Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Early Detection of Parkinson's Disease

      Veterans face many tough realities and one of them for many Veterans is Parkinson's Disease. Researchers at McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, have developed a way to determine if a Veteran has a high risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a recent article in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Using cutting edge research techniques, doctors at the VA Hospital have found a way to make this determination by tracking eyeball movements. McGuire is one of 150 hospitals in the VA health system, and in the past three years it has doubled the number of physicians in its Neurology section. There are many resources available to Veterans who have served our country, and McGuire Hospital is one of them. As an Elder Law attorney, I try to bring important information about Veteran's benefits such as health care or the little known program commonly known as Aid and Attendance to my clients who are Veterans or surviving spouse's of Veterans so that our Veterans community will be served in the best way possible.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Planning for Your Parents (and Your) Future

When parents don’t plan for the future, this can leave them unprepared and can bring difficulties to their children as well.

Statistics from Pew Research show that nearly 40% of adult children financially assist with the support of elderly parents. Often parents wait until they are retired or nearly retired to plan and to talk with their children about financial matters. This makes good planning harder.

Some parents take the initiative to talk with their children about their finances; others don’t. If you are the child or children that your parents would turn to if they needed help, then you should initiate that discussion in an appropriate way if they don’t. It is never too early. Such conversations can be started by talking about your own financial planning and asking how they handled theirs, or by asking them if they have been thinking about retirement or what they think they would do if they developed health problems.

You need to find out in an appropriate way if they have done planning to cover them in case of death or disability. You need to know if they have authorized someone to act in case of emergency and where their important papers are located. You should find out if they have wills and powers of attorney in place. It would be helpful to know if they have long term care insurance and what retirement income they have or can expect.

If they are reluctant to talk with you about these things or you feel that more planning is necessary, you could suggest talking with an elder law attorney.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beware of Fake IRS Websites

According to a recent report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, fake IRS websites are growing. Foreign sources are sending emails and giving fake IRS websites that help them gain confidential information from you and steal your identity and/or your tax refund.

  1. IRS does not contact tax payers through email or social media.
  2. If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, just delete it. Do not respond, do not open any attachments, do not click any links to websites.