Loved One Passes Away

Whether your spouse has just passed away or you have lost your mom or dad, the emotional trauma of losing a loved one often comes with a bewildering array of financial and legal issues demanding attention. It can be difficult enough for family members to handle the emotional trauma of a death, let alone taking the steps…

Abuses in the Guardianship System

Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker titled “How the Elderly Lose their Rights.” Court-appointed guardians can take control of an elderly person’s finances and life and become wealthy while doing so. One expert interviewed describes the guardianship system as “a morass,…

Pay Your Debts

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally heirs cannot inherit debt, debt can reduce what they receive. Spelling out how debt should be paid can help your heirs….

Social Security Beneficiaries

In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means recipients…

Unexpected expenses are a regular fact of life for many parents of children with disabilities, but for parents with children entangled in juvenile jail systems, the additional costs can be exorbitant. According to a March 2917 report from the Marshall Project and The Washington Post, 19 state juvenile jail systems regularly bill parents for costs associated with their children’s stays…

Special Needs Trustee

Choosing the right person to serve as trustee of a special needs trust is one of the most important and difficult issues in creating the trust. A trustee typically manages the day-to-day operations of the trust, often making distributions to the trust’s beneficiary, investing the trust’s assets, and paying the trust’s bills – all while…

ABLE Account

ABLE accounts are a great new savings tool for individuals with disabilities, but not all people with disabilities are eligible to open these accounts.  The rules for determining eligibility are for the most part uncomplicated, although one requirement is proving controversial. Created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in…

People with Disabilities in Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, floods and wildfires have ravaged large swaths of the U.S. this year.  Every major natural disaster disproportionately harms society’s most vulnerable populations, particularly people with disabilities. Hurricane Katrina, for example, left hundreds of thousands with disabilities stranded for days, in some cases weeks, without access to medications, shelter, assisted living devices and other necessities….

Autism and Hospitals

Adolescents and young adults with severe autism are being confined in emergency rooms and hospitals for weeks or even months, sometimes restrained or sedated, due to a shortage of more suitable care options, according to an investigation by Kaiser Health News. It’s “the dirty little secret no one wants to talk about,” says the mother of an 11-year-old…

Securing Food Stamps for Disabled

For many young people with disabilities, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – aka food stamps — is a lifeline.  More than 11 million people with disabilities receive vital nutrition assistance through SNAP, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But SNAP eligibility turns on a range of factors. For some people seeking SNAP…

© 2015 MATTHEW L. MERCER | Attorney at Law

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