Articles Posted in Eldercare

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We have five seminars that our attorneys are presenting at this month and next!

  • Bankruptcy Updates:  COVID-19 Changes to the Bankruptcy Code – The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020,  April 26, 2021
  • SD FL Student Loan Program Virtual Workshop, May 10, 2021.
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One of our attorneys, Ha Dao, presented a webinar for CPA Academy recently on the Financial Impacts of Long-Term Care and Cognitive Decline.

It was very enlightening what financial advisors saw regularly in their practice:

Being taken advantage of by a family member was the most reported problem seen by these financial advisors.  More so than scams re: extended warranties or long lost relatives from Nigeria!

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The most important thing about being a POA is to sign as POA! If you are assisting an elderly person with his or her finances, including contracting with vendors for services, such as home health services, assisted living arrangements, under a durable power of attorney, you must make clear to the vendor of your role as POA and write out the letters “POA” next to your signature!

Here’s why:

I was being sued by a home health care company which I hired to supplement my father’s care while at an assisted living facility even though I signed for such care under a durable power of attorney. After my father passed away, debt collectors contacted me regularly over the alleged balance of his account of well over $10,000, causing me to be worried, stressed out, and feeling very desperate until talking and working with Ha Dao, an attorney at Christie D. Arkovich P.A., who ultimately got the case dismissed. I would recommend the firm to anyone who has a need for legal services. The result these lawyers delivered far exceeded my expectation, but the best part is it gives me back my peace of mind!

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Dementia may cause major financial problems long before diagnosis – this was the headline in a recent Washington Post article.

Often, family members are the first to notice something awry.  The signs could include things like missing critical medications, or putting last night’s leftovers in the toaster oven or microwave instead of the refrigerator – only to be found a couple days later.  Ewww.   Yes, this is exactly what my family members did as they aged.

Or, you may be helping with organization of the mail and bills and start to see funny things going on.  Things that do not appear normal.

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When creating a Power of Attorney, a lot of people simply download a form off the Internet, or use an old family form that may have been created decades ago.  Simple things can make a world of difference.

I spoke with a health care professional awhile back and she emphasized that the inability of someone to take a company to court for billing disputes, mismanagement of care, and financial oversight disputes was disturbing as there was little to no recourse for a family member to raise these issues.

Wait, what?

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Don’t forget to register and put tomorrow’s (9/1/20) TBBBA consumer Zoom lunch at noon on your calendar. An attendee link was blasted out to all Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association members.
This month we have Ha Dao and Barbara Leon presenting: The Intersection of Bankruptcy and Estate Planning: How to Protect your Clients in this Life and Beyond. Examples of some questions to be covered include:
  • What happens to my inheritance if my parents, grandparents, etc. die while I’m in bankruptcy?
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               Most discussions about estate planning involve probate avoidance. Most folks are familiar with the myth that “avoidance of probate” should be the number one estate planning goal.  But is it so terrible that your assets have to go through probate? These are the reasons why the probate process may be helpful in some cases:

  • Probate is often associated with taxes. However, for 2020, the estate and gift tax exemption is $11.58 million for an individual, or $23.16 million for a couple. This means that you can leave up to these amounts to your heirs and pay no federal or gift tax.
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People are often confused about whether they need a will or a trust. The following list helps you to understand their differences, but you should consult an attorney to make sure that one of these devices is appropriate for your set of circumstances:

  • A will covers any property that is in your name when you die. It cannot affect property held jointly or in a trust.
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I’ve noticed a great deal of anxiety about people who have put off getting essential documents in place:  Durable powers of attorney, medical surrogate, living wills, regular wills and trusts.  This includes not only POAs and medical care decision making, but also planning ahead for advice to protect hard-earned assets and inheritances.

Most of our friends, colleagues and clients think of us as student loan and bankruptcy/debt relief attorneys.  Ironically, we were in the process of opening a new practice area for Elder Care.  Before this crisis, we’d hired a new elder care attorney with 27 years legal experience.  Ha Dao just started with us on Monday.  The timing of this is both good and bad.  Bad in that I’m guessing our student loan work will significantly drop off unless people are now sitting around home growing more concerned about this debt and how to get rid of it.  Good in that we now have the ability to do estate planning and elder care.

The first things we were going to do is get our website re-vamped to include tons of elder care resources, but now I’m thinking with this urgent need, to offer the following for our friends, colleagues and clients starting immediately:

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