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Don’t let a stranger decide your fate

By Jeannette McKenzie

Life can be unpredictable so you need to be ready for a time when you might not be able to care for yourself. Among other planning tools, there are two Power of Attorney documents that you should have in place if you are unable to care for yourself personally or take care of your personal business. The first is a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney. The other is a Durable Power of Attorney. These documents allow you to name a trusted family member or friend who will have the authority to take care of your medical or personal business when you are unable to take care of yourself. These documents can help prevent the need for a court appointed guardianship or conservatorship.

A Health Care Power of Attorney allows the person you choose to make inquiries and make decisions about your medical well-being This includes making medical decisions when you cannot.

To be prepared for the times in life when you are unable to deal with your personal financial business, a Durable Power of Attorney is essential. Paying bills, taxes, managing property and handling other financial responsibilities don’t go away when you are unable to handle these responsibilities yourself. As with the Health Care Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney lets you name a trusted friend or family member who can manage your responsibilities in a manner that is in your best interest when you cannot.

Planning ahead is crucial – you need to get these documents in place while you are still capable of making the decisions required to set them up so that they cannot be challenged. Consider that if you don't have them in place and you become incapacitated, the courts will need to be involved. A judge in a court of law with no personal or emotional investment in your well-being will decide who will manage your financial and health affairs. The court generally appoints a person to take care of your affairs. Even if this person would have been your choice, they will be burdened with extra paperwork and red tape that is not necessary with the proper documents that have the proper authorities for your representative.

At Cooper, Adel & Associates, we invite our clients to work with us to periodically update both Power of Attorney documents to reflect current and critical powers for your representative. Our goal is to avoid the time consuming and often costly court process. Of course, we believe that you should work with an elder law attorney so that your documents are part of an overall plan to preserve and protect what you've worked your lifetime to accumulate.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Obamacare Exchange Demographics Worse Than Romneycare

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

A recent article by Forbes compares the demographics of those individuals signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act with the enrollment numbers under RomneyCare in Massachusetts. These numbers are important, as a certain number of younger people are required to buy insurance for the business model to be sustainable. It appears that younger people are passing up insurance under Obamacare, just as they did under RomneyCare. Why? In part, it may be due to the limited availability of subsidies for younger individuals.

It remains unclear whether this trend will increase or decrease as the law is further implemented, but there is cause for concern about the long term viability of the Affordable Care Act if younger people do not enroll in larger numbers.

If you would like to learn more about planning for your health care needs in retirements, please contact an Ohio Elder Law Attorney at Cooper, Adel & Associates.

 

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

2014 Medicare Updates, Premiums and Co-Pays

By Roy Whited

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 9.13.15 AMMedicare Part A (hospital insurance) cost– Part A monthly premium

  • Most people don't pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while working. For those who don't get premium free Part A, it can cost up to $426.00 each month.

 

Hospital stay- 2014 those on Medicare pay

  • $1,216.00 deductible per benefit period

  • $0 for the first 60 days of each benefit period

  • $304.00 per day for days 61-90 of each benefit period

  • $608.00 per “lifetime reserve days” after day 90 of each benefit period (up to a maximum of 60 days over your lifetime)

 

Skilled nursing facility stay (skilled care only & requires a 3 day hospital stay) In 2014, you pay

  • $0 for the first 20 days of each benefit period

  • $152.00 per day for days 21-100 for each benefit period

  • All cost for each day after day 100 of the benefit period

 

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) cost– Part B monthly premium

  • You pay a Part B premium each month. Most people will pay the standard premium of $104.90. However, if your modified adjusted gross income as reported to the IRS is above certain amounts, you pay more. 
    Example, Individuals earning above $85,000.00 and under $107,000.00 and those filing jointly with income above $170,000.00 up to $214,000.00 pay $146.90 monthly. Top earners pay $335.70 monthly for their Part B coverage for 2014.

 

Medicare Advantage Plans (also called Plan C)

Medicare advantage plan costs can vary in different areas. We suggest you visit medicare.gov/find-a-plan to get plan premiums or call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) TTY users should call 1-877-486-2068. You can also call your state insurance department.

 

Part D monthly premium

  • Medicare prescription drug plans monthly premium is based on your income. Your plan premium can be increased by $12.10 a month up to $69.30 a month for the top wage earners.

 

Summary-

All that being said, those on Medicare need to realize the greatest danger to losing their assets to a health care problem is usually related to long term nursing home stay. Remember Medicare only pays for skilled care in the nursing home and then only for a limited number of days and requires a 3 day hospital stay prior to going into the nursing home.

To learn about how you can protect your assets from being lost to these long term care cost, call Cooper, Adel & Associates and schedule a free 1 hour consultation.  

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What is the difference between a Warranty Deed and a Quit Claim Deed?

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By Trisha Applegate

A quit claim deed conveys or transfers whatever interest the Grantor (the person making the deed) has in the property, without making warranties about rights that other people may have in the property. It is usually used when granting land between two people who are well acquainted, such as between divorcing spouses or family members or to transfer your real property into a Trust.

In contrast, a warranty deed conveys title to a Grantee with a guarantee of good clear title to the property free from any interests held by other people. Warranty deeds are the traditional form of deed used in residential home sales between unrelated parties, as it provides a degree of protection to purchasers that the quit claim deed does not offer.

Want to know more? Why don't you call to attend one of our seminars!

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Who Should Plan For Their Pet?

 By Attorney Keith Stevens

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 8.55.58 AMQuick – What can you tell me about Leona Helmsley? Probably two things: 1) She was the Queen of Mean and 2) she cut out her children in her will and gave millions of dollars to her tiny dog. This is the sort of thing that people think of when they think of Ms. Helmsley and when they think of estate planning for animals.

That's unfortunate, because providing for care for your pets after your death is not just for eccentric, emotionally distant mega-millionaires. If you have a dog, cat, horse, parrot, or even a tortoise, you know the joy that a companion can provide and you know that they need someone to take care of them. If you were to be in an automobile accident tomorrow and were incapacitated or worse, who would care for your pet? How would they pay for it?

Until recently, people hoping to provide for their pet after death could only rely on unenforceable, informal handshake agreements. It has only been in the past few years that Ohio and other states have permitted recognized, legally binding strategies for people to ensure the care of their pets lasts beyond their own death or incapacity.

Planning for your pet is not just for multi-millionaires with chips on their shoulder. It's for anyone who has a pet or a companion animal whose care they want to assure if they die or become incapacitated. To find out what you can do for your pet, follow this blog for further updates or contact an experienced estate planning attorney to learn about your options.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Don’t let Retirement Benefits go down the drain!

By Robin Crouch

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 8.44.10 AMIf there is no beneficiary named on your retirement account, who inherits and how is the the required distribution calculated?

Unfortunately, there are cases where Dad died, Mom was the named beneficiary, but she predeceased him. OR, Mom inherited the IRA and died before naming her own beneficiary.

Each IRA has it's own rules and each IRA custodian has their own agreement with language that will indicate who inherits the IRA when there are no named beneficiaries. Most agreements default to the estate of the deceased IRA owner.

A designated beneficiary is a living, breathing person who can stretch distributions over their own life expectancy and pay the income tax accordingly. Traditional IRAs are typically funded with pretax dollars. Distributions out of the account after age 59½ are taxed as ordinary income at each individual's tax rate.

“The Estate of” does not have a life expectancy and has a limited ability to stretch distributions. If the IRA owner died before April 1 of the year after he turned 70½, the IRA must be emptied in five years. If he died after the required beginning date, you may have the option to stretch distributions over his remaining life expectancy.

Most IRA custodians will only make payments to the estate and not to the beneficiaries of the estate so stretching the distribution may not be an option. Instead, the custodian will pay the entire IRA balance to the estate. Not only is this is a taxable distribution and cannot be undone, the probate attorney and the executor's fees are based on the assets of the estate.

So, don't let your retirement funds go down the drain. It is very important that you seek professional advice to understand how your tax-qualified account works after you pass away and that your beneficiaries are named correctly to avoid the pitfalls of paying unnecessary taxes and probate fees.

Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What are Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) and why do they matter?

By Michelle Mason

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 8.37.57 AMThe activities of daily living are basic tasks of everyday life. This is a term that is used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence or in an outdoor environment. Many programs use ADLs to determine not only the functional abilities but also the level of care and the benefits available to the individual.

Assessing a senior's functional abilities helps the family and medical professionals determine a person's current care needs. Assessments can be valuable, by showing patterns of either progress or decline.

Whether the senior is able to perform all of the activities of daily living independently, or if they need help with just a few of them, the assessment will help the professional team create a care plan to meet each individual's needs.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL's)

Most senior healthcare providers group the activities of daily living into the following categories:

Bathing and showering: being able to bathe or shower with no assistance.

Personal grooming: Shaving, brushing teeth and coming hair.

Dressing: choosing appropriate garments and being able to dress and undress, having no trouble with buttons or zippers.

Preparing meals and eating: making appropriate food choices and preparing meals safely. Being able to feed their self.

Organizing and taking medications: taking the appropriate medications and correct dosages on time.

Mobility/Transferring: being able to walk or being able to transfer oneself from the bed to the wheelchair and back with no assistance.

Toileting: using the restroom independently

Maintaining the home: doing housekeeping and laundry or making arrangements for the housekeeping and laundry to be done.

Managing finances: budgeting or paying rent and utility bills on time, etc.

Using transportation: being able to drive or use public transportation for appointments, shopping etc.

Shopping: being able to shop for groceries and other small necessities, and transport purchases from store to home.

If you have a loved one who is age 60 or older and needs help with 2 or more of the Activities of Daily Living, our firm may be able to help you apply for a program called Passport Waiver, which offers in home healthcare. Passport Waiver is an alternative program to help keep older adults safely and independently in their homes with quality services. Please call for an appointment to find out more.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Honoring the Dangers of Spaceflight

By Attorney Ted Brown

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 4.49.12 PMThe achievements of human space exploration has afforded mankind with innumerable benefits. While many of us take these benefits for granted, these achievements have come at a high price.

This week is marked as the deadliest week in the history of manned space exploration. The span from January 26 to February 1 has seen three major tragedies resulting in the loss of the entire crew in all cases. Below is a brief synopsis of these tragic missions. Today we remember the lives of these brave pioneers who gave their lives in the name of science and discovery:

January 27, 1967 – Apollo 1

January 26, 1986- Space Shuttle Challenger

February 1, 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia

 

image via Wikipedia

The never ending Nursing Home process

by Jess LoPiccolo

Every month, our firm makes many benefits applications. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the applications approved and the client on benefits. Our client must compile 5 years of financial statements then we review each statement and the county reviews them, looking for any gifts that have been made in the past 5 years. The benefits application process usually takes from one to three months, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. All of the hard work and time put into an application is well worth it when our client's application is approved and they are able to get the help they need, and in some cases, protect some of the assets or money that they have worked their whole lifetime to accumulate.

The initial application is the hardest part, but it is not the end of the road for Medicaid recipients. Every year, Medicaid requires an annual medicaid reapplication. It is like a review. It is not as time-consuming nor does it require the Medicaid recipient to provide as much information and paperwork as the initial application. At the annual Medicaid reapplication the county only needs updated financial statements, income and health insurance premium amounts. This process is done once a year, usually around the same time every year, during the lifetime of the Medicaid recipient.

When the Medicaid recipient passes away, the Medicaid process is still not over. There is a program called Medicaid Estate Recovery. This is where the States tries to recoup monies that were paid out by Medicaid, for care of the Medicaid recipient.

Here at Cooper, Adel and Associates, we have a Medicaid team dedicated to making applications and reapplications easier for our clients. Please call our office if you or a loved are interested in learning more about Medicaid or Estate Recovery in Ohio.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What matters most to U.S. seniors

The United States of Aging Survey, conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY, explores what underlies American seniors’ perspectives on aging, and how the country can better prepare for a booming senior population.

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 8.56.42 AM

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 8.57.04 AMWhat matters most to you?  It takes planning to protect your wealth.  It takes planning to assure that your wealth is not adversely affected if you have a catastrophic health condition or require long term care at home or in a nursing home.  See your elder law attorney to help you put a plan in place for you and your family.  It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.



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