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

Mourners consider new ways to scatter a loved one’s remains

More people are opting for cremation over the traditional burial which leads families to having to decide what to do with a loved ones cremains. If families opt to scatter remains, permission should be obtained. For distributing ashes in the ocean, it must be done at least three miles offshore; most New England state prohibit ash scattering in fresh water. For other options and the complete article, follow our link to the Boston Globe. Mourners consider new ways to scatter a loved one’s remains By Beth Teitell | Boston Globe Fenway Park gets so many requests to sprinkle cremated remains Continue Reading

When Can an Adult Child Be Liable for a Parent’s Nursing Home Bill?

Although a nursing home cannot require a child to be personally liable for their parent’s nursing home bill, there are circumstances in which children can end up having to pay. This is a major reason why it is important to read any admission agreements carefully before signing. Federal regulations prevent a nursing home from requiring a third party to be personally liable as a condition of admission. However, children of nursing home residents often sign the nursing home admission agreement as the “responsible party.” This is a confusing term and it isn’t always clear from the contract what it means. Continue Reading

Massachusetts deferred property tax program

Few Massachusetts residents participate in the deferred property tax program which assists seniors with limited incomes who want to remain in their home which allows them to defer property taxes until they die and the house is sold. Interest is charged on the amount deferred with municipalities setting the rate, capped at 8 percent. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which details unintended consequences of deferred property tax for one Sharon family. An inheritance damaged by delayed taxes By Sean P. Murphy | Boston Globe Article Barry Arntz thought he and his sister owned the house passed down Continue Reading

Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home

Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home for a family member are: 1 Slow down. 2 Do your homework. 3 Visit all the facilities you are considering ideally at night or the weekend. 4 Ask for the facility’s emergency management plan. 5 Ask for help. For the complete NYT article follow our link. Five Tips for Choosing a Reliable Nursing Home By Katie Thomas | New York Times The news that eight Florida nursing home residents died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has prompted a criminal investigation and spurred widespread outrage. But it also poses unsettling, difficult questions Continue Reading

When it comes to banking, words prevail over numbers

When writing a check, what does the bank pay out of your account – the words you write out or the numbers in the box? Madeleine Maldonado, age 81, found out the hard way when she wrote out “three thousand three hundred and 99/100” but entered “$3399.91” in the amount box on her check to pay for her annual long-term care insurance premium. The invoice was for $3399.91 but her bank paid the amount written so her payment was short $98.92. Her insurance company cancelled her policy for nonpayment 3 months later after not hearing from her or family members Continue Reading

Bereavement policies in the workplace

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly while they vacationed in Mexico. In her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, San Beth writes of how she coped following her husband’s untimely death. In February, she announced changes to Facebook’s bereavement leave policy so that Facebook employees will have 20 days paid leave to grieve an immediate family member, up to 10 days paid leave to grieve an extended family member and will be able to take 6 weeks to care for a sick relative. Jim Santucci, Executive Director of Kara, a grief counseling Continue Reading

Aging Drivers and the Law

For better or for worse, our current culture is very car-dependant; in many places, cars are the only convenient link to the outside world. Unfortunately, as people age, driving can become more difficult and more dangerous. The elderly drive less, but have more crashes per mile than younger drivers. This is partially because elderly individuals are more likely to be affected by poor eyesight, chronic disease, and medications that might impair driving. States vary widely on how they treat older drivers.  (For information each state’s license renewal procedures, click here.) While no state will revoke a driver’s license based only Continue Reading

Things Seniors Should Remember at Tax Time

Tax day, which is April 18th in 2017, is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T’s and dotting I’s in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you’re entitled to. Following are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your tax form. Gifts. Did you give away any money this year? The gift tax can be very confusing. If you gave away more than $14,000 in 2016, you will have to file a Form 709, the gift tax return. Continue Reading