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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elder Abuse & In-Home Care: What you need to know


In-home nursing care is often a welcome relief for families looking to avoid the costs of full-time long-term care. Oftentimes, elderly folks need a little help during the day, but are not to the point that round-the-clock skilled nursing assistance is needed. For those families electing in-home care for their loved ones, finding the right individual can be the most difficult component of the arrangement – particularly given the rising instances of abuse and neglect by in-home care providers.

In-home nursing care is typically provided on a contract basis, either with the provider herself or a contracting agency. In a recent exposé published in The Jefferson Journal, one Massachusetts family regaled their unthinkable experience with in-home care.


Read more . . .


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Veterans' Benefits for Seniors Expected to Be Reduced in 2017


It looks like budgets are going to be shrinking in 2017, as both Social Security and Veterans benefits are slated to become scarce. Due to a 1983 agreement between President Ronald Reagan and a Democratic-led Congress, Social Security Benefits will be cut, just as the age of retirement is raised to 67.  The cash deficit for Social Security is expected to rise from $74 billion to $361 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, more seniors may be looking at reduced incomes as Veterans’ benefits become harder to qualify for in 2017. According to the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension program, in order to qualify under these new standards, veterans and their spouses must have:

  • $80,000 or less in assets
  • been honorably discharged
  • served 90 consecutive days, at least one of which must have been during an approved period of war.

Read more . . .


Saturday, October 29, 2016

‘Your loved ones changed lives,’ families are told at ceremony for fallen firefighters


What do you need to do when a loved one dies?

Hundreds of firefighters, families and friends gathered to honor 29 fallen firefighters at the 14th annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento on October 15th.  The ceremony was centered around the California Firefighters Memorial, dedicated in 1995 to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1850.


Read more . . .


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Top 5 Financial Scams Targeting Californians


 Financial scams can wreak havoc on the financial well-being of the victim – oftentimes creating a lifelong ripple effect, taking years to unravel. The following are some of the most common financial scams targeting Californians – particularly those in the elderly, senior citizen and “Baby Boomer” demographics:

            #5: Free Lunches: As the old saying goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 17, 2016

Tip Sheet on How to Avoid Probate in California with Revocable Transfer on Death Deed by Deed and Record


How can you avoid probate on your home?

Probate is an expensive, long and drawn-out process. It eats away the time and energy of our loved ones after we die. It eats away at our assets as well, with money being funneled into court fees, attorneys’ fees and trustee fees. Many people


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Monday, October 17, 2016

Napa care facility sued for elder abuse after nurse steals prescriptions


How can we protect our loved ones from elder abuse?

No one expects their loved ones to be abused or neglected when they trust a care facility to look after them. Unfortunately, with the rise in our elderly population and the expanding need for elder care, too many elder care facilities are popping up with insufficient training and staff to cover their needs.

Sadly, this situation recently arose in Napa, where Golden LivingCenter is being sued for


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

The ABLE Act - Read the details here...

Living with a disability can be costly. Recently, President Obama signed into law the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families the ability to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for improving one’s independence, and quality of life.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Are You Leaving an Inheritance to a Beneficiary?

In estate planning, even something as simple as naming a beneficiary involves some legal knowledge.  Check out the following facts:

  1. A beneficiary of a will doesn’t receive the inheritance immediately.  He must wait a minimum of forty days to claim under a will, and much longer if a probate is necessary.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Married Couples Can Maximize Social Security Benefits through File and Suspend

It works this way: at retirement age, the working spouse files for benefits and immediately suspends them. The non-working spouse can receive spousal benefits while the worker remains employed. The longer the worker delays retirement, the more credits he accumulates. His benefits can increase up to 8 percent a year by delaying retirement beyond full retirement age. 


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Transfer of Property at Death

In September, 2015, AB 139 was signed by the Governor of California creating a Revocable Transfer on Death Deed (“TOD Deed”).  This deed transfers real property to a beneficiary without the necessity of a probate proceeding.  The new law is currently only in place for five years, during which time lawmakers will study its use, and eventually extend the law or modify it.  This type of transfer deed can be an alternative to a living trust, but it is not for everyone. Understand when this would be an appropriate estate planning vehicle for you and when you should rely on the living trust to transfer property at your death.


Read more . . .


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tips to Spend Holidays with Aging Relatives

The holiday season is a time of sharing.  Families come together and this time can be special.  But, including an aging relative who may be struggling with health and cognition issues, this can be a stressful time. These are some tips for spending time with aging relatives while keeping the holiday spirit special in your family:


Read more . . .


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