AS A HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY, DOES A DOCTOR HAVE TO KEEP ME UPDATED?

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The medical provider is not under any obligation by law to keep a health care power of attorney designee updated on a patient’s care or progress. It is typically up to the health care power of attorney to seek out the necessary medical information so that the health care agent can make the best decisions for the patient’s care.  The …

DOES A SPELLING ERROR INVALIDATE A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

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A very common spelling error that occurs in estate planning documents is a misspelling of someone’s name. This is commonly referred to as a “Scrivener’s Error” and it will not invalidate the document or the intention behind the directive.  If you designate your son, Scott, as your attorney-in-fact under in Durable Power of Attorney, but the document states his name …

How many older Americans need Medicaid assistance?

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Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health and long-term care coverage to more than 74 million low-income children, pregnant women, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities in the United States. Medicaid is a major source of funding for safety-net hospitals and nursing homes. Adults ages 65 and older who are low-income and participate in Medicaid to supplement …

Will I lose my home to Medicaid if I go into a nursing home?

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How your house is treated by Medicaid depends upon whether or not you were married at the time you start needing nursing care. Married couples may keep one house exempt for Medicaid assets purposes as long as one spouse is living in the home. For a single person or surviving spouse, a house may be kept temporarily but if that …

What is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?

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Many people aren’t aware that the IRS can include proceeds from their life insurance policies in their estates for tax purposes when they die. One way to avoid your life insurance proceeds being taxed is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) to take ownership of the policy. You can transfer ownership of an existing policy to the ILIT …

What is probate and why does everyone try to avoid it?

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Probate, or estate administration, is a court managed process in which the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed.  If a properly drafted and funded revocable trust is in place, it is likely that no court-managed estate administration will be necessary.  The length of time needed to complete probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of …

What assets and income are considered when determining Medicaid eligibility?

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The following types of assets are considered when determining eligibility for Medicaid benefits: Cash Investment accounts Savings bonds Stocks Annuities (with some exceptions) Life insurance with cash value Real property other than one’s primary residence  More than one automobile Business assets The government will also consider ALL forms of income, including but not limited to the following: Retirement pension benefits …

How do I spot the signs of elder abuse?

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In order to protect your aging family member, you must remain vigilant even after carefully selecting a care facility or medical care provider.  Some common signs of elder abuse or neglect to be aware of include: Excessive and/or unexplained injuries Bruises or marks on wrists and/or ankles from restraints or rough handling Weight loss or lack of appetite/malnutrition  Mood swings …

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

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Medicare is a health insurance program operated by the federal government that is funded from of Social Security payroll deductions and tax contributions.  Anyone 65 or older who has made Social Security contributions is entitled to Medicare benefits. In addition to providing a medical insurance program to senior citizens, Medicare also provides beneifts for individuals under the age of 65 …