Vincent, Romeo & Rodriguez, LLC
Denver Metro Office 303-500-5859
Boulder County Office 303-720-7260

Denver Elder Law Blog

Know the warming signs of elder financial abuse

Discovering that an elderly loved one is being financially abused sometimes does not occur until it is too late. The abuser has already done significant damage, stealing possessions and cleaning out bank accounts.

Findings by a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) study revealed:

Can pets be part of an estate plan?

Pets have evolved from loyal companions to “furry children.” More and more owners consider them as actual members of their family. Over the past few years, divorce laws incorporated “pet custody” into marital dissolution agreements.

Estate planning is also providing unique legal status to family pets to ensure that they receive the care they deserve should anything happen to their owners.

The growing need to protect a growing senior population

The population of older, wealthier people continues to increase. That growth coincides with people looking to exploit the vulnerabilities that come with advanced age. Yet, financial exploitation continues to be overlooked and unreported. The problem is only getting worse with a national government lacking a formal system for complaints and much-needed interventions.

This treacherous form of abuse is a hot-button topic at state capitals throughout the country. In 2016, 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico debated legislation regarding the illegal or improper use of seniors’ assets and fraud that targets older people.

Debts and the estate

When a person in Colorado dies, heirs may discover that the bills do not stop coming in. It is not typically the responsibility of the beneficiaries of the estate to pay the leftover debts out of their own pockets after the parent’s death. However, that does not mean the debt disappears, and it could still significantly affect the outcome of the inheritance.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is the job of the executor of the will to pay off unsecured debts using the assets of the estate. This is part of the probate process, and has to be taken care of before beneficiaries receive their portion. Creditors are not allowed to speak of the debt to anyone but the executor or another authorized person. Typically, it is only children who are cosigners on a parent’s account who become personally responsible for the debt.

Understanding the Medicaid look back period

When you are preparing your long-term health care plan in Colorado, the Medicaid look back period may present an obstacle. While some people never need to worry about it, there are many that do. We at Vincent, Romeo and Rodriguez want you to be ready for anything so we make sure to educate our clients about this confusing topic.

 

How can you safeguard your nest egg against inflation?

For years you have likely heard financial forecasters in Boulder and throughout the rest of the U.S. warning you of the need to start your financial planning now in order to cover your costs of living once you retire. Hopefully you have heeded that advice and begun to do so. Yet as you begin to plan your retirement savings, there is one factor that you will want to consider: the impact of inflation.

You can see the tangible results of inflation every time you go the gas station and pay in excess of $3.00 for a gallon of gas that may have cost only $1.25 20 years ago. Today, it is only an annoyance that you are able to deal with because whatever salary you earn typically increases along with the cost of living. However, what happens when you begin to draw on your nest egg? According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator, the current rate of inflation in the U.S. at the end of February 2017 was 2.7 percent. If that rate were to maintain that average for the next 30 years, then you might realistically needed to bring in an income up to three times that of what you’re currently making in order to maintain the same standard of living.

Phone scams aimed at taking advantage of the elderly

Older individuals want to maintain their autonomy for as long as they can. This is understandable; we all want to have the freedom to do things we want and spend our money as we see fit. But unfortunately, as we age, we may become too trusting and there are those who prey on that trust for personal gain.

What are some signs of nursing home neglect?

If you have a loved one in a Colorado nursing home, you no doubt want only what’s best for this person. While many nursing homes go above and beyond in terms of the care afforded, in some cases abuse and neglect are sadly present. To this end, it’s crucial that you can identify some of the more common signs of neglect to ensure your beloved relative is being treated with kindness and compassion.

NextAvenue.org urges people with family in nursing homes to be on the lookout for a few signs indicating that care is not optimum. Injuries like bruises and lacerations without seeming explanation can point to a serious issue. Even if abuse is not a factor, nursing home staff may be simply neglecting the needs of elderly patients with mobility issues. This can easily lead to falls and other occurrences which can turn tragic without immediate intervention.

When a senior needs a guardian

There may come a day when you realize that your elderly mother cannot make important decisions by herself. In these circumstances, it may be in her best interests to have a guardian. At Vincent, Romeo and Rodriguez, LLC, we understand that sometimes it is difficult to know when you should make these decisions for your mother.

As she ages, there are many decisions your mother needs to make about her finances and health. The National Caregivers Library says that asking a few simple questions can tell you how much she understands about these choices. Ask her if she understands all of her options and why they are necessary. It is also important for your mother to know the impact of a decision. If she does not understand why she needs to make choices about her health or finances, it might be time to make these decisions for her. Becoming her guardian may be especially important if your mother has dementia or suffered a stroke.

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