Don’t Leave Children Unequal Shares By Mistake

Siblings do not always receive equal shares of a parent’s estate. Sometimes the inequality is intentional and sometimes it is accidental. Regardless of how it happens, it can cause arguments among the children. However, there are some steps parents can take to promote family harmony. If you intend to leave your children equal shares of your estate, don’t forget to consider any money or property held jointly with a child. Property in a joint account passes outside of your estate. If you add a caregiver child to one of your bank accounts out of convenience, the account will pass to Continue Reading

A Brief Overview of a Trustee’s Duties

If you have been appointed the trustee of a trust, it is a strong vote of confidence in your judgment and trustworthiness. It is also a major responsibility. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” The following is a brief overview of a trustee’s duties: Fiduciary Responsibility. As a trustee, you stand in a “fiduciary” role with respect to the beneficiaries of the trust, both the current beneficiaries and any “remaindermen” named to receive Continue Reading

What Makes a Will Valid?

Movies, television, and books like to present wills in dramatic ways–handwritten notes, videos, deathbed utterances–but what actually makes a will valid? The law varies depending on what state you live in, but there are some basic rules. The legal requirements for a will are fairly simple. In order for your will to be valid, you must know what property you have and what it means to leave it to someone, then sign and date the document and have it witnessed according to the laws of your state. Most states require two witnesses to watch you sign the will and then Continue Reading

Steps to Take in Advance of Death or Disability

No one wants to face the fact that our loved ones will not be with us forever. Facing our own mortality is frightening as well. Although none of us wants to contemplate a time when we or a loved one might become disabled or die, it is important to be prepared. There are many steps families can take in advance of death or disability to avoid future conflicts or uncertainties: Don’t be afraid to start the conversation. Whether you are a parent talking to your children, a husband talking to a wife, or an adult child talking to an aging Continue Reading

How does elder law differ from general law practice?

Elder law is a branch of the law that serves the needs of the elderly and the disabled as well as their family and covers a wide range of client issues, both legal and financial. In 1965, the passage of the Older Americans Act (OOA), was created and marked a significant federal recognition of legal matters unique to the elderly. Later amendments to the OOA include a national nutrition program for the elderly and the National Family Caregiver Support Program to help families caring for older loved ones. Common elder law legal matters include issues related to health care, long-term Continue Reading

Is it legal to place a camera in a nursing home room?

Technological advances have made it easier to stay connected with family. That includes the ability to install cameras in a loved one’s nursing home room, but these so-called “granny cams” have legal and privacy implications. The benefit of the surveillance camera is the ability to monitor your family member’s care. Being able to observe care from afar can give family members peace of mind that their loved one is being well taken care of, and can also serve as evidence if abuse is found. Even if there is no abuse, cameras can be helpful in learning if caregivers are using Continue Reading

Lethal Plans: When Seniors Turn To Suicide In Long-Term Care

Suicide rates in the United States are climbing but an often overlooked segment of suicides are those committed by older adults in long-term care settings. A six-month long investigation by Kaiser Health News and PBS Newshour found that older Americans are quietly killing themselves in nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult care homes. Prevention, through screenings at intake and education of staff of suicide warning signs, would help lower suicides in their facilities. For the complete article, follow our link to Kaiser Health News. A six-month investigation by KHN and PBS NewsHour finds that older Americans are quietly killing Continue Reading

These NBA Dancers Spin, Shimmy And Twerk. And They’re All 50 Or Older

The Wizdom ,dance squad for the Washington Wizards NBA franchise, is not your typical dance squad – members range in age from 50 to 76 years young and include former NFL cheerleaders, a dentist, several grandmothers and a breast cancer survivor. The Wizdom is sponsored by the AARP – to join, members go through a rigorous audition process; once accepted to the squad, members learn seven routines to perform throughout the season. As to why members auditioned the reasons varied – some were cheerleaders and wanted to perform again, some were looking for ways to get more exercise while others Continue Reading

‘I’ve earned it.’ Or have they? Are senior discounts deserved?

Milestone birthdays (50, 60 and older) lead to discounts from some vendors. Senior discounts emerged in the 1960’s as a way to help retired people with meager savings but as people are living longer some of the discount programs may be enjoyed for 40 years. Some are questioning whether such discounts should be strictly based on age or if they should be income based. Many seniors in MA would qualify for means-tested discounts as 61% of single older adults have incomes that fall below the cost-of-living measure called the Elder Economic Index. For the complete article, Follow our link to Continue Reading

Songs for the dying: Bedside choir comforts those nearing the end

Threshold Singers at Indian Hill Music is an unusual choral group based out of Littleton; since its inception twelve years ago, they have sang at the bedside of hundreds of dying people. The group was inspired to form by the experience of Kate Munger’s experience when she cared for a friend dying of aids in 1990. there are currently over 200 chapters of Threshold singers. Singers participate as a way of giving back – to sing well and provide comfort to families. for the complete article, follow our link to the Boston GLOBE. Songs for the dying: Bedside choir comforts Continue Reading