It is no secret that 2020 has been a whirlwind. Over the past six-plus months, the pandemic has been especially difficult for seniors as many continue to shelter in place, away from friends and family. Read More ›
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to realize the need to create a plan for if the worst should happen. One of the most important components for ensuring a smooth process after death is executing a will. A will provides the will-maker (referred to as the “testator”) with directions to a personal representative for the administration and distribution of the testator’s estate after the testator dies. Read More ›
The current pandemic has caused massive shutdowns across the country. Businesses have closed and unemployment rates have soared. Without a stable source of income, some soon find themselves in debt. Any sign of relief such as a phone call or email saying that their debts can be reduced or forgiven altogether is a welcome one. Read More ›
Estate planning is considered by many to apply only to the wealthy and who have numerous assets. But preparing for the future is a common-sense habit for people of all income levels, and can save your loved ones in time and money in the long run. The current pandemic crisis has many people huddled down and looking at issues that had previously not occurred to them. Read More ›
The final post for National Elder Law month is focused on communication. The key to making senior care work both at home and in the workplace is thoughtful, honest and open communication. Don't know where to start? Watch "How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About Elder Law and Preplanning". It can be helpful to think about what it is like to be in the other person's shoes. Seniors, remember the challenges you faced when taking care of your own parents. Adult children, take some time to think about how you hope your children will treat you when the time comes. Also remember that planning takes time and often many revisions. It is not realistic to resolve everything in just a few conversations. Take small steps.
Communication is also important when it comes to caretakers in the workplace. Adult children are often juggling careers, their personal life, and senior care. Employers and employees alike need to consider and understand the challenges each faces. In "Employers and Caregiving Employees", Foster Swift elder law attorneys provide perspective on how having open dialogue and clear communication of policies can have a positive impact on the work environment for everyone.
Medicaid planning is a hot topic among seniors and their families. Foster Swift attorneys Matt Fedor and Nic Camargo offer an excellent overview of what Medicaid planning is, key considerations before developing a plan and how to formulate and implement a plan in their National Elder Law Month Video "What I should Know About Medicaid Planning."
Scams directed toward seniors sadly remain another hot topic. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, it's unfortunately common to watch the news and see a heart-breaking story about a senior who has been targeted by a criminal. While many of these crimes are not violent, they rob our senior friends of their funds, their property and often most hurtfully, their dignity. Foster Swift's article on "How to Spot the Red Flags of Financial Elder Abuse" is a good refresher for all of us, young, old, and in between, on how to keep the seniors in our lives safe.
National Elder Law month traces its history to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy issued Proclamation 3527, declaring the month of May "Senior Citizens Month" and proclaiming that all "informational and educational means should be used" to pave the way for older Americans to have equal opportunities and lead "useful and satisfying lives." In 1980, President Carter changed the name to "Older Americans Month" and in 1988 with a focus on improving the quality of legal services provided to people as they age, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys established May as "National Elder Law Month."
In keeping with the spirit behind National Elder Law Month, Foster Swift attorneys Matt Fedor and Nic Camargo have prepared articles and videos to help you and your family navigate the elder law landscape.
The first video, "What is Elder Law Planning", is a great starting point and a helpful reminder that elder law is much more than estate planning. We also encourage you to check out Foster Swift's Elder Law Resource Page here and you can also access attorney Jay David's book Estate Planning: You Have to Start in Order to Finish.
Planning for the future is often challenging, with so many "what ifs" to consider. As the news is filled with COVID-19 stories, many individuals are wishing they had not put off elder law planning, particularly estate planning. That said, there is no time like the present. In the video COVID-19 and Elder Law Planning, attorneys Matt Fedor and Nic Camargo provide a practical framework on how to get started. For adult children needing to help senior parents plan, the article "Caring for Aging Parents" is a good starting point.
One of the most important things to remember when planning is that every person's needs are different and each plan needs to be customized; that's why it's important to select an attorney with elder law experience. Both Fedor and Camargo are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and have helped many seniors develop and implement plans that ensure their end of life wishes are honored.
One cannot help but be mindful of important end-of-life decisions during this difficult time in our nation. Everywhere one looks, there is apprehension and concern related to the ongoing pandemic. In these trying times, it is natural to contemplate difficult topics such as who will look after our well-being or who will manage our estates should the need arise. Read More ›
On April 5, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-37 which extends restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. Previously, Executive Order 2020-07 prohibited visitors that were not necessary to the provision of medical care, to support the activities of daily living, or to exercise the power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for an individual under the facility’s care from these facilities. Read More ›
Elder Organizer Tool
Foster Swift has created a free ‘Elder Organizer’ digital notebook to provide seniors and their caretakers with a toolkit that helps organize doctors’ appointments, medications, and more that can be shared online. The tools below are also available on the Elder Law Resources page.
- Did you Know?
- Dementia & Alzheimer's
- Long-Term Care
- VA Aid & Attendance
- Personal Property Tax
- Digital Assets
- Fraud & Abuse
- Senior Exploitation & Abuse
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Reform
- Medicaid Planning
- Elder Law
- Estate Planning
- Financing Long-term Care
Need Help Planning?
For more tools, visit our Elder Law Resource page for additional content. Click here to view/download the Foster Swift estate planning brochure to see what our experienced team of attorneys can do for you.
E-book Covers Estate Planning Essentials
Engaging in estate planning, while essential, is often emotional and generates many questions. How do I protect my spouse and my children if something happens to me? What happens if I become disabled before I pass on? Who will take care of my pet after I'm gone? How do I pass my business on to my children? These questions and more are addressed in Jonathan David’s recently released e-book, “Estate Planning: You Have to Start in Order to Finish.”