Is There an Increased Chance of Elder Abuse for Florida Seniors with Dementia?

Today, one in ten Americans has dementia. Dementia “is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, but there are many kinds.” This is a growing epidemic as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that the number of people with dementia will triple by 2050.

While you may be familiar with the idea of dementia as an illness impacting Florida seniors, you may not realize the correlation between elder abuse and dementia. Dementia patients are at an increased risk of elder abuse in large part due to the disease they are facing. These symptoms can include, but not be limited to, decreased cognition, a lessened ability to communicate, and diminished ability to use reason and judgment. Unfortunately, this can make them prime victims for abusers.

There is a pattern in intentional abusers to find and isolate seniors who are afflicted with memory loss. While these abusers may be strangers initially to the senior, they work to make themselves integral to the senior on a daily basis before the abuse begins. Seniors, especially with dementia, are often isolated from family and need an increasing amount of assistance over time with activities of daily living such as preparing meals, cleaning, and walking. Scammers who would harm a person know this and strategically place themselves in a position of dependence with the senior.

Not all abuse, however, is intentional. It may be easier to work to prevent intentional elder abuse than unintentional. This factor must be considered and understood when planning on how to proactively help Florida seniors with this diagnosis. Signs of unintentional abuse may include:

-Frustration on behalf of unprepared and overworked caregivers
-Anger and outbursts manifesting from the newly diagnosed senior
-Retaliation for the sudden aggressive behavior from the senior
-Refusal of assistance on both sides of the caregiving equation

Remember, elder abuse can take many forms including, but not limited to, financial, emotional, and physical abuse, as well as, neglect and isolation.

One of the keys to success is to both understand the problem and work together to prevent it. There is never a wrong time to report suspected abuse of a Florida senior with dementia. In Florida, we may report abuse by calling 800-962-2873 or you may click this link.

We are here to help you face this issue and plan forward to proactively address the need for long-term care assistance both now and in the future. Do not wait to schedule a meeting with our law office on how we may be able to help you and the Florida seniors in your life.

PALM BEACH POST SENIORS AND BOOMERS LIFE EXPO MARCH 16, 2019 – Palm Beach County Convention Center

Seniors, boomers, industry professionals and family members traveled to downtown West Palm Beach early on a Saturday morning, to be both informed and entertained.  Touted as a premier site for information on topics important to older adults, attendees enjoyed speaking with a variety of vendors and experts, providing products and services.

Exhibitors included:  hearing specialists, retirement communities, hospitals, jewelers, prescription services, mortgage and insurance companies, the Palm Beach Post and Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA.

Participants enjoyed food samples, community resource information, as well as lively and amusing stories from television and Broadway star Cindy Williams.  Perhaps best known for her role as Shirley Feeney in the tv comedy series “Laverne and Shirley,” she shared anecdotes of memorable times with Garry and Penny Marshall, as well as other Hollywood personalities.  For those in attendance, it was truly a trip down memory lane, as hearing her quips took them back to days gone by and happy remembrances—something we could all use now and then these days.

With all the new community services connections made, it was truly a joy to those both attending, as well as sharing their businesses.  Attendees agreed they are already looking forward to next year’s event with anticipation.

The importance of a business succession agreement… And how it can protect you.

An important part of any estate plan is the consideration of what will happen to your business. A business succession agreement can protect the interests of the business owners, as well as help facilitate the continuation of the business. Before deciding on a business succession plan, you must ask yourself a few questions first. Will succession management be willing and able to operate the business? Will your family receive a satisfactory return on investment? Does your family wish to continue to be involved? You’ve worked hard to build your legacy. The time to protect it after you are gone, is now. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

Special Needs Trusts

Individuals with special needs often face much greater challenges compared to those without special needs. Quality of life can be compromised and added expenses may come into play. These individuals frequently rely on public benefits to help them to meet these costs. But the benefits often fail to meet all the needs of the disabled person. A special needs trust can help bridge the gap between public benefits and what the person really needs. The trust is specifically identified to meet certain supplemental needs and the enhance the quality of life for the beneficiary. The special needs person. Most importantly, the special needs trust is created so as not to disqualify the beneficiary for public benefits being received. Says Anne Desormier-Cartwright, of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA. A special needs attorney is essential for determining the right type of trust and how to construct it so a special needs person gets every benefit they’re entitled to. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

Life Insurance Trusts

Estate taxes can be expensive, but if you plan ahead, you can reduce or even eliminate these taxes. A life insurance trust can be one way for you to greatly reduce or eliminate the estate taxes so more of your estate can go to your loved ones. “The insurance trust owns your insurance policies for you. “Since you don’t personally own the insurance “or have any incidents of ownership, “it will not be included in your estate, “so your estate taxes are reduced” says Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. An irrevocable life insurance trust give you more control over your insurance policies and the money that is paid from them. It also can provide your survivors immediate cash to pay expenses following your death. Also, this can create an inexpensive way to pay estate taxes. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

Dynasty Trusts

A dynasty trust is a long term trust created to pass wealth from generation to generation without incurring transfer taxes such as estate and gift tax. The dynasty trust defining characteristic is it’s term. The trust can survive for 21 years after the death of the last beneficiary who was alive when the trust was set up and it can theoretically last for more that one hundred years. The trust’s operation is controlled by the trustee who is appointed by the grantor. The dynasty trust is irrevocable, which means that once it is funded, the grantor will not have any control over the assets or be permitted to amend the trust terms says Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. The beneficiaries of a dynasty trust are usually the grantor’s children and after the death of the last child, the grantor’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren, generally become the beneficiaries. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

The importance of trust administration in estate planning

Managing the expectations of beneficiaries is one of the most important aspects of trust administration. Many people having heard that living trusts avoid probate, assume that a trust administration is simple, and that the trust property somehow passes to them automatically, because of this many people are disappointed to learn the process can take months, which is why it is important to address unrealistic expectations early in the process. Trust distribution can occur in several stages. It’s important to obtain appraisals and project tax liabilities with accuracy to be sure all debts are paid. This needs to happen before the beneficiaries receive funds, says Anné Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. If a beneficiary challenges a trustees actions, or can test the validity of the trust, the trustee may have to withhold distributions until the dispute is resolved. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

If you need assistance with your VA pension, know THIS

Many older veterans are unaware that they can qualify for financial help in paying for the cost of home care. Most veterans complete their military service and move on with their lives without looking to the VA for help. But VA pension benefits can become important for these veterans later in life. To qualify for VA pension the veteran must be 65 or older, or permanently disabled for reasons not related to military service. In addition, the veteran must have low income and only modest new worth. The veteran must have had 90 days of military service that included at least one day during a period of war. To receive a pension, the veteran’s income must be below the maximum annual pension rate set by the government. Because medical expenses reduce countable income, an aging veteran who needs ongoing long-term care services and supports may now be able to qualify for financial assistance from the VA, says Anné Desormier-Cartwright, of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. The extra funds can make all the difference in allowing the veteran to get the support needed to remain at home. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your state and planning needs.

Protecting Your Loved Ones From Elder Abuse

Elder abuse has become increasingly common especially in the state of Florida. Typically, elder abuse involves a financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult who is subjected to a trusted caregiver who will manipulate them and take their property without their permission. Elderly people are being robbed of assets they worked their entire lives to build. They’re being manipulated by people under a false pretense of trust and they’re quite literally paying for it. If you suspect an elderly friend or relative may be a victim of elder abuse and exploitation be aware that it’s something that can be reported to the court system and help that person have their assets returned to them. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

The most important elements of your estate plan

If you have assets, you should have a plan for what will happen to them in the event of your death, regardless of your age or health. This concept is known as an estate plan. The plan includes who will receive your assets after you pass, as well as directions for your loved ones to follow if you become incapacitated. “Developing an estate plan that clearly states your wishes for your assets’ distribution and your last wishes can make the probate process much less stressful for your family in the future.” says Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA. These plans have several elements, the most important of which include your last will and testament, your advance medical directive, beneficiary designations for your assets, power of attorney designations and a trust. Not every estate plan will include all of these elements so it’s important for you to discuss your specific needs with your lawyer to develop your ideal plan. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.