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Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1 Simple Act that Will Improve Your Life

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays; not only is it a day off from work to feast, but we are surrounded by family.  The house is cozy with delicious smells, conversations and laughter-- and everyone is simply enjoying where they are and who they are with.  Thanksgiving is the holiday that inspires thankfulness, which, it turns out, is a very good thing.  A recent New York Times article, "A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day" details how being thankful can be emotionally, socially, and even physically beneficial. Please enjoy this easy read and share it with your families. Hopefully, it will put everyone in the spirit of saying "Thank you," even after tomorrow's pie is eaten. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Love and a sincere "Thank You,"

Jerrica and Julie

The Law Office of Julie Low


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When Long Term Care Becomes End of Life Care

Because we work in both Estate Planning and Elder Law, we often encourage our clients to contemplate possibilities about the end of their life.  These conversations are not always enjoyable, but are an essential part of the planning process, and can help create a clear path for your loved ones to follow when the need arises.

 

This difficulty was discussed during a recent series on End of Life issues, on NPR series Tell Me More. Karyne Jones from the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged summarized this difficult but essential preparation saying, "… I think it's something that people just need to be aware of and start really deciding-- at the end of my life, whenever that may be, because you don't know when it is-- this is what I want to happen." Though starting these conversations with your loved ones will be difficult, it is absolutely necessary to speak with your family about your wishes. 

 

This radio series delved into topics deeply intertwined with Estate Planning and Elder Law. These shows spoke with individuals who were at the heart of difficult matters, like the price of long-term care and the difficulties of looking after an dying parent. Though our clients may not find themselves in these situations currently, we do feel that these stories will resonate nonetheless.

 

Planning End of Life Care doesn't only mean sorting out the details of where or when, but looking at the bigger picture to make sure that your desires are being met, and your wishes respected.  As with most things in life, it is not the destination, but the journey that matters.  We are all aware of the inevitable, but how do you want to get there? Through proper planning and vocalizing your desires surrounding possible "if-then" scenarios, your family will have a clearer picture of how you want end of life care. This process may involve creating a Supplemental Needs Trust, or a Medicare Asset Protection Trust to protect your home from state liens, or may involve recording your wishes through a Will- based Estate plan.  Any or all of these may be strategies that could provide you and your family with extra peace of mind and guidance during a difficult time. For more information about these and other End of Life strategies, please ask us a question on our Facebook page, send us an email, or call us at 978-922-8800.

 

The transcripts to the Tell me More series can be found at the following links:

"Financial Planning for the End of Life"

"Soaring Prices, Sinking Resources"

"Guidance on Caring for Aging Parents"

"Advice for the Golden Years- Don't Ever Retire Mentally"

"Trusting Faith Learning Lessons in Golden Years"

 

 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inpatient or Outpatient? An Important Distinction for Medicare Recipients


Q:  Is a Hospital Stay really a Hospital Stay?

A:  Not necessarily, if you are a Medicare recipient.

If you are on Medicare and have to stay in a hospital overnight or longer, you might want to be aware of what status the hospital has on your record. Why? Because if you are classified by the hospital as “outpatient observation,” your bill might be a lot higher for the services you receive while you are in the hospital; and you may not be covered at all for any necessary post-acute care in a skilled nursing facility. You may be classified as an outpatient even if you are in the same room and receiving the same services as another who is classified as an inpatient, and even if you are in the hospital overnight or for several days.

If the hospital classifies you as an inpatient, your hospital services are covered under Medicare Part A.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 12, 2011

Estate Planning for the Seasons


Labor Day has already passed, and whether we like it or not, we are reminded of Fall.  Sweaters, Pumpkin flavored goodies, leaves changing, and of course, winter.  In Fall, the world around us is changing-- it starts to harden, to yawn with brilliant crimsons and golds, and then turns over to sleep until better weather comes around again.  If nature thinks this is the best way to do things, then maybe we should pay attention to that cycle of change, and try to apply it to our own lives.

 

Spring: It is undoubtedly a part of life for each of us to feel invulnerable in youth.
Read more . . .


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long-Term Care in Massachusetts


Massachusetts has a lengthy history of supporting the long-term care needs of elders and people with disabilities across the lifespan. The Patrick Administration’s long-term care policy is community first, an approach that emphasizes maximizing independence in home and community settings while assuring access to needed institutional care. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the current state of long-term care supports (LTS) in the Commonwealth, including information about the populations who use LTS, projected changes in the demand for and cost of these services, and trends in utilization and payer mix.

 

Read more . . .


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| Phone: 978-922-8800

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