Latest News

First-Ever Federal Regulations for Adult Protective Services

Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Until recently, Adult Protective Services (APS) has been funded and administered wholly at the state or local level. As a result, there is wide variation in APS services and practices between, and even within, states.

Food No Longer to Be Considered In-Kind Support and Maintenance for SSI Benefits

Monday, May 13th, 2024

In March 2024, the Social Security Administration issued a new rule that favors disabled individuals applying for or receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Under the new rule, starting September 30, 2024, food will no longer be considered in-kind support and maintenance (“ISM”) in ISM calculations.

Can My Lifetime Fiduciary Pay My Final Bills?

Friday, April 5th, 2024

A fiduciary is someone who acts for another pursuant to legal authority to do so.

A fiduciary can act for a living individual. The most common sources of legal authority for a fiduciary to act for a living individual are: a power of attorney, a guardianship, and a trust.

Government Overreach or Necessary Law? Corporate Transparency Act Struck Down

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

A U.S. District Court in Alabama declared the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) unconstitutional in the battle between privacy rights and organized crime. In National Small Business Association v. Yellen (Case No. 5:22-cv-01448)

Assisted Living in the News

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

Assisted Living has been in the news for at least the past year, both locally and nationally. For our clients this is a prime issue.

Ohio Court Finds that an Agent using a Power of Attorney is not Personally Liable for cost of a Nursing Home

Friday, January 19th, 2024

Thanks to Professor Katherine Pearson of Dickinson Law School for bringing this case to our attention.

On May 1, 2023, an appellate court in Ohio found that the daughter's role as agent acting under a power of attorney prevented her from becoming personally liable for her mother's costs of care.  The daughter appears to have properly cooperated or assisted in the original Medicaid application. 

States with the Best (and Worse) Elder-Abuse Protections 2024

Friday, January 12th, 2024

A recent article compared all 51 states and D.C. for reporting, investigating and acting upon abuse of the elderly. That article is found below. Several experts provide insight on Elder Abuse and reporting.

Where does Delaware stand? Forty-six out of the fifty-one. At the bottom? California, which recently made all its residents eligible for Medicaid without regard to the amount of resources one might have.

Your Estate Plan is More Than Your Will: The Importance of the Annual Review Your Estate Plan is More Than Your Will

Friday, December 29th, 2023

Ask anyone the first word that comes to mind when they hear the term “estate plan.” The answer is likely “Will.” But your estate plan is much more than your Will. Your assets dictate what your estate plan documents are or should be.

How Medicaid Penalizes Gifts: The Rules

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Prior gifts harm Medicaid applicants by delaying when Medicaid starts. The delay is directly linked to the total gift value over a five-year period. This delay significantly harms persons needing care now. We see this time and again. Below we explain the basic rules on how Medicaid penalizes gifts.

Social Security overpayments: Tips to prevent them

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

If you receive Social Security retirement benefits, one of the best ways to prevent overpayments is to check the earnings history Social Security has on record for you. You can do this before you retire.

Social Security Ramps Up Disability Overpayment Efforts

Friday, October 20th, 2023

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is trying to reclaim billions of dollars from many of the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable — payments it sent them but now says they never should have received. During the 2022 fiscal year, the agency clawed back $4.7 billion of overpayments, while another $21.6 billion remained outstanding, according to a report by SSA’s inspector general. One consequence is a costly collection effort...

Big Win for Disability Advocates in Health Equity Research

Friday, October 6th, 2023

One of our core missions is to provide legal services to persons with disabilities and their families in estate and long-term care planning. A great many of our clients have special needs or have a loved one who does.

IRS Delays SECURE 2.0 Roth Requirement for Catch-Up Contributions For High Earners Until 2026

Friday, September 1st, 2023

This article describes another step in our country’s laborious task of implementing the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, which, together with its predecessor SECURE Act of 2019, is making major changes regarding retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts, and governmental 457(b) plans.

A Dream Come True: I Am a Certified Elder Law Attorney!*

Friday, August 4th, 2023

I am thrilled to share that I have earned the designation of Certified Elder Law Attorney from the National Elder Law Foundation! This a major accomplishment requiring Herculean study over the course of six months, taking me away from my family, a grueling day-long exam in March that felt more painful (is that possible?) than the State of Delaware Bar Exam I took 23 years ago, waiting months to learn if I passed the exam, finding out I passed (hooray!), and then completing and submitting a daunting application in early July, which required me to show I completed at least 60 elder law matters across 12 substantive areas in the last three years, 45 hours of continuing legal education, and more than 5 peer references from esteemed elder law and other attorneys familiar with my work. The last week of July I received the word: I made it! I am now a Certified Elder Law Attorney!

Why You Need a Medigap Policy and How To Find One

Friday, June 30th, 2023

A common mistake among Medicare recipients is to believe that Medicare is the only the health insurance they need. This belief is false and dangerous. For most expenses, Medicare only pays a portion. This creates “gaps” in medical coverage where the Medicare beneficiary must pay the other portion of their expenses. These gaps add up quickly, and can cripple the finances of a senior citizen who is struggling to make ends meet or, as is often the case, has the money to pay, but is saving that money in case other big expenses arise in the future, such as long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or the home. The senior and his or her family is left scratching their heads as to how the senior could be hit with such a big medical bill, for example, after a rehabilitation facility stay following hospitalization, when they thought the senior was fully covered by Medicare.

When Does Medicare Pay for In-Home Care?

Friday, June 9th, 2023

We’ve all seen it.
Neighbor A suffers a medical event, spends multiple days in the hospital and gets discharged to home. Medicare pays for a team of professionals to come out and care for Neighbor A in the home, including, for example, a licensed practical nurse, a physical therapist, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist. Medicare also pays for home health aides who help with daily activities in the home including bathing and dressing.

Latest Announcement From The IRS On Free Online Filing

Friday, May 26th, 2023

Many of us use professionals to help us file our tax returns. But many of our clients do not need that expertise as we are recently retired, disability income is modest or our children are students with modest income. Online tax filing services charge fees. They may entice us with “free” federal tax filings, but then switch to charging for the state or local tax return.

Pass-Through Taxation: What You Need to Know

Friday, May 19th, 2023

Most US businesses have a pass-through taxation structure: they are not subject to corporate tax. Instead, they have their income “pass through” to their owners to be taxed on their individual income tax returns.

Recent Congressional Developments on Improving Access to Home- and Community-Based Services:

Friday, May 12th, 2023

The caregiver crisis in America is multifaceted and deep. While under federal and state law, older adults and people with disabilities who meet medical and financial criteria are eligible for Medicaid long-term care services and supports (Long-Term Care Medicaid (“LTSS”)), states, and even regions within states, vary as to the settings in which these vulnerable persons receive LTSS.

Change in Nursing Homes Population and Economics

Friday, May 5th, 2023

It is well known and as set forth in a recent article from the Center for Medicare Advocacy that nursing homes have significantly reduced populations. Before the pandemic, nursing home populations were declining. Plante Moran, an accounting and business consulting firm, reports a 32% decline in utilization of nursing homes from 2015 to 2022.[1] It writes that it does “not expect utilization [of nursing homes] to recover to pre-pandemic levels.” Plante Moran suggests that “nursing home rightsizing” is occurring and describes older people choosing independent living, assisted living, memory care, continuing care retirement communities, and affordable senior housing instead of nursing homes.