Articles Tagged with Special Needs

5.17.16Financial planning needs to be part of the equation when doing all of the work involved in bringing a new family member into your lives.

The cost of adoption can start at a few hundred dollars or it can easily exceed $40,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are many different ways of adopting a child into your home, but however your adoption occurs, you need to do some financial planning.

Biz Times' recent article, "Getting your finances ready for adoption," says that in order to get your finances ready for adoption, you have to do your homework and be certain the price and processing work of adoption won't wipe out your plans for essential financial goals like retirement, saving for your future child's education, and higher daily living expenses with a new family. Begin with these tips:

Hands in agreementThe Huffington Post published an interesting article on the ethical and legal issues posed by two related legal practice areas, “Some Legal Issues at the Intersection of Elder Law and Estate Planning.” There are legal and ethical issues that arise when determining courses of action in both areas.

One is whether to dispose of assets through pre-need planning to qualify for means-tested government programs such as Medicaid that might pay, for example, the cost of long term nursing home care. This is very complicated, and you should work with a qualified elder law attorney.

If you want to maximize eligibility for means-tested governmental benefits, a common income reduction technique is to create a Qualified Income Trust (QIT), also called a “Miller Trust.” There are also other types of "special needs trusts" that can be created without reducing government benefits. Again, this is a highly complex area that requires help from an elder law attorney.

Stack of law books“We are delighted to inform the public that the court has appointed Bobby Brown and Pat Houston as co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown (‘Krissi’),” read a statement issued by David Long-Daniels, counsel for Pat Houston and Cissy Houston, and Christopher Brown, an attorney for Bobby Brown. “Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston are jointly responsible for decisions related to Krissi’s care and medical needs.” A court-appointed attorney, Bedelia Hargrove, will act as a conservator for the 22-year-old.

The court-appointed attorney specializes in fiduciary litigation, probate and estate administration, estate planning, personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as general civil litigation.

As conservator, the attorney “is responsible for Krissi’s assets, including her likeness, rights and legal claims,” according to the statement read by attorneys for the family.

Bigstock-Extended-Family-Relaxing-On-So-13907567In the book The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After 50, author Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz poses the following scenario: “I’m confused about how to divide my estate between my children, who have different needs and financial resources. Is it best to divide it into equal parts?”

This question is directed at people who have children at different levels of personal and financial success, according to a recent Millionaire Corner’s article titled “Dividing the Estate: Treat Your Children Well.”It suggests that the parent in this scenario may want to do more for the struggling child than for the successful one as far as designating heirs for their estate assets.

The original explains that it makes sense for parents to treat their children equally. While one may think about providing extra assistance to a child with fewer resources, or for a child with special needs, you need to do so cautiously. The article also reminds us that the status of the children can change over time, making a strong argument for equal distribution.

Stern judge wagging fingerAlthough many people feel frustrated by elder guardianship systems designed to protect adults no longer able to fend for themselves, what’s even sadder are the many instances where it turns out that the elder guardianship system is doing its job properly –and strangers have no choice except to step in and make decisions that families and friends simply cannot.

Elder guardianship can be complicated. Many question if our elderly loved ones are getting the proper care they deserve in those situations.

The (Sarasota, FL) Herald-Tribune, in a recent article titled “The takeaway lesson on elder guardianship,”says that one woman contacted the newspaper writer from an assisted-living facility, saying she had been incarcerated against her will. She moved to be closer to her son, but her daughter in Arizona had her under guardianship, which permitted limited contact with her son.

Elder hands"Detectives are still actively investigating the elder abuse case," LAPD spokesperson Jane Kimtold THR. "They want to be as thorough as possible before a case is presented to the DA's office."

The hits just keep coming in DJ Casey Kasem’s estate battle.

The Hollywood Reporter quoted private investigator Logan Clarke in its recent article titled Casey Kasem's Daughter Demands LAPD Arrest Widow for Elder Abuse. "

MP900402619Arlene Germain, president of Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said the new rules, once implemented, could substantially improve the lives of nursing home residents. But, she said, “strong oversight and greater nursing home participation are critical to ensure that the law’s benefits are meaningful and widespread.”

The process for dementia care compliance checks in Massachusetts has been slow, as the state handed out its dementia special care checklist for inspectors in December—almost six months after the rules were adopted.

The Boston Globe article, titled Dementia care lacks oversight in Mass., data show,” says that despite the delays, state regulators are not conducting spot checks for compliance—they’re already just too busy with routine monitoring of more than 400 nursing homes. However, the state health department recently announced that its inspectors would now review dementia care during their annual visits to each facility. But this means some nursing homes may not be subject to these compliance checks for months.

  Bigstock-Couple-running-bookshop-13904324We asked experts to let us in on a few resources most people overlook.

Need more cash to help care for mom and dad? A recent Oprah Magazine article, titled Sanity-Saving Secrets For Caring For Your Aging Parents,has some ideas where to look for funds to support your parents in retirement.

 Here are some of those ideas from the original article:

MP900400665Wouldn’t knowing someone will step in if you become incapacitated create a little peace of mind? Wouldn’t knowing that your family is taken care of create even more peace of mind? Wouldn’t knowing there is a plan in place – a plan you developed – if something happens to you take a significant weight off your shoulders?

Estate planning can do a lot of things for you, but one of the most valuable takeaways is peace of mind.

A recent Forbes article, titled 11 Fundamental Elements of a Stress-Free Estate Plan, provides practical advice on how to design a plan that protects your assets and provides for loved ones. While everyone’s individual needs are a bit different, there are some basic components you need to examine along with deciding who gets what.

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