Spouses' Guesses About End-of-Life Wishes Not Always Accurate

Most married older adults name their spouses to make health care decisions for them should they become incapacitated and unable to convey their wishes to care providers. The standard way to do this is through a durable power of attorney for health care, also called a health care proxy. But how accurate are spouses at […]

Always Put Caregiver Contracts in Writing

When hiring a caregiver, it is vital to put the contract in writing. Courts can be especially strict about requiring contracts when caregivers are relatives, but a formal agreement is still necessary even if the caregiver is not a relative. A Michigan court ruling illustrates how failing to document an agreement with a non-relative caregiver can affect Medicaid benefits. The […]

What’s a Health Care Proxy and Why Do I Need One?

         The senior population across the United States has increased to more than 54 million since 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans 65 and older will rise to 80.8 million by 2040. As people age, their healthcare needs increase. Seniors deal with chronic and acute medical conditions that […]

Nursing Home Ratings and More: Selecting the Right Facility

While many older adults prefer to stay in personal or family homes as they age, it may not be feasible. Long-term care in a nursing home may be the best option for those who require continuous assistance with persistent conditions such as dementia. As the quality and offerings of nursing homes vary, choosing the most […]

The Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

Elder law and estate planning serve two different — but equally vital — functions. The main difference is that elder law is focused on preserving your assets during your lifetime, while estate planning concentrates on what happens to your assets after you die.  What is Elder Law Planning? Elder law planning is concerned with ensuring […]

Elder Financial Abuse by Family Caregivers

Older adults lose an estimated $20 billion each year from financial abuse by family, friends, and caregivers. In many cases, the perpetrators of elder financial abuse are not strangers but trusted individuals, often family members. When victims discover exploitation, they can face challenges navigating complex interpersonal relationships. A recent webinar hosted by the National Center on […]

Nursing Homes Must Have Minimum Number of Staff, Say Feds

         Understaffing threatens the nation’s 1.2 million nursing home residents. Residents who do not receive the care they need can experience falls, dehydration, malnutrition, and bedsores. They are also more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. A historic nursing shortage is affecting long-term care facilities nationwide. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, drivers of the […]

Be Aware of the Dangers of Joint Accounts

         Many believe that joint accounts are an excellent way to avoid probate and transfer money to loved ones. While joint accounts can be helpful in certain circumstances, they can have dire consequences if not used properly. Adding a loved one to a bank account can expose your account to the loved one’s creditors and affect […]

What You Should Know About Prepaid Funeral Plans

         How Much Are Funeral Costs in the United States? Funerals rank among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. As of 2023, the median cost of a traditional funeral, with casket and burial, was $8,300. The average cost varies depending on where you live as well. Data from 2024 shows that average funeral costs (for […]

Elder Financial Abuse: How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

         Elder financial abuse is a significant issue affecting many older adults nationwide. It involves someone exploiting or misusing an older person’s finances or assets for personal gain. Often, the perpetrator is in a position of trust, be it a family member, abusive partner, or paid caregiver. Recovering from elder financial abuse, both financially and […]