2014: Make this the year to review your estate plan!

We are well into 2014. Have you kept your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’re like most people, they’ve probably come and gone. One common resolution I hear is: “I’m going to get my will done or have my will updated this year.” I hear that all the time, yet it is rarely done! It is very important to review your estate plan periodically. Isn’t this the year to do that?

A common misconception I often hear is: “I need to get a will.” Wills were primarily used by our parent’s generation. Unfortunately, for many people a will just doesn’t accomplish all of their wishes. A lot of families opt to have a trust. Trusts can be used to avoid probate and in some instances to protect your assets. This should be the year that you meet with an estate planning attorney to review and assess your current situation and make sure that you have the proper estate planning documents in place. You also may need to update documents such as your Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy to make sure they are current. Don’t let another year go by. Do it this year! Call me and I will be happy to help you!

Elder Law Attorney Rob Romano practices Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. He teaches “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops throughout the south shore every couple of weeks or so. Attending a free workshop is a great way to learn about estate planning, protecting your assets and many family issues that affect all families. The dates and times of the upcoming workshops are listed under the Workshops tab, or you can call us at (617) 769-9843.

This entry was tagged durable power or attorney, estate plan, estate planning attorney, health care proxy, probate, protect, protect your assets, trust, will.

2013: Make this the year to review your Estate Plan!

We are well into 2013. Have you kept your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’re like most people, they’ve probably come and gone. One common resolution I hear is: “I’m going to get my will done or have my will updated this year.” I hear that all the time, yet it is rarely done! It is very important to review your estate plan periodically. Isn’t this the year to do that?

A common misconception I often hear is: “I need to get a will.” Wills were primarily used by our parent’s generation. Unfortunately, for many people a will just doesn’t accomplish all of their wishes. A lot of families opt to have a trust. Trusts can be used to avoid probate and in some instances to protect your assets. This should be the year that you meet with an estate planning attorney to review and assess your current situation and make sure that you have the proper estate planning documents in place. You also may need to update documents such as your Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy to make sure they are current. Don’t let another year go by. Do it this year! Call me and I will be happy to help you!

Elder Law Attorney Rob Romano practices Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. He teaches “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops throughout the south shore every couple of weeks or so. Attending a free workshop is a great way to learn about estate planning, protecting your assets and many family issues that affect all families. The dates and times of the upcoming workshops are listed under the Workshops tab, or you can call us at (617) 769-9843.

 

Don’t “fall” into the trap of not being prepared!

Fall is here! The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing and the holidays will be here before we know it. The seasons come and go, and seem to do so more quickly as we get older. One thing that never changes is the need to have a proper estate plan! I am amazed every week as I meet more and more people who are not prepared for lifes unexpected events; a sudden illness, an accident, needing some type of assistance with daily activities, having to go to a nursing home or dying without all of your legal affairs in order. Don’t let this happen to you! Plan ahead. Get your estate plan done while you can. It saves your family a lot of time, aggravation and money by having a proper estate plan in place. If you already have done an estate plan, have it reviewed to make sure it is up to date and to ensure it will meet your current wishes. I see outdated estate plans all of the time. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you created a will or a trust 10 years ago that you are all set. Many people have a false sense of security because they have a trust in place. Unfortunately, most of these trusts do not protect your assets nor do they protect the assets you leave to your children and grandchildren. Don’t leave such important issues to chance. Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney to make sure your wishes are up to date.

As always, I continue to teach my “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops throughout the south shore every couple of weeks or so. Attending a free workshop is a great way to learn about estate planning, protecting your assets and many family issues that affect all families. The dates and times of my upcoming workshops are listed under the Workshops tab, or you can call us at (617) 769-9843.

Elder Law Attorney Rob Romano practices Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. An Elder Law attorney has the expertise to counsel seniors and their families on how best to plan ahead, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals.

I “Trust” you “Will” have a Great Summer!

Family reunions, barbeque’s, baseball games, beach, fun and sun: you know it’s summer! Some of my fondest memories growing up were sharing time with friends and family. Family, I believe, is the glue that hold people together. One of the driving forces for me to become an estate planning attorney was to keep families and their hard earned life savings intact.

Before becoming an elder law attorney, I was a certified financial planner. I saw several families lose everything to the cost of nursing home care. I saw first hand the devastation this had and the hopelessness it created. It doesn’t have to be this way. All you need to do is a little strategic planning ahead of time with a qualified elder law attorney. They are experts in this field.

So, this summer when you’re having that backyard cookout and enjoying a delicious cocktail, think about what’s really important to you. If it’s family, then make sure you have your estate planning documents in place!

Elder Law Attorney Romano practices Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. He regularly conducts “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops. Call us today at (617) 769-9843 to see how we can help your family.

 

Happy Father’s Day

Attend an “Estate Planning Essentials” Workshop

What are some of the great lessons your Dad taught you? I’m not talking about throwing a ball or teaching you to drive, though those were important things to learn. How about responsibility, being a good citizen, helping others, giving back to your community, and being a good role model? There are so many intangibles that have influenced your life. This month we celebrate Father’s Day. What a great day to appreciate your Dad and reflect on the sacrifices that were made to get you to where you are today!

Dad and Mom worked hard to “put food on the table and clothes on your back”. Along the way, they accumulated some assets, a house; savings, life insurance, cars, etc. Do you know if they are protected should they need long term care? With nursing home costs at $10,000 or more a month, it might not take too long to deplete what they’ve spent a lifetime acquiring. There are ways to ensure this doesn’t happen. Give Dad (and Mom) the gift of a free estate planning workshop. It’s another way you can say thanks for all they’ve done for you. Upcoming workshops:

Wednesday, June 20th from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Quincy Council on Aging-Kennedy Center, 440 East Squantum Street, Quincy

Monday, June 25th from 1:00pm-3:00pm at the Kingston Council on Aging, 30 Evergreen Street, Kingston

Call to reserve your seats today or sign-up under the workshops tab above! 617-769-9843

 

 

 

HIPAA-dee-doo-dah HIPAA-dee-ay

Should you have a HIPAA authorization form?

It starts out as a typical Tuesday. Lou has gotten up and the coffee is ready. He has the Wheaties with raisins set for Betty and a nice blueberry muffin for him. They have plans to go to church and then visit with friends. They’ve been retired for almost 20 years, and besides the typical ailments, they are doing fine.  They are still in their South Shore home, but their three kids, Mary Beth, David and Mark, have settled elsewhere.

HIPAA Protects Your Medical History

It starts out as a typical Tuesday for Mary Beth. too. Her husband has left for work. She gets the kids their breakfast, packs their lunches and drops them off at the Y camp on her way to work. Mary Beth calls her parents frequently to “check in.” Being in Virginia was a great move for the family, but she wishes she lived closer to her parents.

The day for Lou, Betty, and Mary Beth turns out to be anything but typical. Mary Beth gets the call from Dad that Mom has fallen. She is on her way to the hospital. Dad is upset and overwhelmed. Their worlds have come to a screeching halt. Mary Beth assures her Dad she will call the hospital and get an update. If Mary Beth was your daughter, would the hospital give her information on your condition?

Since Lou and Betty had a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) form designating each other and their three children as their HIPAA agents, the hospital would be able to share information with them. This form authorizes the HIPAA agent(s) to get information relating to their medical condition. Without it, the hospital can’t release any patient information. Mary Beth just emailed a copy to the admitting desk and was able to get an update for Dad. Mom broke her arm and was bruised. She was OK and would be released in a couple hours.

If the unexpected happens, are you prepared? The HIPAA authorization is just one of several estate planning documents that once completed can give you peace of mind. If you’re prepared, “my oh my what a wonderful day!”

Elder Law Attorney Romano practices Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning. For a list of his FREE upcoming “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops, go to the workshops tab above.

Celebrate Elder Law Month

You’re invited to join me in observance of National Elder Law Month. I will be conducting a free “Estate Planning Essentials” Workshop.

When: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm

Where: Tufts Library, 46 Broad Street, Weymouth

RSVP: 617-769-9843

The program is part of a nationwide observance of National Elder Law Month during the month of May.  National Elder Law Month is sponsored by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). 

This educational workshop will focus on how seniors can remain in control of their assets, retain all income from their assets, and qualify for Medicaid. Attendees will also learn how to protect their family from nursing home costs and their children’s indiscretions. With more than 37.8 million Americans 65 years or older and with baby boomers growing older, the importance of planning for one’s legal needs has become essential.

Elder Law is a specialized area that involves representing, counseling and assisting seniors, and their families in connection with a variety of legal issues, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals. When clients visit an elder law attorney, they generally present problems beyond the need for a will or a power of attorney. I am familiar with the network of services and providers who assist clients effectively.

 

 

May is National Elder Law Month

Elder Law attorney, Robert E. Romano, will observe National Elder Law Month by providing free “Estate Planning Essentials” workshops to older adults and their families:

WHERE: Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington St., Braintree

WHEN: Tuesday, May 8th

TIMES: 10:00am-12:00pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm

If you would like to attend one of these free workshops, please call 617-769-9843 or you may sign up under the workshops tab above.

The program is part of a nationwide observance of National Elder Law Month during the month of May. National Elder Law Month is sponsored by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NAELA was formed in 1987 in response to the growing legal needs of older adults, people with special needs, and their families.

Attorney Romano will cover Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Elder Law issues. “I’m always amazed at how much misinformation is out there,” said Romano. “My passion is to share the facts and dispel the myths about estate planning and Medicaid planning.” In his two hour workshop, he uses common examples to illustrate many important issues that affect seniors today.

Membership in NAELA has grown to more than 4,000 members since its inception in 1987 commensurate with the needs of the fastest growing segment of the American population.

Unlike traditional lawyers, Elder Law attorneys deal with their clients “holistically” — helping with the issues that affect a particular segment of the population rather than a narrow area of law.

When clients visit an Elder Law attorney, they generally present problems beyond the need for a will or a power of attorney. Elder Law attorneys are familiar with the network of services and providers who assist clients effectively.

NAELA devotes much of its resources to education of its members. Elder Law attorneys must constantly monitor the ever-changing statutes and regulations to which older adults are beholden for their daily existence.

 

“Estate Planning Essentials” Workshops

Estate planning today is so much more than just having a will. Learn how you can protect your assets AND remain in control by coming to a workshop. We will unlock the mysteries for you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Quincy Council on Aging, Kennedy Center, 440 East Squantum Street, Quincy from 10:00am-12:00pm

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at the Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington Street, Braintree from 10:00am-12:00pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm

Workshops are free and open to the public. Please call our office to reserve a seat at  617-769-9843, e-mail us KCleary@RobertRomanoLaw.com  or sign up on line under our workshops tab (above).

In the U.S. an estimated 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease

Are Your Legal Documents In Order?                                                                                How can anyone know the true devastation of Alzheimer’s unless you have had a loved one affected by the disease? In Massachusetts, there are 120,000 people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, they expect that number to grow 17% by the year 2025. The need to plan while you are well and able becomesmore significant as we age.

The financial and emotional implications of becoming disabled before dying can have a profound effect on one’s family. It’s hard enough to see a loved one decline but wondering if you can afford to get them the care they need may be even more stressful. Estate planning attorneys can help you protect your assets and plan for what you hope won’t happen. In the United States, someone develops the disease every 69 seconds. None of us can be certain it won’t happen to us.

John and Karen had been married for over 40 years when John started to notice some changes in his wife’s behavior. They were subtle at first and they chalked them up to “senior moments”. She would get confused while cooking. She began to have trouble with simple math. (Karen had been an expert at calculating the discount at Macy’s in her head!) But, when she started wearing heavy clothes in the warm weather and accused the cleaning lady of taking things, he knew it was something more. And so the next chapter of their lives began.

Fortunately, they had planned ahead. They had their Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Irrevocable Trust prepared by an Elder Law attorney years before.  They had peace of mind that their legal documents were in order. John also knew, if and when he could no longer care for Karen, that their assets were protected from the nursing home.

An Elder Law attorney has the expertise to counsel seniors and their families on how best to plan ahead, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals. For more information on Alzheimer’s visit http://www.alz.org/