Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Dennis Sullivan & Associates

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What You Need to Know About Pet Trust Planning in Massachusetts

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Oct 11, 2019

P42.Sullivan.OctBlog2A pet owner is naturally concerned regarding what will become of his or her pets and their welfare after the owner’s death. Did you know, however, that the owner’s last will and testament can direct who will take possession of owner’s pets at his or her death? The owner’s will or revocable trust can also direct that the owner’s personal representative or trustee to distribute sufficient estate or trust funds to care for and support the pet after the owner’s death until the pets die. 

Unfortunately, without planning for monitoring through a trust agreement, there may be no guarantee that the recipient of this money will actually expend the funds for the support of a deceased person’s pets. When planning for pets, a trust may be the best vehicle. It can be established during the owner’s lifetime to provide funds for the care of a deceased owners’ animals until they subsequently die. This is commonly referred to as a “pet trust.” 

Teddy & Franklin

A pet trust authorized by statute in our state may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is appointed, by a person appointed by the circuit judge in times of conflict. Any person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may want to meet with an estate planning attorney to ensure that the trust is being enforced and that a person who is not performing his or her specified duties can be removed. 

Bear in mind that the property distributed to the pet trust may be applied only for the intended use specified in the terms of the trust. This money is specifically being designated for your pet and should not be given to another person, including the trustee. Determining how you want your money managed and distributed at your death is just one of the reasons why we developed our Unique Self-Guided 19-Point Trust, Estate, & Asset Protection Legal Guide. You may download our tool from our website, or attend a complimentary workshop to lean where problems may exist in your planning as well as opportunities for improvement and how to implement a plan to protect not only your pets but your spouse, home, family, and life savings.

Teddy

 

Tags: family, pets, Estate Planning Recommendations, pet trust

4 Essential Estate Planning Tips Every Baby Boomer Should Know

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Tue, Oct 01, 2019

P42.Sullivan.OctBlog1One of the best ways Baby Boomers can prepare for older age, and help their loved ones after they are gone, is to make sure their estate plans are in order. An estate plan protects and transfers wealth while adhering to tax strategies and other important considerations, the former being of special importance to those of us residing in Massachusetts. A well-designed estate plan can also ensure health care wishes and personal desires are followed. 

Not having a plan, or an up-to-date plan, however, can leave decisions in the hands of others. This could devalue your estate, create unnecessary confusion, result in your loved ones turning to the court for help, and even cause infighting within one’s family. It is one of the reasons why we focus during the month of October, as well as throughout the year, on Estate Planning Awareness Week which promotes the importance of a sound plan through the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

Whether you are revisiting an existing estate plan or crafting an estate plan for the first time, let us share four essential estate planning tips with you right here in this article. 

 

  1. Wills and Trusts. These are the centerpieces of any solid estate plan, regardless of the size of the estate. A last will and testament is put into action at the executor’s death, while a trust agreement can be managed during one’s lifetime. A trust can also limit estate taxes and potential legal challenges. In that regard, the written language of these documents is extremely important and should be discussed with your estate planning attorney.

 

  1. Beneficiary Designations. Retirement plans, annuities, life insurance policies, and other investments, allow for the principal investor to name who he or she wants to inherit his or her investments when at death. This can be a spouse, multiple members of an immediate family, other individuals, or charities and institutions.

 

  1. Durable Power of Attorney. A power of attorney allows a designated person to make financial, legal, and other personal decisions on behalf of another person. A durability provision ensures that the document can still be used even when the creator is incapacitated. 

 

  1. Health Care Directives. Health care directives ensure that there is a selected person to make health care decisions on your behalf. Be sure to consider choosing someone with matching end-of-life views as this person may be called upon to act as you would in this situation. 

 

With so much at stake, do not wait to contact an experienced estate planning attorney for more information on this topic. Don’t wait to ask us your questions or attend one of our upcoming Trust, Estate & Asset Protection Planning workshops to learn about our Unique Process  to help you and your family to enhance the security of your lifestyle, life savings, and legacy.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. If you have specific questions, do not wait to contact us. This only starts our discussion on how to prepare for retirement as a Baby Boomer. We encourage to take the time to review each of our critical guides with the information you need on this as well. Let us answer your questions about your unique retirement needs. 

If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops. The next evening event will be next Thursday October 10th 6:30 PM at the Needham  Council on Aging Center at the Heights 300 Hillside Ave. Needham, MA,  Please call 800-964-4295 and register to discover  more about what you can do to Protect your Home, Spouse, Family and Life Savings. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $1,500 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)

Tags: Estate Planning, Baby Boomers, Estate Planning Recommendations, boomers

THE RETIREMENT CHECKLIST EVERY BABY BOOMER NEEDS

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Mon, Sep 16, 2019

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Did you know that an income and expense retirement checklist is considered vital? This is because, typically, there are no “do-overs” when it comes to your retirement. For example, it may be difficult to regain your present income after age 50 by switching employers or to then regain the value of your collapsed portfolio. 

Accordingly, it is important to begin planning for retirement as soon as possible regardless of your age. Once you have started planning, we encourage you to revisit your retirement checklist at least every year to make any necessary adjustments. This includes budgeting for a catastrophic change in your spouse’s or a child’s health condition giving rise to the cost of long-term care expenses.  

Presently, you may live on a fixed budget whereby your monthly expenses do not exceed your current income. It is advisable that you take your present budget and make it into a retirement budget by simply projecting the income that may decline and the expenses that could increase in the year you plan to retire. It is also important to budget for future projected expenses that you do not presently incur. 

How do you plan forward for this occurrence? At the top of your retirement checklist, you need to think about your budget. In addition to your regular monthly budget, let us share a few items you need on your retirement checklist as you consider your future retirement expenses.

  1. Tax Withholding. What will be your net annual retirement income and your annual net required minimum distribution from your IRA’s or other retirement income? It is important that you remember that 20% of your annual retirement income will be withheld for taxes by your plan administrator. Your experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine the withholding or required minimum distribution. You may also want to learn more in our report, Using Individual Retirement Accounts for Estate Planning.
  2. Long-Term Care Expenses. Unfortunately, the cost of nursing home or assisted-living expenses can potentially deplete all of your savings. Long-term care insurance can pay for and help eliminate this financial catastrophe. However, not all long-term insurance policies are alike. It is important that your attorney study the terms of this policy with you to insure that you and your spouse receive the best coverage for what you can afford. You can learn more about your insurance policies and how to best prepare for long-term care in our report, How to Set the Stage for Your Medicaid Eligibility. 
  3. Children’s Expenses During Your Retirement. Do your children reside in another state? If so, they may incur considerable travel and lodging expenses as they attend to your personal care needs on what could be many trips to your home. Likewise, do you intend for your children to expend their personal funds for the actual cost and for their families’ travel to you and your spouse’s burial and cremation services? It is important that your attorney advise you as to his or her experience as to these costs. Your attorney can also help you determine the best method for your escrowing these costs from your savings account that you have earmarked “In Trust For” or “Paid on Death” for your child’s out-of-pocket costs or reimbursement of these family expenses. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. If you have specific questions, do not wait to contact us. This only starts our discussion on how to prepare for retirement as a Baby Boomer. We encourage to take the time to review each of our critical guides with the information you need on this as well. Let us answer your questions about your unique retirement needs. 

If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $900 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)

Tags: Retirement, Estate Planning, retirement plans

ESTATE PLANNING AND NURSING HOME PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS WHEN YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING RETIREMENT

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sun, Sep 15, 2019

When it comes to your retirement, there are a number of important steps to take and questions to consider to help ensure that you can retire comfortably. For example, when was the last time you reviewed your estate plan and determined whether it still conforms to your goals and needs? Have you thought about your long-term care plans?

Older Americans are living longer now than ever before. As a result, people are finding themselves unprepared for the next stage of their life, both emotionally and financially. To help ease some of your worries, let us share with you a few estate planning and nursing home planning considerations when you are contemplating retirement.

Estate Planning

When contemplating retirement, do you have the answers to the following questions? What will you do in a crisis?

Have you named a decision maker who is able to act for you? It is important to ensure that your agent under your durable power of attorney not only has the ability to make long-term care decisions for you but can also engage in the planning you may need.

One of the primary benefits of setting up an estate plan is the privacy and protection for your assets it provides. Unfortunately, if you pass without leaving any planning

protections in place, your estate will be subject to probate proceedings. As a result, information about your assets will be considered a matter of public record and anyone who would like access to that information can easily obtain it.

Long-Term Care

Did you know that research tells us that only around thirteen percent of all seniors are prepared for a future that could include the need for long-term care outside the home? We cannot stress enough the importance of planning ahead and learning about your options early. Research what long-term care costs in your community, talk to your primary care physician about your future, and discuss your plans with your family.

Further, once you have your goals in mind, talk to your experienced elder law attorney. He or she can help you create a plan that meets your needs. This can be accomplished long before you require long-term care. As a result, you will have access to many more planning options that best fit your needs. We know that preparing for the next stage of your life can be overwhelming. Remember, we are here to help guide you through each step and can help you evaluate the best

planning options for you and your family. If you are ready to discuss your planning needs, do not wait to contact our office.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $900 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)

Tags: Retirement, Estate Planning, retirement plans

Ways to Give Back This September 11th

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, Sep 12, 2019

P42.Sullivan.SepBlog1

This September 11th marked the 18 year anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks that shocked the nation. Throughout the years since the attacks, many initiatives have been created to support survivors and the families of victims. As we think about the victims of the September 11th attacks, however, do not forget to include charitable planning in your estate plan. To help you accomplish this, let us share with you a few tips to giving back to survivors and the families of victims through charitable planning.

  1. What is the significance of September 11th?

Eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four United States commercial airplanes heading for the west coast. Two of the airplanes were intentionally flown into the north and south towers of the World Trade Centers in New York City, one airplane was flown into the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., and one crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As a result, almost 3,000 people perished, and devastation was, and still is, felt around the world

  1. What is charitable planning?

Charitable planning is an effective way to support an important cause or charitable organization. This can be accomplished by making annual or periodic gifts throughout your lifetime. Charitable planning also provides you an opportunity to look ahead to a time when you may not be able to make charitable gifts yourself. Accordingly, you can leave a gift for a charity through your estate planning.

  1. Can I leave money without a plan?

While it is possible for you to leave money to a charitable organization without a plan, this is generally not advised. To help ensure that your gift is distributed accurately, it is important to set our clear instructions within your estate plan as to where the gift is going and how it will be distributed. This can be a somewhat complicated process, which is why we encourage you to consult with an experienced, local estate planning attorney who understands your specific needs and can help you accomplish your goals.

These are just a few of the ways that you can give back to September 11th victims and their families. Do you need more ideas? Do you have your own ideas that you would like to share with us? Do not wait to contact us. Further, if you are ready to include charitable planning in your estate plan, we encourage you to reach out to us to schedule an appointment. 

 

 

Tags: Charitable Giving, charitable

IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR COLLEGE OR THE WORLD?

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Aug 02, 2019

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Congratulations!!! Your child is getting ready to college. It is an exciting time in your and your child’s life as they get ready to venture on their own. It is really important to prepare for eventualities.

Health Insurance Coverage – Is that enough?

With Affordable Car Act young adults can be on the parent’s health insurance plan till they are 26 years old. You may have health insurance coverage for your child through your plan but that is not enough. As they venture on their own, they need some additional estate planning documents to protect them.

You might wonder, " Why would a child need an estate plan? Estate planning is only for older people with substantial assets." But remember your child is an adult when he/she becomes 18 in Massachusetts and in case of disability due to illness or accident, they need someone else to make decisions for them in case of emergency.  Once a child becomes 18 and is considered legally an adult you may not be able to access your child’s financial, educational and medical information in an emergency.

If your child has not set up all the required documents giving you authority, you may be forced into a completely preventable court conservatorship and experience delays in making those critical decisions. This does not even take into consideration paperwork, attorney fees and court costs.

This may waste valuable time at a critical point in healthcare decision process. There is a simple way to avoid these headaches. Get some of these important documents ready before your child goes off to college.

Important documents that are required are:

  1. HIPPA release document
  2. Healthcare Proxy
  3. Durable General Power of Attorney

HIPPA release document

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This and a corresponding Massachusetts law limits access to an adult's private health information, even by a parent or other close relative. A HIPAA Authorization document provides a waiver for this confidentiality and allows a parent (or other appointed person) access to the young adult's hospital admission information and medical records. It also gives permission to speak with medical professionals regarding the person's condition and medical treatment recommendations. Believe it or not without this document you may not even be notified when you child is hospitalized in even of an emergency.

Health Care Proxy – Advanced health care directive – Your healthcare proxy  is a legal document that permits the parent (or other appointed person) to make medical decisions if your child is not in a position to make their own decisions - - everything from immediate lifesaving treatment, to operations, transfusions, rehab treatment, all the way to the decision about long-term life sustaining treatment like tube-feeding and hydration. Children and/or grandchildren (and often their parents) rarely think they'll ever become so disabled by illness or accident, but they could. In a moment of crisis this access to health professionals is vital for all those trying to help.

The above documents address child's medical related matters, but there might be financial or educational matters which may need to be taken care of if the child becomes disabled due to illness or accident?

Durable Power of Attorney

This is why, a Durable Power of Attorney is essential. It empowers the child's parent (or other appointed person) to handle immediately, without going to Court, important matters such as; accessing bank accounts and credit cards; paying bills; accessing online accounts (including online banking); entering contracts with third parties (including with an attorney, if legal representation is necessary); and obtaining educational records. This is especially important in case of an accident and when you need legal representation and your child can not make those decisions.

With 25 + years of experience in estate planning and Elder law, we have seen a lot. Because of this, we provide valuable guidance and direction for you and your family not only getting the appropriate documents ready for you and your family, but also serving as a guide for you all for the next month, semester and chapter in your lives. In order to help you and your family, friends and neighbors,we even provide free reports, books and videos at www.DSullivan.com. If it is helpful you can even attend  free workshops provided every month with your choice of day, evening and Saturday morning times and locations. Call now 800-964-4295. If you can not join us live, but would like our help, we have a few complimentary DVDs of prior events which may help you learn what you need to know. Call for your complimentary copy today while we still have a few left.

Your family matters! We help you achieve and maintain the peace of mind you deserve now and in the years ahead.

At Estate Planning and Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan and Associates we understand how important this is for your family and even provide a  complementary benefit for all members of Lifetime Protection Plan. If your child(or grandchild) is 18 years old,living at home, we will work with you and your child to get these documents ready so that your child and you are protected. Even if you are not a member of Lifetime Protection Plan, we will still help you get ready when your child is ready to go to college for a nominal fee because we believe it is vital to protect you and your family.

Contact us today at 800.964.4295 for more information or to register for the estate planning workshops. Visit our website at DSullivan.com.

Tags: college planning, healthcare proxy, HIPPA release

Estate Planning Tips for Your Aging Parents

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sun, Jul 28, 2019

P42.Sullivan.JulyBlog2 (1)As a child, you are likely accustomed to your parents protecting and shielding you from difficult situations. Unfortunately as you age, however, there will come a time when your parents are no longer here and it is important to plan ahead for that time as a family unit. One important step in accomplishing this is to discuss estate planning with your aging parents. To help you begin this difficult conversation, we want to share with you a few estate planning tips for your aging parents.

The first step is to discuss the needs of your aging parents and provide them with an opportunity to discuss their goals and concerns. Talking about finances, illnesses, and even death can be emotionally taxing. Ensure your aging parents that this conversation is in everyone’s best interest and is simply to ensure that all the necessary people are on the same page. It is important to approach this topic with sensitivity and to allow your parents time to express concerns, voice their opinions, and ask questions.

Second, it is important to discuss any pre-existing estate planning documents or long-term care plans your parents may already have. We encourage you to ask your parents whether they have created a will or trust, health care documents, or a durable power of attorney. If they have not created any of these documents yet, you may wish to make a plan as a family as to how you will proceed with creating the documents and the types of planning documents you need. Further, it is crucial that you ask your parents what their own wishes are for their long-term care planning. What are their goals? How can you help your parents accomplish those goals? Addressing these questions now will likely make it easier in the event of illness or incapacity.

Above all, encourage your parents to discuss their specific goals and needs with an experienced estate planning attorney who is familiar with the laws in their state. There are many different estate planning options available, some of which may fit your parent’s needs better than others. An estate planning attorney can present appropriate planning options, answer your parent’s questions, and propose strategies to help create your aging parents’ legacy.

We know this can be a particularly challenging conversation to have with your aging parents. Being proactive in creating an estate plan, however, is one of the most effective ways at providing both you and your aging parents with peace of mind. If you or your parents are ready to discuss your parent’s estate planning needs, do not wait to contact our office to set up an appointment.

Tags: Estate Planning, family, children

5 Tips to Keep Mom and Dad Safe During the Summer Months

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Mon, Jul 01, 2019

P42.Sullivan.JulyBlog1For millions of Americans, summertime is synonymous with outside activities: trips to the beach, visiting parks, and backyard barbecues. Did you know with rising summer temperatures, however, senior adults face elevated risks of heat-related health issues? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main reasons why:

 

  1. Older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  2. Seniors are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that change normal body responses to heat.
  3. Aging adults are more likely to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.

 

With this in mind, let us proactively share five tips for helping aging parents beat the heat this summer.

 

  1. Keep Them Cool. Staying cool doesn’t just mean staying inside in air conditioned spaces. It also means planning wisely. Rather than risk sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day, schedule appointments and outside excursions for early mornings or late evenings.

 

  1. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration. Consuming ample fluids is one of the best things seniors can do during the summer. Hotter temperatures cause sweating, and Older Americans may already have a reduced capacity to conserve water. Make sure senior loved ones are drinking water even if they don’t feel thirsty and help them plan to pack a water bottle when they leave the house during the summer months.

 

  1. Dress for Success. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothes can help keep intense sunlight from damaging skin and keep the body cool. Hats that shade head and neck areas are also important, as is proper footwear. Sandals and flip-flops may be enticing, but use caution as they can also present tripping hazards.

 

  1. Plan Inside Activities. There are plenty of rewarding indoor activities that won’t leave senior parents feeling like they’re missing out on summer fun. Museums, movies, libraries, theaters, and musical performances, are just a few exciting, and air conditioned, adventures.

 

  1. Check on Them Regularly. It’s always a good idea to check-in on aging parents, but all the more so during hot summer months. Make sure their living spaces are cool, and monitor their exposure to sunlight and heat. When possible, schedule a standing time to check-in during the week.

 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. There is never a wrong time to get the help your aging parents or you may need. We encourage you to reach out to us and schedule an appointment to ask your elder care questions. Whether it is this summer or throughout the year, we are here to help.

For more information on how to help your family attend one of our free Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Workshops

 

Tags: in-home care, Estate Planning, family, Summer

6 tips you and your loved ones need on how to plan forward to afford long-term care outside the home

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Jun 28, 2019

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None of us want to consider leaving our family home. This holds especially true as we consider the potential need to leave the home in order to secure the long-term care support we need as we age. Unfortunately, this is a reality that more and more Massachusetts seniors are facing. In fact, research tells us that over fifty percent of the seniors who turn 65 this year will need long-term care support during their lifetime.

We know this can be a difficult topic for you and your loved ones to discuss. When we begin to talk about long-term care needs, either immediately or in the future, the discussion raises a number of questions. We want to help you plan forward for this potential cost of care outside the home by sharing six tips you may not have yet considered. These are the same tips that we
tell our clients, friends, and family, as well as the professionals we work with on a daily basis.

1. Learn your options early. Not all long-term care is the same. Learn now, before you need it, what levels of care are as well as what is available in our local community.
2. Talk to your doctor about your future. Although none of us want to need long-term care in the future, it could become a reality for you and your loved ones. Discuss your options early with your primary doctor or specialists to determine if there is a type of care you are more likely to need in the future.
3. Update your estate planning. What will you do in a crisis? Have you named a decision maker who is able to act for you? Do not forget to ensure that your agent under your durable power of attorney not only has the ability to make long-term care decisions for you but can also engage in the planning you may need.
4. Learn what care costs in your community. Long-term care costs different amounts based on what you need. For example, in Massachusetts, the state average for an assisted living facility was $5,495 per month, while a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility cost $12,015; BUT in MetroWest Boston the prices are much higher, with assisted living facilities ranging costing upwards of $9,000 per month and nursing home rooms running $16,000 per month and higher.You can learn more about these average costs and learn more about your area in the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
5. Discuss your choices with your family. Do not leave your family in a position where they need to wonder about what you want for the future. Talk to them while you can about what you want for yourself.
6. Talk to your attorney and develop a plan. Your elder law attorney is uniquely positioned to be able to assist you in creating a plan that meets your needs. This can be done well in advance of a health care crisis, or during that crisis. What many do not realize, however, is that there are more options available when you choose to plan forward and not wait until an emergency.

We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. Discussing a future that may include the need for long-term care is never easy. We encourage you not to wait to contact us to schedule a meeting. For more information, you may also download a free preview of our book, Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty Reveals Little Known Secrets Seniors & Boomers Can Use to Save Hundreds of Thousands on Long-Term Care.

 

Tags: Nursing Home Costs, long term care

Tips to Prevent Elder Abuse in Honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sat, Jun 08, 2019

 

Did you know that elder abuse impacts millions of Americans every year, and millions more across the globe? It is a reprehensible problem, and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Especially as our senior populations continue to grow both in Massachusetts and across the United States, and as life-expectancy rates increase, incidents of elder abuse can only be expected to rise.

One of the best ways to fight the growing epidemic, is to educate the public about the reality of elder abuse together with the risk factors and causes, and ways to prevent it. This is exactly what business like ours, governments, human rights organizations and many professionals are doing in association with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, let us share a list of tips with you to help prevent elder abuse from harming a loved one in your life right here in our blog:

 Educate senior members about elder abuse and make sure they know to report it immediately.

 If an aging loved one suffers from dementia or is unable to speak up for themselves, then actively pay close attention to signs of abuse and neglect.

  • Keep senior family members engaged in community activities and social groups. This can decrease isolation, and reduce their vulnerability to abuse.
  • Make sure an elder family member has a phone, or a way to communicate promptly.
  • Older Americans should not give out personal information on the internet or over the phone.
  • Obtaining a durable power of attorney allows for a trusted person, like an adult child, to make important decisions on the elder person’s behalf even when they are ill.
  • Know your rights. If an aging loved one lives in a nursing home, he or she has every right to contact a Long Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is the advocate and has the power to intervene.

If you suspect an elder loved one is the victim of abuse, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual harm, in addition to neglect and financial exploitation, do not wait to report it. You can click this link to learn how to report abuse in Massachusetts. We can only stop the epidemic of elder abuse by making an effort together to stop it. Do not wait to contact us with your questions on this or any elder care issues.

To learn more about Elder Law, Estate Planning and elder care issues attend one of our free discovery sessions. 

Tags: Elder Law, elder care journey, elder care, elder abuse

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