Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff work hard to care for their patients when they are sick or hurt. However, even when a procedure is done to save a patient’s life, a hospital cannot act without patient consent. If a patient cannot speak for themselves and express their wishes, the hospital relies on what is known as a health care proxy form. If you have ever been admitted to the hospital, you have likely been asked to sign a health care proxy form. Hospitals use proxy forms to obtain … [Read more...] about Be Cautious of Generic Health Care Proxy Forms
Older adults have access to hundreds of federal and state benefits programs. Many retirees meet the requirements for these aids, yet do not know they are eligible and miss opportunities to receive assistance. Others can feel overwhelmed by complex application processes. BenefitsCheckUp, the National Council on Aging’s online resource, helps elders identify the federal and state assistance programs for which they are qualified. The database is free to access, and the National Council on … [Read more...] about Are You Missing Out on Benefits? Identify the Programs Available to Seniors Like You
Medigap premiums for plans from insurance companies offering the same benefits vary widely, so it pays to be a smart shopper. Federal law requires that each insurance company offers the same benefits for each of the Medigap plans lettered A through M, but each company sets its own premium rates. A Medigap insurance company sets premiums in three ways: Community-rated, where the premiums are the same, regardless of age Issue or entry age-related, where premiums are cheaper if … [Read more...] about It Pays to Be a Smart Shopper When Buying a Medigap Insurance Policy
Nursing home evictions, or involuntary discharges or transfers, disrupt the lives of residents, leading to homelessness, separation from familial support systems, and loss of care. As federal law covers all federally funded nursing home residents, nursing home evictions are legal only in particular instances, such as: The nursing home can no longer provide for a resident's needs. The resident does not pay for care after "reasonable and appropriate notice," which varies by state. … [Read more...] about When Is a Nursing Home Eviction Legal, and What Can I Do?
Do you have a friend or loved one who receives Social Security and is unable to manage her payments? If so, you can request that the Social Security Administration (SSA), the government agency that disburses Social Security, name you as the representative payee for that person. Being a representative payee gives you the power and the responsibility to manage that money for your friend or loved one. (The Office of Personnel Management and the Railroad Retirement Agency also appoint … [Read more...] about The Powers and Responsibilities of Representative Payees
If medical personnel are able to access your medical history during an emergency, it could mean the difference between life and death. But if, for example, you are injured, in shock, suffering from dementia, or are otherwise incapacitated, you may not be able to provide that information yourself. There are several systems readily available to help make crucial contact and medical history information available to first responders. Consider taking the time to update your details with the … [Read more...] about Keeping Your Emergency Contacts and Medical Information Updated for First Responders
You may have had the experience of putting off a responsibility because it seemed rather overwhelming, but at some point, you decide to tackle the beast. When you are done, you realize that you were overestimating the difficulty, and you wish you had gotten started sooner. This is a scenario that can be applied to estate planning procrastination. A lot of people know that they should put a plan in place, but they keep dragging their feet because they expect it to be a huge ordeal. In … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Made Simple
There’s a way to make a charitable gift and yet be able to influence where it goes and how it’s invested. This can be very handy if you want to time your charitable giving for income tax reasons. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Donor Advised Funds: Too Good to Be True?
Irrevocable Trusts have long been an effective, albeit static, estate planning tool. These trusts didn’t always change with circumstance, but now they can. This article explores how. … [Read more...] about Changing “Irrevocable” Trusts Through Judicial and Nonjudicial Modification
Irrevocable Trusts are often included as part of a comprehensive estate plan and are usually established many years before they pay out or terminate. These trusts didn’t change with changes in beneficiary circumstances or with evolving legislation, but now they can. This article explores how. … [Read more...] about Changing “Irrevocable” Trusts Through Decanting