04/26/2018










How to Help Your Widowed Elderly Parent with Legal and Financial Issues

New York Elderly Parent Advice Attorney

family with mother in wheelchairAfter losing one parent, you may see that your surviving parent is struggling with the legal and financial tasks that come afterward. After all, they are grieving and the last thing they should have to deal with is the paperwork, phone calls, and endless to-do items.

As an adult child, there are things you can do to help your parent. While some of these tasks can wait, others may need to be addressed immediately. Therefore, consider this list of tasks that must be done and see what you can tackle first.

10 Steps to Take after a Parent Dies in Plainview, NY

You are going through an emotional time, but there are legal and financial tasks that you must complete so that you can truly put your loved one to rest. To help your surviving parent, we have compiled a list of ten must-do tasks. Some of these you can do alone, while others you should consult an attorney for to ensure that you are following New York’s laws.

1. Locate All Assets

Even if your surviving parent is named as the executor, you can help by finding all the assets. Ask your parent what assets they have, and where they might be located. Make a master spreadsheet that has all bank and brokerage account information, retirement accounts, insurance plans, real estate, safe deposit boxes, and significant assets that are vital to the estate.

2. List All Debts

See if you can create a list of debts the estate owes, such as mortgages, car payments, credit cards, private loans, and student loans. Review that list with your surviving parent and ask to see any bank records or financial statements so that you can get account numbers, balances, and the contact information for each creditor in order.

3. Apply for Social Security

Help your loved one apply for Social Security benefits (if they are eligible). You can find information for your local SSA office online and pay attention to survivor’s benefits. You can also ask about other benefits your surviving parent may be entitled to, such as veterans pay, pension accounts, or any employer-related payments.

4. Review the Will

Your parents most likely had a will drafted. Therefore, you need to get a copy of that will and review it. See what wishes your parent laid out in that will, including who was named the executor. If the executor is not yourself or your surviving parent, contact the executor right away so that they may begin their task of settling the estate.

5. Meet with an Attorney

Whether the estate goes to probate or not, it is best that you meet with an attorney to review your options. An attorney can help ensure that all assets are accounted for and distributed in accordance with the will, but also that any minor steps required by the state are addressed so that your family’s estate completes the process as quickly as possible.

6. Update Wills and Trusts

If your surviving parent has a will or trust, now is the time to have those documents updated. Most likely they would have named their primary beneficiary as the spouse that has passed away; therefore, they will need to designate new beneficiaries.

Also, your surviving parent may need to update their healthcare directive and executor roles.

7. Create a Financial Power of Attorney

Have your surviving parent make a financial power of attorney. This document will name someone that handles their financial matters if they become incapacitated. The party can handle everything from managing investments to paying bills and it is a critical document for a widowed spouse to have.

8. Start Organizing

Once the documents are created, your parent’s estate probated, and the turmoil has settled, the next step is to help your surviving parent organize the documents. A good estate plan will not help if the documents are not organized and prepared in case the unthinkable were to happen.

Create a filing system that includes all power of attorney documentation, bank and brokerage account information, retirement accounts, insurance policies, and the updated will and trust.

9. Update Insurance Policies

One overlooked step is updating insurance policies. Make sure that your surviving parent picks a new insurance beneficiary. Insurance designations are not the same as an estate plan. The beneficiary named on an insurance policy will trump any name in an estate plan; therefore, you want to ensure your surviving parent updates this as quickly as possible.

10. Find a Support Group

One of the best ways to help a grieving loved one is a support group. There are many support groups offered by local churches, hospitals, and community centers. They offer support to those who have lost a spouse, including specialty groups for spouses that have lost loved ones to illnesses like cancer.

Need Assistance with Administering a Loved One’s Estate?

After losing a parent, the last thing you need to worry about is the tedious steps involved with settling an estate. Meet with an estate planning attorney who can help you with probate and estate administration.

An attorney is a neutral third-party that can help provide you with advice, insight, and even update documents so that your surviving parent is taken care of.

To explore your options or to get assistance with probate, speak with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C.

Schedule a free case evaluation at 516-605-0625 or request more information online.

Palliative Care: Will the New Law Affect Your Plans?

Tips for the Elderly – Palliative Care

In February 2011, the Palliative Care Information Act was amended by the state of New York. This Act requires that doctors and nurse practitioners inform terminally ill patients about their end-of-life options – and offer counseling regarding their palliative care options. To receive palliative care under the New York Statute, the patient must reasonably be expected to be in the last six months of his or her expected lifespan, which is also a standard required for hospice care.

Just some of the information that must be provided to the patient and his or her loved ones include:

  • His or her diagnosis and the course the disease will take;
  • The options that he or she has available for treatment;
  • Risks and benefits of these treatments;
  • Legal rights to pain and symptom management during his or her final months.

If the patient cannot make decisions on his or her own or are incapacitated, then his or her healthcare proxy (which is already appointed), will make decisions based on the information provided.

Using Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative care is the medical care for patients who have terminally ill prognosis. This provides relief from the symptoms, pain, emotional distress, and more – and it is often referred to as “comfort care.” Most people associate palliative care with hospice care, but they are different. Hospice care is eligible under healthcare insurance when the patient has six months left to live, while palliative care can be initiated earlier during any stage of the illness – and not necessarily as part of an end-of-life care plan. Hospice and palliative care do both focus on making the patient as comfortable as possible, and helping the families care for their ailing relative. It also helps them cope with the process, and aid the quality of life for the patient. Most individuals do not realize, however, that palliative care is focused on symptom management – not making things comfortable for the end-of-life stages.

The Future of End-of-Life and Terminal Care

While palliative care was introduced in 2007, it is now offered by more than 70 percent of hospitals in the country, and those numbers are expected to grow exponentially as healthcare insurance changes take hold in the country. The results of palliative care programs have been encouraging and the reports have shown a decrease in the likelihood of ending up in intensive care units, or even suffering from depression. Most patients are satisfied with the palliative care that is provided, and they have even been shown to live longer than being provided with hospice care. Another added benefit to palliative care is the cost savings – because patients receive their care in their home and no longer encounter the rising costs of a hospital stay.

Add Palliative Care to Your Elder Care Plan

As you age, you will need to start making important decisions about your health and even end-of-life planning. One of the best decisions that you can make is palliative care, especially if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition. Palliative care can be used in place of or as a supplement to hospice care to help further your life and the quality of life. To explore your options for drafting your wishes, contact an estate planning attorney. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can assist you with your estate plan, as well as elder care plan. Schedule a consultation now by calling 516-605-0625, or request your appointment online.

Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?

long term care aide with an elderly residentIf you become too ill or frail to live at home or in an assisted living residence, you may need to move to a long-term care facility that provides 24-hour assistance, monitoring and nursing care. Long Term Care insurance (LTC), also known as nursing home insurance, is a widely publicized protection against the cost of long-term care, particularly residential facilities. Before purchasing a Long Term Care insurance plan, there are many factors to consider.

The Advantages of Long Term Care Insurance

You can never know if and when you might need to stay in a long-term care facility. There might come a day when you will need the type of medical attention that only a residential care facility can provide. Fees for such care will only be covered out of pocket or by a Long Term Care insurance plan.

If you purchase Long Term Care insurance today, you will not have to shoulder all of the cost yourself when you need it later. Further, if you start your coverage early, you may be assured of lower premiums throughout the life of your policy. Some plans also offer the option of insuring a spouse or partner for a discounted rate.

The Disadvantages of Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care insurance is expensive. The average cost of a long-term care facility in New York is more than $100,000 per year and expected to increase four times by 2030. But while residents of long-term care facilities are paying more, many insurers are giving less – adding more restrictions and limitations on what they pay out. In most cases, the benefits are so limited that they are rarely enough to cover the total cost of staying in the facility.

Still, insurance companies market Long Term Care insurance by playing on people’s fear of having to spend years in a long-term care facility that result in them wiping out their savings and ending up homeless. But, the odds of needing long-term care are much lower than the insurance industry would like you to believe.

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of all nursing home residents in New York receive Medicaid, which provides certain protections against the risk of being thrown out of the nursing home because of lack of funds.

So, when you weigh the cost of Long Term Care insurance against what these policies typically pay out and the odds of needing it someday, you may find that the insurance is not worth it. In fact, only 5 percent of all Americans over the age of 65 have made the choice to purchase Long Term Care insurance.

Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance

If you are considering Long Term Care insurance, purchase with care. Don’t rely on advice from the insurance provider, who is simply trying to win your business. Check consumer reports and consult with the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care Program, which offers some of the best terms available. Make a comparison of many different policies and be sure to check each one for any exclusions and limitations that may apply.  Finally, when buying Long Term Care insurance, never sign up for any policy that you can’t afford – always stay within your budget.

Need Help Deciding?

Do you need help deciding if Long Term Care insurance is right for you? Consult with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today. Call 516-605-0625 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. If you already have a loved one in a nursing home and he or she is not getting the quality care that’s deserved, don’t hesitate to speak up on his or her behalf.

Visitation Rights for Grandparents

Grandparents with GrandchildrenGrandparents provide a unique, loving avenue for their children to know and understand their family history and to develop relationships with other family members. A loving relationship with a grandparent over a significant period of time can greatly enhance the lives of the grandchildren.

Most grandparents want to have a relationship with their grandchildren. But sometimes these relationships are interfered with. Sometimes the parents prevent the children from seeing the grandparents or interfere with their relationship.

In New York, grandparents can remedy the situation by bringing petitions in the family court under grandparents’ rights issues to be granted visitation with their grandchildren.

Troxel v. Granville

In the leading supreme court case concerning this subject, TROXEL V. GRANVILLE (99-138) 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the supreme court affirmed that parents have a fundamental right to make a decision concerning the care, custody and control of their children. Unfortunately, the interpretation of this ruling in many states has been to severely limit the rights of grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren.

Fortunately for grandparents who live in New York, the state takes a liberal point of view with regard to promoting the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.

Visitation Rights for Grandparents in New York

New York’s provision concerning grandparent visitation rights is extremely brief, but does provide visitation rights for grandparents if at least one of the parents is deceased or, as it is vaguely stated, “where circumstances show that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene.”

So, if you are a grandparent and you are being prevented from seeing or having a relationship with your grandchildren, a grandparent visitation petition can be brought in the family court of the county in which the grandchildren reside.

With regard to awarding visitation to a grandparent, the family court will take into consideration two fundamental factors:

  1. Whether or not the grandparent has a real relationship with the grandchild
  1. Whether having a relationship with the grandparent will be in the best interest of the child.

If a real relationship cannot be established, or if having a relationship with grandparent is not deemed to be in the best interest of the child, the chance of visitation being awarded to the grandparent will be very slim.

Why You Need an Attorney

Visitation rights for grandparents is a very vague area of law and unless you are being advised by a lawyer who is aware of its nuances, your chance of receiving visitation rights may be severely limited.

Therefore, you should hire an established, knowledgeable grandparents rights attorney to deal with the case and advocate on your behalf. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help you. Call 516-605-0625 or contact me online to schedule an appointment. I am available to meet with you at your home or my office.

Purchasing a Grave: 5 Things to Consider First

No one likes to think about it, but purchasing a plot for graves is still an important part of the estate planning process. Unfortunately, it is not something people do every day and there is little information out there that tells consumers how they can protect themselves against gravesite scams or to ensure they get fair treatment. Furthermore, gravesite purchases are extremely costly and most individuals are unaware of what they are getting or what they are signing up for when they purchase them.

If you are purchasing a gravesite for yourself or if you and your spouse are purchasing together, there are still a few things you will need to consider first.

Land Ownership

When you purchase a gravesite, it is not the same as purchasing land outright. You do not usually own the land your gravesite is on; instead, someone else has ownership, but you are purchasing an easement or license that allows you to bury a body into that plot. It is best that you clarify if you are purchasing the easement or the land when buying.

How Many Burials in the Same Plot?

Some cemeteries will only allow one individual to be buried in a plot, while others will allow a maximum of two individuals to be buried in the same plot – as long as they are buried on top of one another. However, double-deep plots often come with an extra fee. For couples, sharing a plot may be ideal, but it is a big consideration to make. After all, if you are to split later on, you still share a grave plot, but may not wish to be buried next to one another.

Maintenance Fees

There is typically a one-time maintenance fee you must pay when purchasing a plot at a cemetery. This fee is often referred to as the endowment fee in the contract and the prices will vary depending on the cemetery you select. You will want to ask about the endowment fee to see if that is in addition to the plot purchase or included in the purchase price. Most of the times it is not included and you will have to pay it after you have selected and started the purchase process.

Grave Marker Restrictions

Even if you purchase a gravesite, you could be restricted as to what types of grave markers you can actually place. Some will allow standing headstones, while others will only allow the use of flat plaques. You will want to clarify this when purchasing, especially if you are also preordering a gravestone or thinking about the type of gravestone you wish to place at the site. Ask about any applicable regulations, including size restrictions and material types.

Reselling Your Site

Most importantly, you want to ask about the transferability of the gravesite. If you want to sell the plot, you typically should be able to sell it to anyone you would like, but there are some cemeteries that request to review the purchaser and they reserve the right to refuse to resell.

Enlist the Assistance of an Estate Planning Attorney

If you are picking out a gravesite for purchase as part of your estate plan, enlist the assistance of an attorney. An attorney can help assess the purchase agreement and also make stipulations in your estate plan in regards to the newly purchased gravesite. Contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today regarding your estate plan by calling 516-605-0625 or contacting us online for a consultation.

Does Retirement Mean You Are Old?

 

Long Island Elder Law Attorney - Lamkin Elder Law

Retirement is meant to be a pivotal time in a person’s life. They have the opportunity to enjoy life, stop working an 8-to-5 job, and possibly even see friends and family more. However, another thing retirement may mean for some people is a sign of being “old.” As a society, retirement and age are closely related, and while a person may retire at 65, that does not necessarily mean they are old. Overcoming the negative mindset about aging is important, not only for creating a positive light on retirement, but it could actually improve a person’s outlook on life too.

Why Age is a Big Issue

People see age as something negative. They do not look forward to aging and the term “elderly” is almost offensive to some people. However, aging is also a symbol of something else: growing and succeeding. A person must age to succeed in life and gain responsibility – both of which are positive things.

How to Overcome the Stigma of Age

To age successfully and overcome negative stigmas, a person must stop being reluctant to the concept of aging. Instead, they should feel more empowered. To do this, a person should prepare for retirement so that it is a rewarding experience – rather than a hassle. This can be done by:

  1. Getting Paperwork in Order – An estate plan should be established long before retirement – and should be reviewed and updated at least once a year or every other year. An estate planning attorney can advise a person as to which documents their estate will need – such as a will, setting up a trust, creating a healthcare directive, and more.
  2. Maintaining Great Health – There are those that age well and those that do not. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying active, taking medications and supplements, a person could age successfully without issue. Whether it is swimming daily, taking walks or riding a bike, physical activity will keep the body feeling young and also gives retired individuals activities to fill their days.
  3. Stay Engaged – Often people retire and isolate themselves. Instead, a person should remain engaged with family, friends, and even previous coworkers. Staying active in the community can empower a retired individual and provide them with a more fulfilling life.
  4. Embrace the Change – Retirement provides individuals with the opportunity to explore themselves and the world around them. Instead of looking at retirement as a negative situation or a sign of “old age,” a person should embrace it and look at it as an exciting time in their life.

Prepare for Retirement With an Estate Plan – Meet with Andrew M. Lamkin Today

Retirement can be a rewarding and fulfilling time. With the right estate planning documents in place, you can retire with a secure financial future. Contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin today for a consultation regarding your estate plan. To schedule an appointment, call 516-605-0625 or fill out an online contact form.

When Should Elderly Drivers Stop Driving for Good?

 

Elderly Woman driver

Most individuals want to drive as long as they can. However, there may be a time in a person’s life when they need to stop or at least limit how often they drive, which could be on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the person. As a person ages, their driving abilities change as well. There are some things older drivers can do to reduce their risk factors, but these do not make up for medical conditions or age degradation that makes it unsafe for a person to drive.

It is important that elderly drivers pay attention to the warning signs that their age may be impacting their ability to drive safe, and either make adjustments or stop driving altogether.

How Age Affects Driving

Age does not automatically translate into bad driving skills. There are numerous drivers that continue to use safe driving practices and even drive into their 80s or 90s. However, age does affect a person’s strength, coordination, and flexibility, which all affect how a person safely controls their vehicle.

Signs That It Is Time to Stop Driving for Good

There is not a set age for when someone should stop driving. Instead, an elderly driver must be on the lookout for signs that their ability to drive safely is declining. These signs include:

  1. Too many “close calls” on the road – meaning almost crashing.
  2. Dents or scrapes are present on the vehicle, but the individual does not know how they received them.
  3. The driver frequently becomes lost while on the road – even in familiar locations.
  4. Response times have lessened dramatically or the individual has a decreased ability to quickly press on the brake.
  5. Vision has dramatically changed.
  6. Hearing has decreased.
  7. Easily distracted or no longer can concentrate on a single object for several seconds.
  8. Taking medications that affect reflexes and senses. A physician may recommend the elderly driver no longer drive or at least stop driving while taking the medication.
  9. Increase in citations, such as tickets for speeding or driving too slow.
  10. Difficulty staying in the lane, accelerating, or failing to use turn signals.

While losing the ability to drive may make some elderly individuals feel as though they have lost their independence, there are benefits to no longer driving. The adjustment will be difficult, but an elderly individual will save money, decrease the likelihood of being in an accident, and can still keep a busy social life by allowing public transportation, friends, or family members to drive them around.

Have You Planned for the Future? Meet with an Elder Law Attorney

As you age, there are many changes. It is important to meet with an elder law attorney to plan out the future “unknowns,”  such as Medicare, Living Wills, and Health Care Proxies. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin can assist you with your estate and legacy planning needs. Contact us today for a consultation at 516-605-0625 or fill out an online contact form.

June is National Safety Month

 

safety awareness month-juneEvery June, the National Safety Council recognizes the importance of safety education and awareness around the country with National Safety Month. Seniors should be especially aware of ways to protect their emotional well-being and physical health as they experience the physical shifts of aging. As the summer begins, many venture out into the sun for adventure or relaxation with nature, family and friends. From sun exposure to household safety tips, these are a few ideas for seniors to be well while taking advantage of all life has to offer.

Safety Outdoors: Know Your Body

Seniors should be aware of adverse physical effects as the weather heats up. As you age, your body finds it increasingly difficult to stay hydrated. Physical signals that help the body regulate thirst begin to decrease, making consistent hydration a vital part of staying safe and healthy in the summertime. Dehydration also adds to the potential of electrolyte loss (such as salt and potassium) in your body. Drinking water and sweat replacement products are key to keeping these potential problems at bay.

Know the symptoms of heat stroke. Heat stroke is a condition brought on by an abnormally high body temperature. If you plan on being out in the sun for an extended period of time, understand your body’s cues. Find shade quickly, use an ice pack to cool down, and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Heavy breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry skin, with an abnormal absence of sweating
  • Headache
  • High temperature (above 104 degrees)

To stay healthy and energized in the summer sun, choose light, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics. Sunscreen is important for all ages, and hats provide an added level of protection. Wearing sunglasses is vital to decrease sun-exposure that can irritate and damage elderly eyes.

Stay Connected

Over two million accidents involving people over age 65 are reported each year. About 7,000 of these accidents prove fatal. Staying connected to friends, family and neighbors can minimize injury in your home. Safety proof your home with these tips:

  • Keep an updated, easily accessible list of emergency numbers. Include your police, fire department, poison control and doctor’s number. Keep a friend or family member’s number listed as well.
  • Make a point of getting to know your neighbors. Not only does this provide social benefits, but it can be key in saving time and possibly even preventing an emergency.
  • Know how medication should be stored, and if it can affect you adversely in the summer heat. Make sure caretakers, friends, and neighbors are aware of medications you are taking.
  • Avoid nasty falls, one of the leading types of incidents involving seniors. Ensure clear, clutter free hallways and floors. Bannisters and no-skid tape should accompany all staircases. Rugs should be taped down to prevent sliding.

How the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin can Help You

Aging brings up many legal questions, from issues of estate planning to advanced directives and beyond. It can be an overwhelming and emotional process, as well as a relief to tackle such issues. A member of the Elder Law and Trusts and Estates sections of the Nassau County Bar Association, Andrew M. Lamkin has the experience and professionalism to help you reach your planning goals. Contact Mr. Lamkin and his team for a free consultation.

10 Easy Ways to Help Protect Your Aging Parents

Elderly mother with daughterMany adult children feel helpless as their parents age. Caring for an elderly parent can be both time-consuming and expensive. However, there are a few simple and cheap things that people can do to keep aging parents safe.

1. Keep floors and walkways clear.

Many elderly people have trouble picking up things from the ground. However, these obstacles present a fall risk. Visiting a parent once a week and picking things up around the house can prevent accidents.

2. Install grab bars in key places.

Many elderly people fall while getting out of bed, in and out of a bath, and other similar places. Placing grab bars will make aging parents feel safer getting up and down while preventing falls.

3. Go for a walk.

Many seniors become more sedentary as they lose balance and strength. Walking, swimming, and other light exercise will keep aging parents fit and capable for much longer. Even taking your aging relative for a weekly walk in the park can make a huge difference.

4. Perform simple repairs.

Simple things like fixing a doorknob or changing a light bulb can make a huge difference in the safety of an elderly person’s home. It’s also important to routinely check smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and other home safety devices.

5. Help manage their medication.

Over-medication and under-medication are both common in elderly people. This is easily prevented by helping the elderly person measure out their pills into daily pill boxes. In addition, review medications occasionally to ensure that they are not taking medications that cause side effects such as loss of balance that may interfere with their independence and safety.

6. Install nightlights.

Poor vision is a common problem for aging parents. Unfortunately, many falls occur when a person fails to see obstacles in their path at night. Nightlights can help prevent these falls. In addition, ensure that your relative has their eyesight checked and is wearing glasses that correct their vision.

7. Review their credit report.

Financial scams and identity theft are both common among the elderly. An occasional credit check or setting up credit alerts can let you know if your parent credit is free from any fraud or scams.

8. Secure their residence.

Elderly people cannot fight back against intruders. Make sure there are functional locks, peep holes, good outdoor lighting, and other safety devices to keep them safe.

9. Help them plan for the future.

Many aging people are reluctant to make plans for future infirmity and death. Talk about a will, do not resuscitate order, power of attorney, living will, and other plans for the future. It’s important to get your relative’s wishes in writing while they are still capable of good decision making.

10. Check on them regularly.

Elderly people are much safer if someone routinely calls or stops by to make sure they’re okay. If falls are a concern, consider getting a life alert button or similar service.

Caring for an elderly relative can be difficult. It’s important to contact a lawyer if you have any concerns about their future and their ability to care for themselves. Call the elder law experts at the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin or fill out our online contact form today if you have any concerns about your aging parents.

 

Keeping Seniors Safe While Driving

Elderly woman drivingWith more people living longer lives, there are now more seniors on the road who continue to use their vehicle for transportation. Approximately 35 million licensed drivers are over the age of 65, which is a 20% increase from the last decade. To ensure that your loved ones are still safe while driving and are not a threat to themselves or other motorists, here are a few tips to follow for important preventative measures.

Take Online Screening Assessments

Online screening assessments are now offered through AAA to evaluate the senior’s driving record, medical history, and vision to determine if they’re still safe to drive. A representative will then drive with the client and assess their skills behind the wheel before sitting down with the senior and their family to discuss if they should limit their time on the road. A driving school may also be recommended where the senior can complete a course, which will also help to lower their insurance.

Purchase a Smaller Vehicle

Many people over the age of 65 struggle to reach the pedals or see over the steering wheel of their vehicle, which can limit their visibility and lead to an accident. Seniors often prefer to drive larger cars that they’ve owned for several decades but may now be a challenge to maneuver. It’s important to trade in the vehicle for a smaller model that will allow them to have more control of the car. The senior should also have a higher seating position for an enhanced view of the road. Family or friends should help them to have a strong understanding of the controls on the new vehicle and feel comfortable operating it. Assistive devices can also be installed on the car to help the senior see blind spots, improve their parking ability, or compensate for disabilities.

Limit Driving Times

It can be difficult for loved ones to speak to seniors about their safety on the road, but it’s important to do so before it’s too late. Discuss your concern for their reaction time or cognitive abilities while stressing the importance that they limit the time of day that they’re on the road. Encourage the senior to avoid driving during the night or in rush hour traffic, which is when they may be more prone to an accident.

Reduce Prescription Drug Medication

Seniors can cause accidents due to limitations with their hearing and vision, but prescription medications can also cause problems. Some medications are more likely to cause fatigue or dizziness and they can make it difficult for seniors to feel alert while on the road. Talk to their physician and discuss switching medications or limiting the amount that they take each day to improve their driving abilities.

If the individual is at a high risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, it may be time to discuss discontinuing driving altogether. Observe their behavior while driving with them to determine if they should have their keys taken permanently due to their current health condition.

At Lamkin Law, we are concerned about elders and elder laws. Contact us today by calling or filling out our online contact form and we will return your inquiry within 24 hours.

Why the Elderly Need to Beware of Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Caution SignWhen a person retires, it’s important that their financial needs are met. In essence, a reverse mortgage is intended to do just that. However, there are a few aspects of a reverse mortgage that the elderly should be aware of in advance. The following will take an in-depth look at exactly why people, especially senior citizens, should be cautious when it comes to reverse mortgages.

Reverse Mortgage Details

A reverse mortgage is intended to provide assistance to elderly individuals as a means of lessening payments as a person grows older. To understand just how a reverse mortgage can be risky for the elderly, it’s first important to know what a reverse mortgage entails. A reverse mortgage can:

  • Provide relief for mortgages and home-related expenses for anyone over the age of 62
  • Provide loans against the value of the home that don’t need to be paid back until moving out or dying
  • Be used for monthly mortgage payments and other applications
  • Be structured in a number of different ways

Why Reverse Mortgages Can Be Risky

While there can be a wealth of benefits for the elderly when receiving a reverse mortgage, there are certain things that everyone needs to look out for when applying for this loan. For instance, there are times when the elderly simply won’t be able to afford a reverse mortgage. It’s important to note that a reverse mortgage doesn’t take away everything that will need to be paid, as borrowers will still be required to pay insurance, property taxes, and any maintenance that needs to be taken care of. It’s also essential that anyone considering this loan looks at all of the fees attached to it beforehand, as upfront costs can be relatively high, though the fact that the loan starts to cover mortgage payments immediately does help with this.

In regards to elderly couples, make sure that both names are on the deed of the house, as there’s actually a chance that the house can be foreclosed upon if one spouse dies and the other does not have their name on the deed at the time that this occurs. Reverse mortgages often require counseling on what the loan entails and the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring one. While this can be relatively beneficial, it can also be exceedingly time-consuming. It’s also extremely important to understand the many options available for a reverse mortgage. If you don’t completely understand, you could choose a loan that isn’t the best choice for you and your specific situation. There are three ways in which a loan can be provided to the elderly: a line of credit, monthly payments, or a lump sum. Every elderly person needs to identify which of these three loan types would suit them best before applying.

If you have questions about reverse mortgages or any other aspects of elder law that you may simply need clarification on, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.



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