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Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Estate Planning and Asset Protection

It seems that people are often only starting a conversation with me when something has already happened, someone fell, someone hurt themselves, someone is already needing long term care. But then I realized, before you can even have a conversation with a third party, you need to know what you’re even discussing.

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Self-Made Wills: Worth the risk?

Self-Made Wills: Worth the risk?

Many often wonder if self-made wills are valid. In short, yes they can be valid. However, in creating a will without the guidance of an attorney, costly mistakes and errors can be made. One of the most common mistakes is the incomplete or unclear distribution of assets. For example, if you state that Person A gets everything, but later in the document also indicate that Person B gets a specific item. This simple mistake could end up causing a dispute.

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How to Talk to Parents about becoming Power of Attorney

How to Talk to Parents about becoming Power of Attorney

This will be the last in my series of having tough conversations. Last month I gave some advice for parents who want to make sure their children understand their wishes and what to do when the time comes. This month is for children, who see their parents getting older and want to make sure they do what their parent would want when that parent is no longer in a position to tell them.

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Are you and your family prepared?

Are you and your family prepared?

It is so hard to be prepared. No one can ever predict what may happen to them or their loved ones as they age. Imagine this: here you all are enjoying the leaves change color on the trees, watching the Holidays go by each year, dressing up the tiny children in their adorable Halloween costumes, exchanging gifts around the New Year.

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The Basics of Other Medical Expenses (OMEs)

The Basics of Other Medical Expenses (OMEs)

What is an OME? An OME is an unpaid medical bill with a service date prior to the Medical Assistance (or Medicaid) effective date. These bills can be submitted to the Nursing Home as deductions from the total amount owed by the resident as their patient pay liability (income minus certain deductions), however they cannot be used as deductions if gifting has occurred. There is no dollar limit on the total amount of OMEs nor is there a timeframe prior to Medicaid eligibility that the OMEs need to fall within. The only exceptions that disallows OMEs from being deducted from the Nursing Home costs are if long term care expenses incurred six months or more prior to Medicaid eligibility or if long term care expenses incurred as a result of an imposed penalty due to gifting. What to do with an unpaid medical bill that should be deducted from the Nursing Home Bill: As medical bills are obtained, take note of the date of service (not the date of...

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Medicare Coverage, the Improvement Standard, and the Fight for Continued Coverage in Rehab

Medicare Coverage, the Improvement Standard, and the Fight for Continued Coverage in Rehab

So a few years ago, there was a big court case that changed the way Medicare insurers are supposed to evaluate whether they will continue to cover a skilled nursing stay (when you are in there for rehab). It used to be, that coverage would stop when you were no longer improving from rehab. But the court case (called Jimmo v. Sebelius) was settled when the government agreed to change that standard so that Medicare coverage would continue as long as that skilled nursing and therapy are necessary to maintain a person’s condition.

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What The Heck Is Observation Status, Anyway and Who Cares?

What The Heck Is Observation Status, Anyway and Who Cares?

Those of you out there already on Medicare are probably already familiar with the infamous observation status. But those of you still in the workforce may not be familiar with the term yet. But believe me, if there’s a chance you might have to take charge of a parent’s healthcare someday, this is something you are going to want to pay attention to. I borrowed pretty heavily for this article from the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s website. This is a great non-prot, non-partisan

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Our Age of Mis-Information

Our Age of Mis-Information

You know, I wish I could say it surprised me how often people give me the wrong information but it no longer does. Some people think they know what they’re talking about but really don’t. Some are simply too lazy to verify information but too insecure to simply tell you they don’t know the answer to something. And I don’t know which type of person I have been running into lately, but it has made me more and more concerned for all of you. Because I’m talking to people who work for the government agencies who run the programs I’m asking questions about and the people who work there are giving me wrong information! And not

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