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Older Drivers

Are you worried about a loved one driving? Have you noticed dents in the car or scrapes across the side? Nobody wants to give up the key’s, but when it starts to become a safety factor doing the right things can be difficult.  Especially once a loved one has dementia or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is when you need to start taking action.  Click below to read our tips on driving safety and stop by our office Monday – Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm to get more information on driving safety as well as other topics pertaining to aging loved ones.

Alzheimers_Caregiving_Tips_Driving_Safety

 

 

Elder Law Attorneys vs. General Practitioners or Estate Planning Attorneys

What better time of year to talk about how Elder Law Attorneys are different from General Practitioners or even Estate Planning Attorneys!

In the State of Missouri, attorneys are not allowed to say they “specialize” in certain areas of the law. We are allowed to say we “focus” on certain things. Whether you call it specializing or focusing, it comes down to the same thing; everyone can’t know everything about every aspect of the law!   Doctors figured out a long time ago that they needed to “specialize”.  Our bodies are too complex for a single person to be an expert in every area of the human anatomy. The practice of law has become the same way.

Elder Care Attorneys first focus on the question, “What if you don’t die, but get sick and need care?” Then, like Estate Planning Attorneys, we want to make sure your assets pass efficiently and as tax free as possible after you pass. We have a great deal of experience and knowledge in the areas of Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, and end of life issues.

In the State of Missouri, your Durable Power of Attorney for finances needs to be powerful and flexible. The state law says that if you want to give someone the ability to handle your life insurance, for example, then you must specifically list that ability (or power) in the document. If the power isn’t in the document, the state assumes you don’t want someone to handle life insurance for you! That can become a very big deal if you or a loved one needs to go into a skilled nursing facility (nursing home.)

If you or a loved one need skilled nursing care (a nursing home), and you have a life insurance policy with more than $1,500 in cash value, the state will   either count it as part of the limited assets your spouse can keep, or if you are single, they will make you cash it in and spend it on your nursing home care. If someone doesn’t have the ability to handle your life insurance in the Durable Power of Attorney, then your family will be required to go to Probate Court to set up a Conservatorship to be able to cash in your life insurance.

Conservatorship are EXTREMELY expensive. The Probate Court is in absolute control of your finances. The Court may appoint someone other than who you would have chosen to handle your affairs (perhaps even another attorney!). The Conservatorship lasts a person’s lifetime with ongoing legal expenses!

The average Durable Power of Attorney people bring in for us to review (for free!) is typically four to eight pages long. Our Durable Power of Attorney is over TWENTY PAGES in length! Why? Because YOU want to make sure that whatever life throws at you, the person YOU appoint has the ability to handle it without the expense and hassle of going through the Probate Court.

When was the last time you had YOUR Durable Power of Attorney reviewed?

If it is over five years old, call our office at 636-394-0009 to have it reviewed for FREE!

 

Vouga Elder Law’s Resource Center

Our Resource Center has informBookcase November 2013ation on all aspects of elder care, Veterans Benefits, special needs planning, and estate planning.  In addition, there is information on Alzheimer’s Disease,  Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis, as well as general information for seniors, adult children and their loved ones.  Our Resource Center is available during business hours from 8:30 a.m.—5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We will be conducting monthly workshops on legal issues on the above topics.  As well as, hosting and co-hosting events with our friends in the elder care community.

Some of our publications include:

  • Caregiver information for a spouse, adult children and family members
  • Dementia
  • Elder LawHanging Wall November 2013
  • End of Life/Death
  • Estate Recovery
  • Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest and Stroke
  • Hospice
  • Long Term Care
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • Safety at Home
  • Senior Driving
  • Senior Exercise and Staying Active
  • Senior Health
  • Senior Housing
  • Staying at Home

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Caregiver Apps to Keep You on Track: MobiCare

Do you ever wonder what we did before iPads and smartphones?  We’ve come to rely on our electronic gadgets so much that it’s difficult to remember life without them! These days, there’s an app for just about everything, and that includes helping caregivers stay organized.

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