What is a Power of Attorney and When Does it Become Effective?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal instrument that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.  The person granting that power (the “principal”) grants the right to act on his/her behalf to the agent, who is also referred to as the attorney-in-fact. The language of the POA determines what powers are granted to the agent; it may be … [Read more...]

What is the significance of national elder law attorney organizations?

When you are looking for an elder law attorney, it is important that you have an experienced legal professional representing you. An attorney’s membership in a national organization of elder law attorneys shows a commitment to staying up-to-date on legal issues affecting seniors. An attorney who is a member of a certifying elder law professional … [Read more...]

I just moved to Florida; is my Will still valid?

A Will executed in another state, sometimes referred to as a “foreign will”, could be valid if it was validly executed under the laws of the other state (Fl. Stat. 732.502(2)). Therefore, the answer to this question could be partially dependent on the state in which you previously lived. One exception is a holographic Will, which is a … [Read more...]

How Long Does Probate Take?

It is reasonable to expect that a simple probate estate will take approximately five or six months to properly handle. Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. Probate is necessary … [Read more...]

Reminder – Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

  The Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) is currently open. The deadline is Sunday, December 7, 2014, if you are interested in any of the following: Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan; Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original … [Read more...]

On Behalf of My Parent, Should I Act as Guardian or Attorney-In-Fact?

If your aging parent becomes incapacitated and needs someone to make decisions on his/her behalf, including decisions regarding medical treatments, financial issues, or living arrangements, you have a choice between serving as an attorney-in-fact (agent) if your parent has executed a valid Durable Power of Attorney (POA) appointing you as such, or … [Read more...]

Do I need a Will? Can I just write down where I want my assets to go or tell someone my intentions?

In Florida, as in every state, there are specific requirements that must be met in order for a Will to be validly executed. In order to be legally sufficient and distribute assets as the testator (one who executes a Will) intended, a Will in Florida must be executed according to Florida law. If the Will is not executed according to Florida … [Read more...]

Important Medicaid Numbers

    The following relevant Medicaid numbers apply as of July 2014: Divestment Penalty Divisor - $7,638.00 Income Cap - $2,163.00 Individual Resource Allowance - $2,000.00 Monthly Personal Needs Allowance - $105.00 Community Spouse Resource Allowance - $117,240.00 Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance - … [Read more...]

Does Medicaid Pay For Long-term Care in the Home?

Medicaid provides important benefits for seniors and other individuals who are unable to care for themselves and who need long-term care. While many seniors benefit from Medicaid coverage to help pay the cost of a nursing home, there are also situations where a senior or his/her family members want to ensure that their loved one remains at home for … [Read more...]

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old…”

My dear girl, the day you see I'm getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I'm going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don't interrupt to say: "You said the same thing a minute ago"... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read … [Read more...]