Planning for Life

Harry S. Margolis

Find me on:

Recent Posts

Why Didn't Aretha Have a Will?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 18, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

iStock-486812383

Aretha Franklin was a star and a wise businesswoman. According to her obituary, she demanded payment up front before she performed. She is reported to have died with an estate worth $80 million.

Yet, she had no estate plan. When one of my clients sent me an email asking me why, I turned the question back to her and she responded:

I think that she has some shady lawyers, accountants, and other random business people around her who did not serve her well.

Read More

Topics: Estate Planning, will

If You Live Part of the Year Out-of-State, Do You Need Estate Planning Documents for that State Too?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 4, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

 Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 12.03.45 PM

If you spend the summer in New Hampshire, or somewhere else cool, or the winter in Florida, or somewhere else warm, do you need separate estate planning documents for each state?

Legally, no. Practically, perhaps.

Read More

Topics: durable power of attorney, will, health care proxy

Why You Don't Need to Review Your Estate Plan Every Five Years (Unless You're Over 60)

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 31, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

How often should you review your estate plan? The answer, like that to many other legal questions, is it depends. It depends on how old you are and whether there has been a significant change in your circumstances. If you are over age 60, you should review your plan every five years or so. But if you're younger, you don't need to do so nearly as often.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 9.41.29 AM

Age

Here are a few age ranges and what they mean in terms of estate planning:

Read More

Topics: Estate Planning, estate taxes

Why Would Anyone Do Estate Planning? A Lot of Bang for the Buck

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 24, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 12.43.15 PM

Why would anyone want to partake in estate planning? It takes time. You have to deal with lawyers. And to talk about your death or disability. It may bring up contentious issues with a spouse or children. It's not urgent, since nothing is likely to happen to you tomorrow, or even in the next few years. It costs money.

So, why should you take time out of your busy life to commit to estate planning? The answer is that there are few other simple steps you can take that will could have as great an impact on your family's welfare. The cost-benefit trade off is tremendous.

Read More

Topics: durable power of attorney, will, HIPAA release, health care proxy, revocable trust

New Organization Supports Caring Policy and Documentary

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 17, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

A relatively new grassroots organization, Caring Across Generations, is working to change public policy to support people caring for people with disabilities of all ages. It is a coalition of over 200 other organizations. Its co-directors are Sarita Gupta,Sarita Gupta executive director of Jobs with Justice, and Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and a MacArthur Award winner.

The organization's goal is "to bring our caregiving infrastructure into the 21st century, so everyone can age and care with dignity." It focuses its work in three areas: access to care, support for families and better care jobs. It argues without these changes we will not be able to meet the care needs of our aging population except through increased institutionalization.

Read More

Topics: caregiving, elder care

New End-of-Life Resource in Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 10, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

iStock-675091402

A new website offers information and resources for individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges. It is designed as both a destination itself with answers to questions about end-of-life topics and as a directory of services in the community. The website, www.endwithcare.org, grew out of the work of the Massachusetts Commission on End of Life Care and the Massachusetts Experts Panel on End of Life Care, which in 2014 came out with the report, Looking Forward: 2014 and Beyond

Read More

Topics: end-of-life, caregiving, health-care decision making, Caregivers

MassHealth Held to Violate Notice Requirements in Trust Cases

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 3, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

iStock-867667900

In the combined cases of Jean Maas v. Mary Lou Sudders (Suffolk CA No. 18-129-D) and Henry Hirvi and Eva Hirvi v. Mary Lou Sudders (Suffolk CA No. 18-845-D), Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins finds that in denying applications for MassHealth benefits in cases involving trusts, MassHealth fails to satisfy the requirements of federal regulation 42 C.F.R. sec. 431.210 (b) that it explain the reasons for the denial.

Read More

Topics: trusts, long-term care planning, MassHealth

USEFUL TOOL: Pre-Guardianship Checklist

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 26, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

Guardianship and conservatorship, court appointments to make health care, financial and legal decisions for incapacitated individuals should be the last resorts, but too often are the first response when someone with a disability reaches the age of majority or an older person begins showing signs of cognitive decline. 1463572619200

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging has created both a legal guide and a checklist to assist attorneys in determining whether guardianship or conservatorship are appropriate in particular situations, but they are just as useful for non-attorneys making the same determination.

Read More

Topics: guardianship

Caregivers Overwhelmed, Survey Reports

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 19, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

iStock-647721906-1

The results of an on-line survey released by The Arc and the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration reports caregivers are overwhelmed by the demands of caring for loved ones. The Family & Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Community Report is a bit skewed statistically both due to its on-line nature and its sponsorship by a disability, rather than an elder care organization, but its results are still quite instructive, if not surprising.

Stress on Caregivers

Here are some of the Report's findings:

Read More

Topics: family caregiving, disability, Caregivers

John Oliver Explains Guardianship

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 5, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

John Oliver on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Sunday night provided a scary and funny explanation of how guardianship works, ending with a public service announcement by William Shatner, Lily Tomlin and others explaining steps you can take to avoid the guardianship.

 

 

Read More

Topics: long-term care planning, guardianship, family caregiving, elder law, elder care, healthcare

Subscribe to New Blog Posts

Recent Posts

Most Popular Posts

Posts by Topic

see all