Elder Law Archives

Elder Law: Helping Our Older Loved Ones

Like many professions, lawyers tend to concentrate their practices on certain areas. There are lawyers who practice in almost every imaginable topic. One popular lawyer website lists over 235 areas of the law in which lawyers concentrate their practice. This is in contrast to a general legal practitioner who does a little bit of everything. As the old adage says, a general practitioner is a "jack of all trades but master of none."

Will Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Care for Elderly Parents?

Many people mistakenly think that Medicare will pay for nursing home care for their elderly parents or loved ones. Unfortunately, except under limited circumstances, they are mistaken and that mistake can be a costly one. Families of elders should seek advice when facing long-term care issues.

Where Can You Turn When Seeking Help for Aging Parents?

The population of the United States is aging rapidly. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to increase dramatically from 46 million today to over 70 million by 2030. Known as the "baby boomers", the 65-and-older age group's share of the total population will rise from 15 percent to nearly 24 percent.  

Do you have a Living Will?

If you've ever been a patient at a hospital or any other medical facility, you've probably been asked this question: "Do you have a Living Will?" So what is this document? A Living Will is a document which allows you to declare your desires in the event of an "end-of-life" situation such as a terminal illness, an end-stage condition, or a permanent vegetative state. In making this declaration, here is some typical language contained in a Florida Living Will:

Ready or Not? Semper Paratus or Non Paratus?

The motto of the United States Coast Guard is "Semper Paratus" which is Latin for "always ready" or "always prepared." When it comes to being prepared for life's challenges, including illness, incapacity, and death, it is wise to be "always prepared." Unfortunately, in law practice many times we see that people are "Non Paratus" or "not prepared."

Emergencies don't happen on banker's hours: So where should you keep your estate planning documents?

As an estate planning lawyer, I'm often asked by clients where they should keep their original estate planning documents. Do they need to keep them in a bank safe-deposit box? Generally speaking, my advice is to keep them somewhere safe and accessible but a safe-deposit box may not be the best answer and in many instances, is actually not recommended.

Do you have per stirpes?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of my principal objectives in drafting a client's Will or Trust is to name the beneficiaries which the client wants to receive their estate. Often this will be a spouse or children and in some cases, other family members. What happens if the person named dies before the person who established the Will or Trust? Does the intended devise (gift) go to the deceased beneficiary's children or to someone else? The answer is, "it depends."

Can you name two people to act as co-agents under your Florida Power of Attorney?

As an estate planning lawyer, I always recommend that clients have both a Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Durable Power of Attorney for non-medical matters. In each of those documents, the client is authorizing a person or persons to make decisions and act on their behalf. The Power of Attorney for Healthcare covers decision-making for medical and health issues; the Durable Power of Attorney for covers decision-making and taking action on non-medical matters such as finances, banking, and bill paying. So, can you authorize two or more people to act as co-agents under these instruments and if you do, can one agent act without the other or does action require all agents to act together? The simple answer in Florida is that you may name co-agents and one co-agent may act without the other co-agent.

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