ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Respecting Privacy

We all have our individually defined 'space'- how much we disclose about ourselves, our circumstances, our finances.

But there are situations that demand total disclosure!

Many of us are agents for our aging parents: parents who have kept everything 'between themselves' so as not to worry the children. Now you are faced with deciphering bank accounts and searching through stacks of documents in order to come up with a full financial snapshot to help your parents get the excellent level of care they deserve, and to protect what they have put away for their 'rainy day'.

This is the first in a series of articles dealing with the delicate 'conversation' which we all need to have with our family and loved ones.

One topic of conversation might be planning for and applying for public benefits. Let's be honest: it feels like an invasion of privacy. And with good reason – the government expects us to provide for ourselves with what we have before we start asking for assistance.

Many of us have the perception that 'those that have' will not qualify for assistance and ‘have to spend everything’ before they qualify. This is not exactly true. Yes, you do need to meet the established asset and income guidelines, but there are numerous ways of protecting your hard-earned nest egg for your spouse and heirs.

In order to begin to protect those assets, you need to fully disclose your total financial worth. Your Elder Law Attorney needs all the information in order to effectively plan for your future, and to develop a plan to protect your assets from taxes, probate, and long -term care expenses. This will prevent costly mistakes; and it is the beginning of damage control for transactions that may have already taken place.

How do you begin accumulating the necessary information? Start by gathering the basic financial paper work, including deeds, vehicle titles, insurance policies (life, health, property, and long term care), annuity contracts, retirement plan (including IRA, 403B, Thrift Savings and 401K) statements and designations of beneficiaries, financial account statements, loan paper work, prepaid burial arrangements, and income tax returns & records (including Forms W2 and 1099). Next, summarize this information on a financial statement. Your Elder Law Attorney will provide you assist you with this statement. Attach copies of the accumulated financial paper work to the financial statement.

Whether you're doing long-term planning for 'just in case,' applying for veterans benefits or long-term care services covered by Medicaid, full disclosure is the only way to accomplish the goal.

Speakers

If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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Distribution of This Newsletter

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Elder Law News, then please e-mail us at office@chroniccareadvocacy.com, telephone us at (703) 243-3200, or fax us at 703-841-9102.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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