ADVANCE DIRECTIVE

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Maryland allows any competent person to create an advance directive. Two witnesses are required, one of whom cannot benefit from the death of the principal. If you need help please contact our office and we will send you our Health Care Advance Planning document organizer. Our advance directive is a compilation of the appointment of the Health Care Agent and successors and the corresponding authority; a Living Will (Advance Directive) in which you choose your preferences for End of Life; and a HIPPA release for your agent(s). If you do not have a health care agent, Maryland Law provides a…

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FINANCING LONG-TERM CARE

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There are many ways that long-term care can be paid for, depending on the individual’s medical and financial circumstances and what planning was put into place prior to the need for care. To name several: Paying privately from your savings Traditional long-term care insurance Hybrid long-term care insurance built upon a whole or universal life framework Hybrid long-term care insurance built upon an annuity framework and funded with qualified retirement funds Accelerated life insurance benefits Selling life insurance death benefit at a discount to make cash available to pay for care Reverse mortgage Veteran’s benefits Medicaid benefits It’s unlikely that…

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MY SPOUSE NEEDS NURSING HOME CARE, NOW WHAT DO I DO?

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The Medicaid rules for long-term care are complicated; however, these rules are meant to prevent the spouse who is healthy (known as the community spouse) from becoming impoverished because his or her spouse needs care in a nursing facility or at home. When a spouse requires long-term care, a resource assessment needs to be completed. This assessment determines what portion of a couple’s countable resources can be protected for the healthy spouse who is living at home in the community. Of the amount of countable assets reported, the spouse living in the community can keep one-half of these resources, up…

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NEW MEDICARE CARDS

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) is in the process of issuing new Medicare cards with a new “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” to help protect the identities of Medicare beneficiaries The new card does not contain the social security number. In Maryland we expect the mailings to be completed by June 2018. You can use your new card as soon as you receive it. You can contact the Social Security Administration to make sure the mailing address is correct. The new number does not change the Medicare benefits. For more information go to www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html   David Wingate is an…

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RETIREMENT PLANNING

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Most of us look forward to retiring. A properly planned retirement can afford individuals with the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, travel to desired destinations, and commit time to overlooked hobbies. However, retirement planning involves more than just mathematical calculations. Successful retirement planning undertakes a comprehensive evaluation of your retirement goals, available benefits, and existing estate plan. Our time in the workforce culminates in retirement. For those individuals approaching retirement, the transition from the active workforce to retirement may be overwhelming due to many variables. For instance, since Social Security was introduced, the average life expectancy of…

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A WORRY-FREE RETIREMENT: Enjoy yourself knowing you are protected

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In retirement your assets generate your income. And to have the kind of retirement you’ve always wanted – spending time with your family, traveling and more – you have to ensure that your retirement income is protected. To enjoy retirement without having to make any drastic lifestyle changes, without having to rely on help from your friends or family, and without having to accept substandard levels of care as you age, your retirement income strategy has to account for three important factors: How long you will live How long your investments will perform over time How much you will spend…

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New Jersey Nursing Home Cannot Sue Resident’s California-Based Son to Recover Unpaid Bill

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A New Jersey appeals court holds that it does not have jurisdiction over a New Jersey nursing home’s lawsuit against the California-based son of one of its residents for the resident’s unpaid nursing home bill because the son’s contacts with the nursing home and Medicaid were not sufficient to confer jurisdiction. Egg Harbor Care Center v. Scheraldi (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-2956-16T4, July 11, 2018). Patricia Scheraldi executed a power of attorney in Virginia, naming her son, Corey Pagano, as her agent. Mr. Pagano lived in California. Ms. Scheraldi moved to New Jersey, entered a nursing home and applied…

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Residency Agreement Making Daughter Personally Liable Is Not Unconscionable

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Reversing a trial court, a Connecticut appeals court rules that a residency agreement signed by the daughter of an assisted living facility resident making the daughter personally liable for her mother’s care is not unconscionable or against public policy. Emeritus Senior Living v. Lepore (Conn. App. Ct., No. AC 40078, June 26, 2018). Denise Lepore admitted her mother to an assisted living facility and signed the residency agreement as her mother’s representative. The agreement stated that if a representative signed the agreement, the representative and the resident were “jointly and severally” obligated to pay the facility. Ms. Lepore eventually stopped paying…

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How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help With Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning can be a complicated process no matter how familiar you are with dealing with medical coverage. The rules surrounding Medicaid eligibility and how to get the most out of your coverage are often hard to navigate. You may not know who to trust to advise you as you or a loved one go through this time of life. An elder law attorney is experienced at guiding clients through the process of Medicaid planning. Navigating Eligibility Guidelines Filing an application is not the only part of qualifying for Medicaid. You are only eligible to receive Medicaid after meeting certain…

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Estate Planning for Young Families: 7 Important Steps to Take

Beginning a family is an exciting time full of memories and milestones. No one wants to consider bad situations while marriages are new and the kids are young. But, unfortunately, sometimes tragedy hits and families are left to pick up the pieces. Planning for the worst is a way for parents to show they care about their family and will continue to do so even if something happens to them. Estate planning for young families is extremely important to ensure a safe and secure future for children and other dependents. While it may appear to be a confusing process, there are…

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