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March 2017 Archives

Orphans' Court - Guardianship and authorizing expenditures in Pittsburgh

Guardianship may be necessary for a loved one who is no longer able to care for himself or herself, even though the decision to seek guardianship can be difficult. For Pittsburgh residents who are faced with this complex issue, it is important to understand how guardianship functions in the Orphans' Court and what must be done by the Guardian of the Estate. One of the most common issues that leads to confusion is how expenditures on behalf of the ward are handled and what is authorized.

Legal help with Pittsburgh probate issues

Probate is something that many Pittsburgh residents are loath to consider because it is an acknowledgement of the inevitable end to their lives. However, this is something that is an integral part of taking care of loved ones after they have passes and should not be ignored. After a person has died, it can also be an issue. Those who have been designated as the executor in a will need to know that probate and probate litigation is something that arises frequently and it is preferable to take steps to have everything organized when planning.

Who can serve as a guardian in Pennsylvania?

Guardianships may sometimes be necessary for Pennsylvania residents growing older if they are no longer able to make appropriate financial decisions for themselves. For example, if a person has dementia or Alzheimer's disease, he or she may lack the ability to pay bills, deposit checks or make appropriate financial choices. When this happens, a guardianship action may be filed, and the court may appoint a guardian of that person's estate to handle finances.

Medicaid planning versus Medicare

Medicaid/Medical Assistance Planning helps people to protect themselves, their families and their assets. Many people, including Pittsburgh residents, probably routinely confuse the terms Medicaid and Medicare, assuming that since they both may pay for some long term care, they must operate in the same way. However, payments for long term care by Medicaid is different from the insurance payments by Medicare.

Plan for long term care while protecting assets

As Pittsburghers grow older, long term care and nursing home planning are part of the new set of legal issues arising in their lives. These legal issues may also encompass wills and trusts, powers of attorney and health care decisions, which require resolution while individuals still have the cognitive and physical abilities to do so. Even though these issues fall under the term "elder law", it is not only older people who need to consider these issues; people of virtually any age can benefit from elder law services. In fact, the earlier one engages in long term care and nursing home planning, the better it can be.

The look-back period in Medicaid planning

What is the look-back period in Medicaid?  If you are one of many residents in Pittsburgh confusing Medicaid and Medicare and assuming that paying for long-term care is the same in both programs, reading this post may be beneficial not only to explain the differences between the two but also to understand the impact of the look-back period.

Will a trust help you plan for your long-term care needs?

A trust, or legal instrument that transfers title from an owner to a trustee to administer on behalf of the beneficiaries, can complement financial planning in a variety of areas: retirement, long-term care needs, and estate plans. A law firm that focuses on estate and long-term care planning can help you create trust terms that will fit your specific needs.

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