Planning for Life

Deaths in Nursing Homes: How We Let Down Our Older Citizens

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 6, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis

nursing-home-elder-care-attorney-Wellesley-MA-02481

In a recent Spotlight Team article, The Boston Globe reports how, at the beginning of the pandemic, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker neglected nursing homes, their residents and their staff members, providing them with fewer tests, less protective equipment (PPE), and little assistance as compared to richer and more influential Boston-based hospitals. The result is that Massachusetts has the worst death rate among seniors in the nation, accounting for two thirds of all coronavirus deaths in the state.

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Topics: nursing homes, seniors

AskHarry Podcast Episode 1: Planning Steps Seniors Can Take for their Protection

Posted by Estey Masten on September 24, 2020

estate-planning-steps-seniors-podcast-Wellesley-MA-02481

Welcome Larry Frolik to the AskHarry podcast

The first episode of the AskHarry podcast features retired University of Pittsburg Law School Professor Larry Frolik, who sets the stage for Baby Boomers who may be starting to wonder about how to best plan for the next few decades of their lives. How can seniors set themselves and their families up for stress-free golden years?

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Topics: baby boomers, incapacity, seniors, durable power of attorney, Older Americans, HIPAA release

Senior Tax Breaks: Boon or Ticking Bomb?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 23, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis
tax-break-for-seniors-real-estate-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

As in many states, towns in Massachusetts may allow low-income seniors to defer real estate taxes until their homes are sold or after they die. The towns may charge interest of up to 8% interest on these unpaid taxes, which can compound year after year. While some towns that offer this benefit charge no or low interest, three out of four charge the maximum of 8% per year. This can be a big surprise when the children ultimately inherits property that has been gutted in value.

That happened in a case reported in 2018 in The Boston Globe.

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Topics: seniors, housing policy ,, real estate, senior tax deferral

Managing Risk for Unpredictable Events

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 27, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

At a recent conference of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, I spent some time catching up with my old friend and colleague, Paul Sturgul.Paul-Picture-225x300.jpg Paul practices in a very different part of the country from me—in Hurley, Wisconsin, as opposed to Boston's Back Bay. Hurley, which has just over 1,500 residents, is about 100 miles east of Duluth, Minnesota, near the southern shores of Lake Superior. (If you think we've been having a long winter, the average high temperature in Hurley in March is 25 degrees and the average low is 15.)

5536525_WI_Hurley.pngWhile Paul has to drive a lot further to see his clients (he has a second office in Ashland, 38 miles from Hurley), what we do for our clients is surprisingly similar. Here's how Paul describes the essence of elder law:

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Topics: seniors, elder law

Demented Patient Liable for Injuries He Causes

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 15, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

dementia-hospital-injury-court-case-Wellesley-MA

In Mary Ellen Gioia v. Richard D. and Ann L. Ratner, the Essex County superior court in Massachusetts refuses to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a registered nurse who claims she was injured by a patient in her care. She brought the suit against the patient, Richard Ratner, and his wife and health care agent, Ann Ratner. Judge Diane M. Kottmyer rules that the suit against Mr. Ratner can move forward but dismisses the claim against his wife.

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Topics: caregiving, dementia, incapacity, seniors, deficit, hospital care, elder law

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