Latest from Elder Law Issues

It’s the last Monday of the month. That means we’re a bit closer to closing out 2020 and also that it’s time for the October Round Up of developments in elder law. Covid-19 and Care Homes The pandemic has hit nursing homes particularly hard. AARP this month launched a “Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard,” which tracks nursing home statistics in every state, to try to assess how states are doing to combat the virus and maintain…
Clients often wonder: should they tell their family about their assets and estate plan? A family wealth discussion can be a tense experience or a joyous occasion. Of course, they can also be everything in between. To be clear, there’s no legal reason you have to explain your estate plan or disclose your wealth to family members. There’s also no legal reason not to do so. Some, but not all, clients decide to engage in…
Cybersecurity is an important concern for businesses — and for individuals. In this week’s podcast episode, we talk about a recent brush with a hacking exploit in our office. Our office — and our client information — remained safe. We did not lose any data or operability. But still, it was a difficult, challenging — even embarrassing — episode. We explain, and have some suggestions for clients and colleagues. The post Cybersecurity – A Cautionary
A recent New Mexico court case reminds us what can happen when families file for probate years after a death. The story takes several twists and turns, but it’s worth laying out the details. Marie in life Herbert and Marie Welch lived in Carlsbad, New Mexico. They had no children, either together or from other relationships. In 1974, they signed wills leaving everything to one another. Herbert’s will also said that if he died…
We all know the cliches about elderly drivers. As we age many of us experience diminished function. It may be vision, hearing, response time or even cognitive ability. The aging driver can be a concern for family members and the community. This week our podcast episode deals with the elderly driver and how to plan for (and respond to) diminishing capability. We often hear from our clients that they will know when to stop driving
The lives of the rich and famous often provide estate planning lessons for the rest of us. Few provide as many lessons as the short, unhappy life of Steve Bing. Bing, a Hollywood financier, philanthropist, and party boy, died last June at age 55, after jumping from a Los Angeles high-rise apartment. The aftermath may take many, many years to sort out. Bing never married and left two children, who now have uncertain stakes…
Perhaps you have needed an excuse not to get your estate planning completed. “I’ll wait,” you might have said to yourself, “until I can sign a will digitally.” Well, we have good news: the nation’s broadest electronic will law was just adopted — in Utah. We live in a time of anxiety about human contact. Would it be easier to sign documents if you could do it without having to interact with other people? Yes,…
Sometimes the authority to make health care decisions for another person does not work out. It can especially founder on a common limitation: it might not include mental health powers. Without authority over mental health decisions, the agent, guardian or family member may be unable to arrange for sufficient care. Arizona law distinguishes between making general health care decisions for another person and making the decision to authorize inpatient mental health care. In this week’s…
We have written and talked before about pets and the elderly client in our office. But most of that discussion has focused on how to make plans for your pets after your inevitable demise. What about taking care of pets — and having them help take care of you — as you age? As we explain in this podcast episode, there are all sorts of concerns about pets and the elderly. They range from physical…
At the end of each month, we take a moment to survey interesting developments in elder law. Here’s a  September round up of randomness: Estate Planning Tidbits There are apparently eight important components to a thorough estate plan. Funeral insurance isn’t one of them, but maybe it should be. If you get married a second (or third) time, be sure to avoid these four pitfalls in your estate plan. And, further, be sure to…