagine that you can tell me a similar story.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Creative Strategies to Help Clients Safely Execute Documents During Pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread through the country, more people are realizing the importance of getting their estate planning documents in order. Those over age 60 are particularly at risk for developing complications from the novel coronavirus infection. Having in place documents -- including a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a medical directive, a HIPAA release and a will -- is essential in the event that illness strikes.

Although planning one’s estate is a top priority, people don’t want to put themselves or others at risk while doing it. Elder law and estate planning firms across the U.
Read more . . .


Thursday, May 7, 2020

My Covid-19 "New Normal" Life by Katherine LaFollette


When the stay at home order took effect here in Indiana on March 23, 2020, I remember thinking that this was going to be so hard for a lot of people to do.  Not everyone likes to stay inside for long periods of time.  I remember going to the grocery store to get some much needed items and looking around in horror as the shelves were almost bare.  I have a two year old at home and I had to stop at three different stores before I found the size diapers my son wears.  I was always a homebody even before this, however, the only difference from then to now is that I couldn’t take my kids to the park or to the store with me.
Read more . . .


Thursday, April 30, 2020

How to Vote-by-Mail in the June Indiana Primary


The Indiana Primary election date has been moved to June 2, 2020.  By voting in the primary, you help determine what candidates will be on the ballot in November for your party, Democratic or Republican.   In addition, there are “Public Questions” on the Primary Ballot in Washington Township and Beech Grove in Marion County, that will decide whether these township schools will have adequate funding for future years. 

To vote by mail (absentee ballot) in the June 2, 2020 primary

  1. Check your registration and if you are not properly registered, register by May 4th.You can check your registration and register to vote at Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Will the Stimulus Check Effect Mine or My Loved One’s Medicaid Benefits?


Many Americans have received or are about to receive a stimulus check from the IRS.  While the majority are thankful and rejoicing the assistance, those who receive Medicaid or have a loved one who receives Medicaid benefits to help cover their health care costs are concerned of the impact these stimulus checks might have on their Medicaid eligibility. 

The good news is that the stimulus checks will not affect your or your loved ones Medicaid benefits.   The stimulus checks are being treated as tax refunds.  Tax refunds are not considered income and are exempt as a resource for 12 months for all federal means tested programs, which includes Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF and SSI benefits.
Read more . . .


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hydroponic Gardening - How to Bring the Garden In by Katherine LaFollette


Are you like me and love to garden but don’t have enough yard space to do so?  Every year I want to plant some vegetables but my yard is too small.  I was searching the internet one night and I came across something absolutely fantastic…. Hydroponic gardening! 

In case you are like me and don’t know what hydroponic gardening is, hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.  How is that possible?!  How can you grow plants without soil?  I was skeptical at first but then I continued to read.  It intrigued me so much that I spent a good portion of my night watching Youtube videos on how to create my own hydroponic garden.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FSSA (Indiana Medicaid Agency) Response to COVID-19


In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, On April 1, 2020, Indiana FSSA ( State’s Medicaid agency) announced that Medicaid programs such HIP, Hoosier Healthwise and Traditional Medicaid, which help with nursing home and in-home health care costs, will not be terminated during the state of emergency.  

A copy of the letter follows. 

Update on Medicaid policy changes re: COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, some policy and program changes have been made to help ensure members in our managed care programs (Healthy Indiana Plan, Hoosier Care Connect, Hoosier Healthwise) as well as our Traditional Medicaid members are able to maintain continuous coverage in this critical time.

 

Member Eligibility

Member health coverage will not be terminated during the public health emergency. Member coverage will only end if a member voluntarily withdraws or moves out of the state.
Read more . . .


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