When you visit a nursing home, chances are that you never have imagined yourself living there for any length of time. What would your reaction be if someone told you that you would soon be joining your relative in the nursing home for an entire month? This is exactly the situation faced by several medical students at the University of New England.

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To often in our country, political histrionics make is impossible to have a rational discussion about any subject. This was highlighted last summer during the debate over national health care legislation. Part of that dialogue focused on end of life issues. We were warned of rationing and of bureaucratic “death panels” which would make decisions over who received end of life treatment. I read an article last week in the New Yorker titled “Letting Go” by Dr. Atul Gawande which is an incredibly thoughtful piece regarding end of life issues. Dr. Gawande is an endocrine surgeon in Boston.

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Many retired Americans find themselves in quite the quandary–while they are rich in home equity, they struggle to make ends meet every month. Although there is always the option to put their homes on the market, many retirees are reluctant to give up a house with so many life long memories. More and more retirees are considering a reverse mortgage as an ideal solution to convert home equity into cash. Potentially, you could use your home to stay at home.

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As you age, you are likely to require assistance with financial and health care decisions. A proper estate plan will ensure that your wishes are respected in the event of incapacity by illness. In Part I, we reviewed the basic elements of a durable power of attorney. In Part II, we review common mistakes to avoid so you can execute a proper estate plan.

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As you age, you are likely to require assistance with financial and health care decisions. A proper estate plan will ensure that your wishes are respected in the event of incapacity by illness. To that end, there are several key components to an overall estate plan for an older client. Over the next few weeks, Cohen & Oalican will post a series of articles devoted to dealing with issues of incapacity. In this first article, basics of a durable power of attorney are reviewed.

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We’ve all heard the classic rags-to-riches tale before–a shy farm boy with $10K, two propane trucks, and a dream builds a network of natural gas processing plants and pipelines into a billion dollar empire. Dan L. Duncan was the epitome of the American Dream–more specifically, the Houston, TX, pipeline tycoon’s dream.

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Introduction

Families are often faced with the painful decision to place their loved one in a nursing home. When they make this decision, they entrust the safety and well being of their relatives, who may be physically or cognitively impaired, with the nursing home staff. Unfortunately, sometimes neglect can occur and families will then look to the court system to hold the nursing home liable for their loved one’s injury or even death.

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All too often we hear the plight of the under-65 recent retiree: After 40 years in the business, Mr. Smith retires from his company at age 62. Mr. Smith’s company can no longer afford to provide continued healthcare coverage to its retirees. Too young to receive Medicare benefits, Mr. Smith and his wife are forced to purchase a private healthcare plan until they reach age 65 and become eligible for the Medicare program. Mr. Smith and his wife now face steep monthly premiums for less comprehensive coverage.

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While immediate annuities can be important tools in Medicaid planning for married couples where one spouse needs long-term nursing home care, the benefits can be greatly reduced or eliminated if purchased at the wrong time or with the wrong terms. In some instances, couples may be unaware of better planning options that are available to them.

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The overwhelming majority of our asset protection planning begins with the same client sentiment: “I don’t want to lose my house if I go into a nursing home.” Our attorneys understand that the value of your home goes beyond the value of the physical property. It’s much more complex than that. You have fond memories of raising your family there, and want to do everything in your power to protect it. So how do you go about protecting your home while making sure you’re taken care of?

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People we have helped

P. B.
I had been trying to help an elderly uncle and two aunts fulfill their wish to live together and also to protect their assets for each other. Steve put together a plan for my uncle and aunts which accomplished their goals. Cohen & Oalican prepared and filed my aunt's Medicaid application and prot...