Posts in Category: Family

Let a Probate Attorney Prepare Your Legacy

Probate is required even if you leave a will

A lot of folks are shocked to learn that the probate process might be necessary despite the decedent having left a will. Contrary to popular belief, wills do not eliminate legally-required probate procedures. Instead, a will is the primary instrument that courts utilize during the probate process. Probate is a court-supervised legal procedure for acknowledging and gathering the assets of a deceased individual, settling their debts, and dividing any remaining assets among legal heirs and/or beneficiaries.

Probate lawA Circuit Court probate judge supervises all probate-related matters. The judge will appoint a personal representative and issue him or her “letters of administration.” These documents provide the world with official notice that the personal representative has full legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate. The court may also conduct hearings when necessary and respond to any questions presented while the estate is administered via the entry of special instructions known as “orders.” The law requires the probate process in order to ensure that all the deceased’s affairs are properly attended to. This legal procedure guarantees that each one of the creditors of the deceased person receives payment. This include IRS tax obligations. It usually costs between 3 and 7 percent of the total estate value to go through probate. Asset transfers from the deceased person to the appropriate beneficiary(ies) is the primary purpose of probate.

When someone dies without leaving a will, the law refers to him or her as “intestate.” If a person dies intestate, executing their estate will be conducted per state statutory mandates. Probate courts ensure compliance with all such statutory requirements. If someone dies after having prepared and executed a legally valid will, their estate is called a “testate” estate. In such cases, the probate court will ensure that the will was properly executed and that all assets of the estate are disbursed per the terms of the will. It is vital to keep in mind, however, that wills may be challenged. Such will contests can cause asset distributions to be delayed for years and result in the decedent’s estate incurring high costs.

In many cases where the estate is large, family members or other legal heirs might have conflicting interests. All interested parties with a conflict of interest typically hire a lawyer to protect their legal interests in the estate. The plaintiff is the party who originally files a complaint, while the defendant is the personal representative named in the lawsuit. A frequently used ground for objecting to a will is diminished mental capacity on the part of the deceased. Alleging that the decedent was coerced into making the will is another common ground of objection. Among other legal objections that frequently arise are inauthentic will; non-original will; improper design, witness, or signature of the will per official state requirements. Once litigation commences, the will is publicized and becomes accessible to anybody. Besides associated costs and embarrassment, assets may not be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased if the plaintiff ultimately prevails against the estate.

Probate can be an expensive process. It need not be complicated, however. Planning an estate ahead of time is the best means of reducing or avoiding time spent in Probate Court. Adequate advance planning requires much more than visiting the local OfficeMax and buying a generic fill-in-the-blank will form or downloading one for an online website.

Never forget that you have to comply with state probate laws. Probate statues that govern will execution are quite clear. Such laws address issues such as who may or may not be a witness, and when and were you and/or any witnesses to your will may sign. The precise terminology used in a will might be legally accurate. The will could still be challenged if it is executed incorrectly, however. An experienced and knowledgeable probate. attorney has the necessary skill and expertise to draft a valid will that with comply with all state laws and meet your personal needs.

Why Home Care is the Right Choice for Your Elderly Parent

For those with parents in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach and the surrounding cities in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Florida who have reached the age where they can use a bit of help, but choose to continue living in their own home, an excellent solution is to hire a home care aide.

Elderly Woman in Delray BeacA trained home care aide’s responsibilities may include bathing, dressing assisting with activities of daily living and personal grooming if desired.

The aide you hire will also have to ensure that your parent’s home is neat and tidy to keep your parent safe and healthy. Many trained aides perform some housekeeping tasks i.e. taking care of the laundry and dusting the house. Helping with the groceries and bringing your parent to an activity centers as well as other errands are also part of an aide’s job.

Another duty is the preparation and serving of meals meals for your parent. A good aide will make sure that your parent’s diet is followed or if he or she is not on a special diet — basic nutrition should be provided to ensure a healthy diet given on a regular schedule.

One important ingredient in senior home care is companionship. Having someone to talk to is important for every senior citizen. The senior will know he is cared for and that and that someone is listening to his concerns and stories. This is an essential part of home care especially for an elderly person who lives on his own.

Good aides also keep records of the daily routines and progress of the people they take care of. Such records are vital for the references of the senior’s family and his physicians. Any types of changes are noted in these records so that problems can be addressed by the doctor.

According to law, a home health aide can’t provide nursing services. If there is a need for your parent to get such services, getting a Registered Nurse can provide the medical care. However, tasks such as exercises and ensuring that he takes his medication are within the scope of duties for aides.

Elderly people of today are healthier than those in the past and because of their good health, they prefer to live on their own.The purpose of home care is to let the seniors have as much independence as possible. Eldercare makes this achievable while keeping seniors safe.

The considerable improvement in a senior’s quality of life can be achieved through home care. If your parent is in good health, there is no need for you to even consider a skilled nursing facility because staying at home is more beneficial for a senior’s health and emotional well being.

Aides working for a home care agency or registry like Boca Home Care Services are fully screened, background checked, responsible, licensed, and trained. Having a person like this taking care of your parent will give you peace of mind certain of the care that your parent is receiving.

When preparing for home care, expect an in-home assessment. The assessment will focus on the home environment, the health of the senior along with his special needs. This assessment will determine what kind of health care is needed. For seniors with medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, customized care will be given. If you have questions about home care services, they will be addressed. The visit will also determine what kind of caregiver will be needed.

You can contact Boca Home Care Services at 561-989-0611 or 877-706-0785 to schedule a visit or to ask further questions.

A Basic Overview of a Trust: What it is and Why You Must Be Prepared

A well-planned trust is a critical component of asset protection in estate planning. With a trust, assets are placed under protection to ensure that the Grantor can maintain a certain amount of control over their use and distribution. Assets that are placed into a trust can be managed more effectively during the lifetime of the Grantor, and protected in order to ensure that the financial interests of the beneficiaries are taken care of.

What is a Trust?

In its most basic form, a trust is a type of agreement that allows an individual known as the Grantor or Trustmaker to enter into an agreement with a Trustee, who is an individual or entity that will manage the properties and assets that the Grantor will place in the trust. Normally, the Grantor will name a person, company or other entity as beneficiary. The beneficiary is the legal recipient of the assets named in the trust.

Benefits of Setting Up a Trust

Baby beneficiary of a trustTraditionally, a trust is considered a reliable form of asset protection. Once the Grantor transfers assets into a trust, he or she no longer has these assets in his or her name. Instead, the Trustee becomes the legal controller of the assets and is responsible for its management. This action helps protect these assets from potential loss.

Setting up a trust also allows the Grantor better control over common estate issues, such as how the asset will be settled, used and distributed, how much, when and to whom. Other than family members and friends, the Grantor may also specify certain entities such as charitable institutions and name them as beneficiaries. In case of the grantor’s death or incapacitation, the trust can be used as a substitute for a will, allowing the trustee to settle the estate quickly and privately. The terms of a trust can also ensure that the Grantor’s assets remain in the family. For example, in case the surviving spouse decides to remarry, there is a risk that the assets could be passed on to the spouse’s new family. Setting up a trust helps prevent this from happening. A trust can also protect the assets from expensive state and/or federal estate taxes and avoid probate.

Revocable Vs. Irrevocable Trust

Estate planning generally requires setting up either a revocable or an irrevocable trust. Initially both trusts are considered inter vivos trust, which means that either one will go into effect while the Grantor is still living. The Grantor can then decide whether to keep the trust irrevocable or revocable. Essentially, an irrevocable trust is a trust with terms that remain in effect and cannot be changed while a revocable trust can be revoked and the terms changed.

An irrevocable trust, once in effect, prevents the Grantor from retrieving an asset or property. A revocable trust, on the other hand, still places the asset or property into the trust but allows the Grantor to cancel the transfer, modify the details and even take back the asset. He or she can then terminate the trust.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

A basic trust agreement is usually simple enough to be drawn by the Grantor. Once the transfer of assets into the trust is completed and the agreement is notarized, it will then take effect. However, if certain issues and questions exist about the estate that need to be addressed, getting advice and assistance from an estate planning lawyer may be a good choice. An experienced lawyer will be able to provide the most important information about estate law that will be valuable for creating and executing an effective and fair living trust.

Medicare Home Health Care: What You Need To Know

Medicare home health care is a specialized service given to persons suffering from accidents or other ailments that leave them traumatized and incapable of handling normal tasks by themselves. This could be from an amputation or during the recovery period needed for injured limps and body parts to heal completely. Aging persons approaching and over the age of 65 can also benefit from home health care services. There are also other special cases where a patient may qualify for a specialized home medical care as discussed below. Only well trained and capable nurses are allowed to take care of these persons.

Medicare Home Nurse in Delray BeachNot everyone qualifies for home health care services, as it should only be recommended by a qualified health practitioner. Medicare health care cover is limited to defined medically diagnosed conditions, and is never a chore worker service. One other important fact that should be noted about Medicare home health care services is that, only a licensed health care agency should provide these services upon prescription by a physician. In addition to this, only a skilled therapist should handle and care for the patient, based on the prescription and condition. The service and care that the beneficiary receives is mainly determined medical coverage and eligibility.

If you have a friend or a family member who needing specialized Medicare services, it is always advisable to search for an accredited and certified home health care agency or center.

Medicare Home Health Care Qualification Factors
1. Age: Aging persons over the age of 65 automatically qualify for a Medicare home health care service. This can be determined if the aging persons has or is admitted in a hospital, and his or her physician recommends it. Nonetheless, the patient should be consulted for this, as well as family members to help find the best solution available. It is after a conclusion has been made that paperwork can be handled.

2. Fatal injuries on limps and other body parts: If anyone has been involved in an accident, his physician may recommend specialized Medicare home health care. Accidents are not a necessity to qualify for this, as some patient may suffer from a declined physical performance.

Other factors include:

1. A doctor’s prescription stating that a patient requires specialized medical care from home. The doctor may personally be the one in charge of all the medical care needed, and will always avail him/herself to the patient’s home.

2. There are patients who need intermitted specialized medical care, and do not necessarily have to be admitted in hospital. These too qualify for Medicare home health care service, which may include physical therapy, pathology services and the like.

3. Homebound patients who will require taxing effort to see a doctor also qualify for this.

Medicare home health care services

The following is a list of services offered by Medicare home healthcare agencies which include specialized nursing and therapy care:

1. Work related therapy
2. Physical and limp therapy
3. Nursing care
4. Medical social home health care aid
5. Speech and swallowing therapy

As long as one is eligible for Medicare services and a doctor recommends them, all the needed services will be availed to you. One important thing you need to understand is that, both home health aide and skilled nursing services are only provisioned in intervals. Nonetheless, if one needs speech, swallowing and other therapy sessions, these do not have to be intermitted and one be taken care of until he or she recovers. Other services provisioned under Medicare cover include Medical equipment, wound care and other approved drugs that may be injected.

Only accredited and approved Medicare health agency professionals give these services. Everyone handling, coordinating or giving orders should be certified and licensed to practice. Records of all services and prescriptions given to the patient should be kept and updated with each visit. There are some Medicare services that can only be given and administered by the physician, who prescribed them, and this is due to their delicate nature, and as a way of making sure everything is handled and done right.

Another important point to note is that home health care agencies must never change or deviate from a doctor’s prescription. If anything needs or has to be changed, it should come directly from the doctor or physician. This can also be done under the doctor’s watch too. With most of these post-treatment services available in nursing homecare centers, many patients prefer being cared for at home that being admitted in hospital. This helps reduce congestion in hospitals, and medical bills related to the same.

Patients who received medical and physical therapies from Medicare home health care professionals heal faster than those admitted in hospitals. It is thus due to this reason and more that patients now prefer home care services where they receive an undivided medical attention.

How To Deal With Someone You Love Who Has Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, is a disease that degenerates the nervous system and slowly destroys one’s ability to think, reason, and remember. People with Alzheimer’s slowly lose their ability to communicate and to perform simple daily tasks. Decision making becomes difficult or impossible. Sometimes their personality or behavior may experience adverse changes. They tend to experience a higher frequency of anxiety and dementia. Those who take care of their loved ones with AD face many challenges. If you are in this situation, read the following suggestions that can help you reduce stress and make the situation easier to deal with.

Learn about how the disease progresses and its different stages

The more you understand about the nature and progression of AD, the more able you are in dealing with the challenges because you will know what to expect. Do some research at your local library or through online resources on the topic. Your community may also have organizations that provide free information and education on AD. The development of Alzheimer’s disease has seven stages, each characterized by common symptoms. By the time the patient receives a definitive diagnosis of AD, it is most likely that the disease has already reached stage four. It will help you to figure out what stage your loved one is at so you can anticipate the symptoms that will surface.

Consult a medical professional for treatment

Doctor and Alzheimer's patientA diagnosis is made by a medical professional with expertise in AD, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, or a primary care physician. Methods commonly used in making the diagnosis include the administration of a MMSE, or Mini Mental State Exam. To rule out that that patient did not suffer a stroke caused by dementia, a CAT or PET scan may also be conducted. Both a stroke caused by dementia and AD result in a loss of mental capacity, but the mental decline in an AD patient is steady, whereas the mental decline in someone suffering from a stroke has more defined steps.

Currently, AD has no cure. However, there are treatments can slow down its progression. This prolongs the patient’s ability to hang on to his cognitive ability. Medications include Aricept, Razadyne, and Exelon, which are cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs can be used at the early stages of AD all the way to the late stages. A glutamate reducer called Namenda can also be used in conjunction with cholinesterase inhibitors during early to late stages of AD.

Make plans ahead of time

When your loved one has been diagnosed with AD, you should start making preparations for what is ahead. This will be an emotionally and financially demanding time for you, so you need to get ready for that. There will come a time when your loved one will need help with basic hygiene and with using the bathroom. Mealtimes should be adjusted to accommodate what he needs. When he exhibits mobility problems, a wheelchair should be purchased.

Make your home safe

Turn your home into a safe environment. Install child safety locks on medicine cabinets and areas that may pose a danger. Electrical appliances should have automatic shut-off capabilities. Grab-bars should be installed in the bathroom. Doors leading to the outside should have secure locks in place to prevent the patient from accidentally wandering off.

Expect changes in behavior and personality

Your loved one will eventually lose his basic ability to perform ordinary tasks. Sleeping patterns will change, which may affect your rest at night. The patient may hallucinate and see you as a stranger or someone hostile. Just remember that you are there to help your loved one live through this disease and not helping a disease. Under any circumstances, treat him with the same respect that you would expect for yourself.

Share memories and laughter

Spend as much time as you can with your loved one reliving those happy and treasured moments in your lives. Even though the patient’s cognitive abilities are declining, you can nourish and make the most of what is left by talking about those precious memories. Even when your loved one cannot recognize you or his best friends anymore, he still has emotions and will enjoy the kindness and love that you will continue to provide. Show him love, create happy moments and make him laugh. That is the best therapy of all.

What You Need to Know About Home Care for the Elderly

One of the many responsibilities that adults have aside from raising their own families is the continued care that they need to provide for their parents.  You and your siblings have probably started discussing about the future of your parents as they grow old.

Eldely woman and daughterShould you send them to assisted living facilities? Should you hire somebody to care for them on a full time basis? There are many options available for your family but your main concern should be the well-being of your parents. At the end of the day, you will have to take into consideration what will ultimately make them happy.

The growing trend in elderly care nowadays is the concept of home care. More and more families have started to believe that home care is the best option for them for the plain reason that this arrangement allows them to be in the safety and comfort of their own homes. In addition to this, many families have found it a lot more affordable as compared to assisted living facilities. If you are currently looking into home care as an option, make sure to explore and research on all the benefits and advantages that you and your entire family can have if you decide on this arrangement.

What is home care all about?

Studies show that home care is now the most preferred arrangement for many senior citizens. There are many types of home care available in your community but the main purpose of this arrangement is to keep families closer together by letting their elderly loved ones age and continue celebrating life right in the comforts of their own home. In home care, your parents will have the assistance of licensed home health aides, certified nursing assistants or caregivers to assist them in their daily functioning. Home care aides work closely with the elderly to help them in bathing, dressing, cooking meals, run errands, and help them with their required medications. Having a home care aide is like having a companion or a friend that will not just help in your parents’ daily functioning but will also provide emotional support.

What are the benefits of home care for the elderly?

1.) Home is where the heart is.

Elderly Woman with family at home

Nothing beats the comfort and familiarity that a person can have from being in the place that holds a lot of happy memories for them. Your parents will truly cherish growing old and happy in the same house where they raised you. You may not be there all the time but simply being at home can ultimately bring them the emotional positivity that they need.

2.) Being at home brings the family closer.

You and your siblings may have moved to different places as you started your own families and thrived in your careers. Knowing that your parents are just right at home makes it easier for you to visit them on a regular basis. For parents, nothing is more important than knowing that they are valued by their children and grand children.

3.) Freedom and Independence.

The one thing that your parents value the most as they age is their independence. Knowing that they are still able to function on their own and that they are still able to handle day-to-day tasks allows them to stay in top shape mentally, physically and emotionally. The home care aide is simply there to assist or to make sure that they have somebody with them in case of medical emergencies.

4.) One-on-one care.

When a home care aide is assigned to your parent’s home you are assured that they are given all the attention and gentle loving care that they need. The aide is trained to give them assistance as it is needed but only up to a point that they are not overbearing so as not to hamper your parent’s feeling of independence. With a home care aide, you are assured that your beloved elder will always have a friend ready to listen to them as well as to give them 100% attention.

5.) Affordability.

The rising cost of assisted living institutions has prompted many families to go for the less expensive home care arrangement. There are many home care agencies that charge less per hour as compared to hiring traditional sitters. As long as you do your research well, you will find a company, a registry, or an agency that will provide you with affordable rates without compromising quality of care.

6.) Comfort and peace of mind.

Knowing that your beloved parents are well taken care of by a professional home care aide gives you the confidence to go about your life without having to worry too much about them. You have a job and a family to take care of yourself so entrusting your parents to quality home care is the best thing that you can give them.

How A Home Care Aide Improves Your Life

Getting older can mean sacrificing many necessities and pleasures in life. However, when you have the help of a home care aide, you can get many of those things back. Avoid the frustrations and feeling helpless around your own home, and discover all the ways a home care aide can improve your life.

Healthier Eating

home care aide with elderly womanPreparing nutritious meals is part of keeping yourself healthy, but that can be difficult as you get older. Also, most people who live by themselves don’t bother to put anything special together, opting instead for quick and easy eating. A home care aide can do the grocery shopping, plan a menu and create appetizing meals that are good for you. Eating well can improve chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, and is an essential aspect of living with diabetes. Enjoy a well balanced diet, with help from a home care aide in your kitchen.

A Cleaner Environment

Germs, dust and mold simply aren’t healthy for anyone, but they can be particularly menacing when you are elderly or in frail health. However; keeping a home spic and span is next to impossible if your mobility and dexterity aren’t what they used to be! Home care aides specialize in spiffing up with TLC, keeping the environment safer and more attractive for you. Heavy duty weekly cleanings are at your service and things like spring cleaning are no longer a dangerous obstacle. You deserve a clean and healthy home, so sit back and let it be taken care of for you.

Personal Assistance

If you are having difficulty providing yourself with the personal attention you need, a home care aid can assist with dignity and diligence. Bathing, brushing and other personal care matters no longer need to be neglected or put you in a compromising position. You can get help navigating the tub and bathroom, and feel safer as you dress and groom with a reliable aide by your side. Talk to them about rearranging your household too, if doing so will mean being able to get around easier and more safely. For example, items could be moved from high up in a medicine cabinet to a convenient folding table placed strategically by your bed or next to the sink. There are also many inventions designed to help when ordinary activities become too laborious. Discuss the possibilities with your home care aide, and see how much more pleasant every day can be.

Getting You Up And About

When you dread, rather than look forward to getting around, it’s easy to become discouraged right out of the enjoyment of life. A home care aide can take you places, from your own backyard to a shopping mall. Getting fresh air and socializing is a big part of healthy living, and simply going for an afternoon drive can do wonders for your spirits. Schedule something fun ahead of time with your aid, so that all the necessities in your home can be taken care of before the two of you venture off. If you’ve been stuck indoors because you have any fear of falling or have simply given up on getting out, discover the possibilities a trusted aid can provide. Go for a trip down memory lane or visit an old friend. Enjoy your favorite entree at the best local eatery, or catch a movie that will simply blow you away.

Taking Care Of Business

Let’s face it: Running your life is complicated and it’s easy to forget about things at any age! Bills, subscriptions, appointments and more are often neglected, simply because we didn’t remember to take care of them. Ask your home care aide to regularly look into the important matters in your life, like calling to confirm a visit to the doctor’s office or making sure you never miss an installment of your favorite show. An easy to follow weekly list could be made up, to ensure that no detail in your life is overlooked. From necessary utility payments to leisurely browsing your favorite periodical, you ought to feel comfortable and competent in your own life and in total command of it!

Home care aides are a wonderful way to avoid a lot of the helplessness and hazards we experience as we age. You owe it to yourself to discover the possibilities and to enjoy all the improvements they can provide.

For people in the Miami area including the surrounding cities in Dade County, Florida, there is a professional home care service that trains, screens (very important) and matches qualified home care aides with older people who need the extra help. Give Jewish Home Care Services of Miami-Dade at (305) 534-5055.

Home Care Aides Can Help With Your Elderly Parent

Managing both one’s family and career can pose problems if the individual has to also care for an aging parent, dealing with a chronic illness. The majority of adult children do not quit their jobs to take care of their elderly parents, and the children do not typically wish to admit their mothers and fathers to nursing homes or facilities providing assisted living services.Hiring what’s called a ‘home care aide’ can oftentimes turn out to be the answer to this problem.

Elderly woman and home care aideThe older person who would prefer to remain in their own home can achieve that goal by employing a caregiver who renders the needed daily assistance.. Depending on the person’s condition, the caregiver can provide services on a part-time or full time schedule, either every day or just a few days a week. Depending on exactly what duties the person needs help with, the caregiver can come and go during the day. The caregiver can help the patient with any prescribed drugs, ascertaining that both the dosage and timing are followed as instructed by their physician. Adult children are able to work and maintain their homes because they know their mothers or fathers are receiving the care they require. Hiring a home care aide provides solutions to various situations.

Many times, the need for assistance will not be permanent, such as with recovery from a heart attack or fall.. Naturally, someone who need assistance while recovering from an injury or other health condition would be much more satisfied with in-home care as opposed to an outside health-care facility. Should symptoms change or worsen, the aide can notify the client’s doctor. Probably the most important benefit of having a home care aid in the house is the human interaction they provide to the client.

Of course, care in the home is also very helpful for anyone suffering from a chronic ailment. The home care aide can also be employed for a portion of the senior’s care, so that while the child still have some care duties, they benefit from some additional hours in the day for their other responsibilities. Caring for a parent can be both time-absorbing and mentally exhausting, so any help provided by an aide can be liberating. Should a task need two people to do it safely, the aide can provide help to the adult child in completing it.

It’s impossible to make a blanket statement, but it’s worth checking to see if private insurance or Medicare pays for home care expenditures. Don’t shortchange the option of researching other possibilities for covering costs such as charitable endowments; investigation may pay off here. This research can end up providing the very best level of care for your relative.

It’s entirely feasible that an adult child can see to the well-being of an aging mother or father, if they obtain the health of a home care aide. Every senior wants to retain a certain measure of independence, and hiring a home care caregiver may provide the best answer for helping the elderly person experience a certain amount of freedom and dignity. A grown child who finds themselves responsible for the care of a parent with a medical condition can reduce their load by bringing in an aide who can provide assistance directly in the home.