Archive for September, 2010

Veteran’s Administration Aid and Attendance Pension a Boon to Eligible Veterans

The Veterans Administration Aid provides a monthly benefit to eligible veterans and their spouses. The veteran must have served on active duty during a period of wartime, must meet the allowable resource and income levels, and be 65 or older or permanently disabled.

The program is particularly beneficial to veterans and spouses paying home health aides or residing in assisted living facilities. Applicants with higher income often qualify because medical costs such as these are subtracted from the applicant’s actual income in determining eligibility.

We are authorized by the Veteran’s Administration to assist veterans and their spouses in filing applications for the Aid and Attendance Pension.

Are You Executing the Current Power of Attorney form?

The new statutory Power of Attorney form in New York effective Sept. 12, 2010 is very similar to the Power of Attorney form effective September 1, 2009 through September 11, 2010. It is very important that anyone executing a Power of Attorney in New York use the current form. The form effective Sept. 12, 2010 and its immediate predecessor are very similar.

There are a few telltale signs to look for to be sure you are using the current form. Be sure to see the following:

1. Page 2, section (e) is titled REVOCATION OF OTHER POWERS OF ATTORNEY and the text of that section begins “This POWER OF ATTORNEY DOES NOT REVOKE…”

2. Section (h) refers to the STATUTORY GIFT RIDER, not the STATUTORY MAJOR GIFT RIDER.

3. The attached gifting rider is the SGR (STATUTORY GIFT RIDER),  not the SMGR (STATUTORY MAJOR GIFT RIDER).

Mediation

At a recent networking event I met a woman who is an attorney and licensed social worker. She currently provides mediation services for couples seeking a divorce. She is considering using the benefits of mediation in elder law matters. I think that such a service might be very valuable in matters such as contested guardianships, family issues in estate planning matters, disagreements over medicaid planning strategies, conflicts when 2 agents under a power of attorney, executors under a will or trustees of a trust must act together and cannot agree.

Revision to Statutory Power of Attorney in NY

On September 12, 2010, a new Durable Power of Attorney form became effective in New York. Previously the New York Power of Attorney law and statutory form were significantly revised and became effective September 1, 2009. As attorneys began working with the new law it became apparent that there were some problems in the statutory language and the form it set forth that needed correcting.  Legislative changes have altered the law including the statutory form. Anyone signing a Durable Power of Attorney should now use the new form in order to be protected by the statutory provisions governing powers of attorney in New York.