Category Archives: Legal

Do unlicensed law practitioners create an unnecessary burden on family members?

Last week the Florida Supreme Court ruled that individuals engaging in some Medicaid planning activities were practicing unlicensed law.  The ruling supported an advisory opinion of the Florida Bar (No. SC14-211) that proposed that persons engaging in: drafting personal service contracts, preparing and executing qualified income trusts, or rendering legal advice as regards Florida state…

Should you have a family conversation about what’s in the Will ahead of time

My family lives a long time.  Three of my four grandparents lived into their 90s.  Most of my maternal grandmother’s 12 brothers and sisters either lived into their 90s or will live into their 90s as did most of my maternal grandfather’s family.  My dad’s family exhibits much of the same life span.  The result…

Understanding Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney (POAs) are essential legal documents but they can be confusing for the layman not least because many people don’t understand that there are two main types of POAs and they function quite different from each other. A healthcare POA allows someone you trust such as a family member or friend to make…

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…