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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.

Difference Between Guardianship and a Durable Power of Attorney

September 24, 2018

Both a guardianship and a durable power of attorney are tools that allow for someone to to protect the interests of person unable to act for themselves. Under both, the person exercising power owes a fiduciary duty to the incapacitated person to act in their interests. However, these tools differ in important, meaningful ways.

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Differences Between Wills and Trusts

September 10, 2018

Both wills and trusts are documents that can direct how assets get distributed to a person’s beneficiaries. Depending on the situation, a person could have both a will and a trust as part of their estate plan.

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Difference Between a Durable and a Nondurable Power of Attorney

August 23, 2018

A power of attorney is a document where a person names another person to act as their agent in certain circumstances described in the text of the power of attorney. The agent can then act on behalf of the person who signed the power of attorney, known as the principal, without needing any further input from the principal.

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The Work of a Trustee

August 2, 2018

When it comes to the proper functioning of a trust, the trustee has the responsibility to make sure everything works the way it is supposed to. The trustee makes sure to manage the trust’s assets on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries in accordance with the guidelines in the trust document and any applicable laws and regulations.

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Special Needs Trust as Retirement Account Beneficiary

July 23, 2018

Special needs trusts can be valuable tools to help provide for someone with special needs. One option to fund a special needs trust is to name the trust as the beneficiary of a person’s retirement account. However, there are a number of areas to watch out for that could result in significant unintended costs if not taken care of properly. These pitfalls go beyond the expected knowledge of a general financial planner and require the expertise of an experienced elder law attorney.

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Seniors and Driving

July 16, 2018

As individuals get older, the question of whether or not a person should still be behind the wheel can come up. While there may come a time when a person is unable to drive safely, there are steps people can take to stay on the road for longer.

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Medicare Nursing Home Ratings

July 5, 2018

Choosing a nursing home or specialized care facility is an important decision that can significantly affect the quality of life of a potential resident and their family. Medicare has a ratings system that aims to provide the public with information about how to choose between nursing homes. However, this rating system has its flaws and should, at most, only be one factor in choosing a nursing home.

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Warning Signs of Elder Financial Exploitation

June 25, 2018

The elderly are often targets for various forms of financial exploitation. Exploiters often seek out the elderly to victimize because of their increased likelihood of isolation due to physical limitations, death of their spouse, or loss of interpersonal interactions after retirement.

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Retirement Accounts and Medicaid Planning

June 4, 2018

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, different states have different rules for how retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) accounts, are treated.

To qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, an applicant’s total assets must fit under a fairly restrictive asset cap. Some assets, however, are exempt from being counted toward the asset cap. For most people, their main exempt asset is their primary residence.

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Limits of the Medicaid Child Caregiver Exemption

May 17, 2018

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, an individual’s total assets have to comply with a very restrictive asset cap before Medicaid pays for nursing home coverage. This asset cap even requires that any gifts or below market transfers made within the previous five years still count as assets. This policy of including transfers made in the past five years is commonly known as the look-back period.

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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.