Category Archives: Legal

Have you changed your mind about what is an acceptable life?

Just put me on an ice floe and let me float away.  That’s what I’ve heard people say when they talk about a time when they become infirm.  Of course finding an ice floe might soon become so difficult as to make the statement nearly incomprehensible but for now the implication is clear.  Most healthy,…

Who Has Access to Your Digital Assets When You Die?

By Catherine Seal, CELA This isn’t a simple matter, even if you’ve planned. It used to be that people kept important things in filing cabinets, banks, and photo albums. Now everything from communications, to photos, to music, to sensitive financial information is increasingly kept online. In fact, 51 percent of U.S. adults bank online, according…

Having the conversation-living will and advanced directives

Do you ever wonder how a conversation might look if you were to talk to your parents (or your children) about a living will or advanced directive.  Here’s a TED Talk about one way that conversation could go.  The TED Talk references this video.

70 percent of families lose their wealth to estate battles

What do oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall II, real estate developer and hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor, the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown and baseball great, Ted Williams have in common? Battles over their estates cost their heirs a fortune and in most cases, permanently ripped apart families. It didn’t have…

Parents may be forced to pay for adult child’s unpaid health care

The Elder Law news this week might as well be a suggestion to stay out of Pennsylvania or at least make sure that you and yours don’t die while living there. That’s because the state is once again in the news for trying to enforce filial law.  There’s nothing new about filial law, they’ve been around…

What can you do when Mom’s having housing issues?

Caregivers often find themselves in tricky situations.  Here’s a situation that can come up that can require trained help to overcome. Your mom has dementia and resides in a nursing home.  She never lasts very long in any particular nursing home because she enters other client’s rooms, undresses and slips into bed with them (don’t…

Beneficiary form trumps Will

Do you remember when you first signed up for your IRA at work?  Some places make you re-do that form every year.  However, I suspect many allow you to roll over the information from year to year.  The result can be that you eventually lose track of who gets your IRA should you die.  This…

Supreme Court unanimously rules that funds in an inherited IRA are not exempt from bankruptcy proceedings

Heidi Heffron-Clark’s father passed away at the age of 52.  After his death, his wife rolled his IRA into her IRA.  Then in 2001, Heidi’s mother also passed away after she had named Heidi her sole beneficiary for the IRA.  Heidi transferred the IRA into an inherited IRA and began taking monthly distributions.  After Heidi’s…

Can you inherit a popular rewards program?

Many airlines offer their loyal customers frequent flyer miles. As those miles build up, customers can cash them in for additional travel.  Because they only have value for purchasing miles, many people don’t think about the fact that they still have value.  In fact, depending upon the individuals involved, frequent flyer miles may add up…

What’s the difference between an Elder Law Attorney and an Estate Planning Attorney?

This week Seattle-area Elder Law Attorney, Rajiv Nagaich spoke at a NAELA Conference on how the practice of Elder Law is different from Estate Planning.  As Rajiv says each Saturday on his AgingOptions Radio show, Estate Planning is “about who gets what when you die.”  In addition, Estate Planning Attorneys are looking to keep your…