Helping Families Navigate the Financial Challenges of Age Transitions

Month: August 2019 (Page 2 of 2)

Senators slam abuse in nursing homes; criticize CMS over reporting requirements 

If there’s anything that will bring a bipartisan group of U.S. senators together, it’s the topic of abuse in nursing homes and a hearing Tuesday was proof yet again.Abuse deficiencies cited in nursing homes more than doubled in four years, increasing from 430 in 2013 to 875 in 2017, a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday found. The most common physical and verbal abuse was by staff, at 58%, investigators said.

Source: Senators slam abuse in nursing homes; criticize CMS over reporting requirements – McKnight’s Long Term Care News

Losing Your Mind, Losing Your Rights?

Kaitlyn C. Meeks recently published a Comment entitled, Losing Your Mind, Losing Your Rights?: A Certification Process to Safeguard Alzheimer’s Patients and the Moving Target of the Lucid Interval, 44 U. Dayton L. Rev. 79-109 (2018). Provided below is an introduction to the Comment. For the rest of the comment, see: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Picture this: you have awakened, on a seemingly normal day, to a drastic lifestyle change — the care of your mother or father. You, the child, have now become the parent. Why has this happened? One, or perhaps both, of your parents was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”), rendering him or her incapable, in the eyes of the law, of maintaining complete and autonomous control over their life. The child is now the sole caretaker for the parent’s health, safety, finances, well-being, and legacy. As the new primary caretaker for an ailing parent, your life has become overwhelmed with legalities — Power of Attorney Forms, Health Care Directives, and Living Wills and Trusts. These stresses are in addition to the emotional effects as well as the financial and physical demands a caregiver is confronted with on a day-to-day basis.

Thanks to Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech Univ. School of Law for sharing.

4 Reasons Parents Don’t Discuss Money (and Why They Should)

Many adult children of aging parents find it difficult to talk to their parents about their finances. It is no wonder that these same adult children find it difficult to discuss their own wealth with their grown children.

Parents would be remiss if they did not talk to their children about drinking and driving, using drugs and, of course, sex. Some go even further, discussing subjects like bullying and mental health.

So why do a significant number of parents still not talk to their children about wealth and inheritance?

Nursing home has no standing in suit against resident’s daughter.

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that a nursing home has no standing to lodge a conversion claim or infringement of fiduciary duty against the daughter of a resident who transferred the resident’s cash to herself, resulting in a Medicaid penalty period.

M.D. is the daughter of B.S. In 2010, She started helping her mom financially. When she suspected that her mom’s husband had dementia and was spending her mom’s money “recklessly” she transferred money from a joint account into M.D.’s personal account. Over the next three years, she used some of the money transferred to provide care for her mom.

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Uniform Law Commission Approves the Uniform Electronic Wills Act

Recently the Uniform Law Commissioners approved five new acts, including the The Uniform Electronic Wills Act.  According to the ULC:

This Act permits testators to execute an electronic will and allows probate courts to give electronic wills legal effect.  Most documents that were traditionally printed on paper can now be created, transferred, signed, and recorded in electronic form.  Since 2000 the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and a similar federal law, E-SIGN have provided that a transaction is not invalid solely because the terms of the contract are in an electronic format.  But UETA and E-SIGN both contain an express exception for wills, which, because the testator is deceased at the time the document must be interpreted, are subject to special execution requirements to ensure validity and must still be executed on paper in most states.  Under the new Electronic Wills Act, the testator’s electronic signature must be witnessed contemporaneously (or notarized contemporaneously in states that allow notarized wills) and the document must be stored in a tamper-evident file.  States will have the option to include language that allows remote witnessing.  The act will also address recognition of electronic wills executed under the law of another state.  For a generation that is used to banking, communicating, and transacting business online, the Uniform Electronic Wills Act will allow online estate planning while maintaining safeguards to help prevent fraud and coercion.

Source: ULC News – Uniform Law Commission

Disbarred Georgia lawyer admits stealing almost $400,000 from elderly clients 

A former Acworth, Georgia lawyer who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly clients is already out of jail, released the same day he pleaded guilty and was sentenced by a Cobb Superior Court judge.

A press release by the Cobb District Attorneys’ office said Cheatham is never allowed to practice law again, nor can he ever act as an agent, trustee or fiduciary, or work in any position where he is responsible for the care or finances of another person.

Source: Disbarred Acworth lawyer admits stealing almost $400,000 from elderly clients | News |

One Family’s Journey Through Guardianship Hell

In one of the saddest yet too-common stories about what happens when families fail to plan, this post from investigative journalist, Gary Weiss, for outlines five mistakes that one family made on their journey through guardianship hell.

“You sit there and shake your head how things can go that bad that fast,” says Frederick Paugh, a field investigator with the New Jersey Long Term Care Ombudsman who examined some of the financial aspects of the case at the request of Ada’s assisted living facility. “ But you know what? It happens.”

What ended as a descent into legal hell began in Italy as a love story. Read the rest of the story here.

Source: One Family’s Journey Through Guardianship Hell

What are the “Four-P’s” of Financial Caregiving?

If you are one of the millions of those who identify themselves as part of the “Sandwich Generation” then you may be largely responsible for the financial decisions and well-being of an aging parent or loved one. Most will be thrust into the role largely unprepared and learn through on-the-job training. The problem with this approach is that the job is not an internship where an entire team of superiors form a safety net around your inevitable mistakes. Furthermore, the financial decision-making responsibilities are often added to the even greater stress of providing emotional or physical caregiving. Caregiver Burnout is a serious modern condition suffered by millions who are providing a sometimes overwhelming level of care.


Like every aspect of caregiving, the motivation behind financial caregiving has to be one of love, honor, and respect for the one for whom we are providing care. To do the job effectively means that we need to educate ourselves. That’s what motivated me to write the book, What You Need to Know, back in 2012.  I thought I knew all there was to know about financial caregiving until I became one. I was a professional financial planner after all. I had worked with clients for over thirty years helping them prepare for financial independence.

But in spite of all this preparation, and even with a healthy investment portfolio, it soon became clear that my parents were going to need someone to get intimately involved with their finances. Someone was going to have to organize and take over the tax reporting, bill paying, income tracking, insurance renewals, Medicare supplement choices, Prescription Drug Plans, Social Security check deposits, phone service, internet service, online parts ordering, sale of the unnecessary second vehicle, getting new Wills done, making sure Powers of Attorney were in place, helping with physician choices, etc., etc., etc.

As order evolved from chaos, I began to organize what I needed to know around four major areas – what I later called “The Four P’s” that include the following:

  • People
  • Property
  • Programs
  • Plans

In subsequent posts, I’ll delve deeper into each of these areas to suggest what you need to know about each of these in order to be an effective and honoring financial caregiver.

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