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The information discussed and/or provided is not intended as legal advice and persons should not rely on anything posted on this blog. Please also be advised that no attorney-client relationship is established until the firm has been contacted by telephone and an appointment made to discuss your situation with us.

What are Geriatric Care Managers?

May 17, 2019

A geriatric care manager is a professional who can work with families to create, manage, and assist with a care plan for a loved one in need.

Geriatric care managers come from a number of educational backgrounds that may include social work, nursing, psychology, or gerontology. Some specific qualifications to look out for are a professional certification as a care manager or membership in a professional care organization. Reputable professional organizations in care management include the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, the Commission for Case Manager Certification, the Aging Life Care Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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Planning After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

May 1, 2019

If you have recently been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, or a similar condition, it is important to begin legal planning for your future as soon as possible. Creating planning documents now can ensure your personal wishes are respected and your financial interests are protected in case of an incapacity and nursing home stay.

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Unmarried Couples and Medicaid Nursing Home Coverage

April 15, 2019

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, married couples have major advantages that allow them to protect more assets compared to single people.

Single individuals can only have an extremely limited amount of countable assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. While their primary residence and some other assets are protected from counting toward Medicaid nursing home eligibility, these assets are not protected after the individual passes away. Once a person who receives Medicaid nursing home coverage dies, the state Medicaid agency files a lien against the person’s estate to recover the cost of the assistance provided. This recovery can take up most, if not all, of an individual’s remaining assets.

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Scams Targeting the Elderly

April 1, 2019

The elderly are often attractive targets to scammers due to the accumulation of a lifetime’s savings. The elderly are also more prone to being taken advantage of by scammers due to their increased likelihood of social isolation, depression, and reduced cognitive abilities.

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Protecting Your Residence Under Medicaid

March 26, 2019

For many families, their primary asset is their house. Additionally, if one, or both, spouses in a relationship require a nursing home stay, Medicaid nursing home coverage can quickly become the best way to afford the necessary care.

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In-Kind Support and SSI

March 4, 2019

Individuals on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and those who support people on SSI, need to be aware that certain types of support payments that can cause a reduction in SSI benefits.

The types of payments that can cause reductions in SSI benefits are called in-kind support. In-kind support generally involves daily living expenses. Paying for food, mortgage, rent, and most utilities for an individual on SSI can cause their SSI benefits to be reduced. Property taxes and insurance can also cause a reduction in benefits. In order to avoid a benefit reduction, individuals should avoid paying for these in-kind support items using outside funds, including otherwise valid special needs trusts.

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Drawbacks to Guardianship

February 25, 2019

There are multiple tools available to help manage a person’s affairs in case of incapacity. Once a person becomes incapacitated, however, guardianship may be the option of last resort. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why people may want to avoid guardianship altogether.

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How Does the Gift Tax Work?

January 20, 2019

At first glance, the gift tax can appear more restrictive than it is in practice.

First, the burden of the gift tax, if any, is on the gift giver and not the receiver of the gift. In other words, giving gifts does not cause the recipient to pay the gift tax.

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Exempt Transfers and Medicaid Eligibility

December 26, 2018

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, an applicant’s income and assets have to be under a restrictive cap to be eligible for the benefit. As part of the eligibility determination, the state Medicaid agency also looks back at any below market transfers that the applicant made in the previous five years and adds them back to a person’s current assets.

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Differences Between SSDI and SSI

December 17, 2018

Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs run by the Social Security Administration to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals.

However, the two programs serve two different sets of people and have different benefits and restrictions.

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Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and the surrounding areas including Arnold, Ballwin, Barnhart, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Black Jack, Bonne Terre, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Cedar Hill, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Crystal City, Des Peres, DeSoto, Ellisville, Farmington, Fenton, Festus, Ferguson, Florissant, Fredericktown, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Normandy, O'Fallon, Olivette, Pacific, Pevely, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Peters, Ste. Genevieve, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Union, Valley Park, Washington, Webster Groves, Wentzville , Wildwood.