Category Archive: Legal and Financial

Women Rediscover Best Self After Age 50

Focus on Mental/Sexual/Financial Health at One Senior Place February 22 in Viera 

2-22-19 Rediscovering Your Best Self(VIERA, FL)  – Women of a certain age have something to celebrate: themselves! Senior vitality for women takes center stage at One Senior Place on Friday, February 22 at 2:00 PM when the topic turns to mental, sexual and financial health.  Sponsored by Whittaker-Cooper Financial Group, Rediscovering Your Best Self After Age 50 will feature advice by women for women on charting a course for overall well-being in retirement. Attendees to the Viera marketplace for boomer and senior resources at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road can browse vendor tables before hearing from Dr. Victoria Follett, Professor at the School of Psychology at the Florida Institute of Technology, along with osteopathic physician, Jamie Burrows from Partners in Women’s Health by Steward Healthcare. Doctors of osteopathic medicine regard the body as an integrated whole, rather than treating for specific symptoms only. Also speaking to attendees will be Laural Brown, Operations Manager for Raymond James Financial Services. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided by Whittaker-Cooper Financial Group, which maintains a satellite office at One Senior Place in Viera. Attendees to Rediscovering Your Best Self After Age 50 are encouraged to call (321) 751-6771 and RSVP to reserve seating for the free seminar and resource materials. For more information about One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging, visit their website at www.OneSeniorPlace.com or call (321) 751-6771.

Barbara Fradkin, Social Worker at One Senior Place, thinks women are overdue for the lessons in Rediscovering Your Best Self After Age 50.

“Women sometimes seem to forget themselves as they grow older, because their whole life has been spent caring for others,” said Ms. Fradkin. “This free seminar is a reminder that every day is a new day on your journey to be enjoyed. Life just doesn’t happen to you; you happen to life!”

Rediscovering Your Best Self After Age 50 is just one of the dozens of events presented annually by One Senior Place in Viera.  One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families.  To learn more about One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging, visit www.OneSeniorPlace.com or call 321-751-6771.

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seminar attendees

PHOTO Women’s mental, sexual and financial health are the subject of discussion during Rediscovering Your Best Self After Age 50 at One Senior Place in Viera on Friday, February 22.  To RSVP, call 321-751-6771. photo courtesy of buzz biz public relations

 

About One Senior Place– Now in its 13th year, One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging, is a marketplace of resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their family caregivers in Central and East Central Florida.  Completely unique, One Senior Place at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road in Viera is a one-stop information hub and mini-mall “revolutionizing the way America shops for elder care and services.”  One Senior Place is home to a wide variety of senior-focused businesses, a resource library and is the site of educational seminars and presentations for seniors.  In 2008, One Senior Place was named Florida’s Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  In Brevard, they were honored as  Business of the Year by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce.  A second location, One Senior Place Orlando, opened in Altamonte Springs in December of 2011.  More information about One Senior Place and One Senior Place Orlando can be found on the company website at www.OneSeniorPlace.com or by calling 321-751-6771.

 

ABOUT WHITTAKER COOPER FINANCIAL GROUP –

The Whittaker Cooper Financial Group Inc. is a professional practice, where advisors provide financial planning services for clients in Brevard County and Central Florida.  Begun in 1985, Whittaker Cooper Financial Group is headquartered at 1692 West Hibiscus Boulevard in Melbourne, 32901. Financial Advisors include Kenneth Whittaker, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CLU, ChFC and I. Wayne Cooper, CPA.  Whittaker Cooper Financial Group maintains a satellite office inside of One Senior Place in Viera, located at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road, 32940. For more information on Whittaker Cooper Financial Group, call 321-723-3352 or visit the website at http://raymondjames.com/whittakercooper/.

 

Whittaker Cooper Financial Group is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.  Raymond James is not affiliated with One Senior Place, the School of Psychology at Florida Institute of Technology or Partners in Women’s Health by Steward Healthcare.

AARP Explanation 2018 Florida Constitutional Amendments

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AARP Explanation 2018 FL Constitutional Amendments

Openings in the SCSEP job training program

The Orlando Office of the Senior Community Service Employment Program has a several slots available for adults age 55+ who are looking to re-enter the job market. 

Adults age 55+ who meet federal program guidelines are then matched with local nonprofits and government agencies so they can increase skills and build self-confidence, while earning a modest salary. This is a “job training” program and is a path toward permanent employment in the community.  Click here to see the AARP website for more details.

Federal guidelines include – but are not limited to:

  • Income 125% of Federal Poverty Level
  • Age 55+

CALL the Orlando Office for more information – 407-852-1608 …. One Senior Place does not have any additional information on this program.

Thank you for sharing in the community and helping adults age 55+ know there are slots available in this program.

Can Medicaid Take My Florida Homestead?

Submitted by: The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, Board Certified Elder Law Attorneys, One Senior Place Resident Business

H&B new picAs elder law attorneys, one of the most common questions we are asked by clients is whether Medicaid can take their Florida homestead property. The simple answer is “No, generally Medicaid cannot take your homestead property during life, or, with proper planning, upon death.” But, as is the case with most legal questions, the answer isn’t always so straight forward. This article is a more complete answer to the question at hand.

One of the reasons there seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding whether Medicaid can take homestead property is likely due to the fact that Medicaid rules vary from state to state. When applying for Medicaid benefits in Florida, the homestead is considered exempt and protected if: 1) a spouse or dependent/disabled child continues to reside in the home; or 2) the individual (or, on his or her behalf, a designated representative) states an “intent to return” home. The homestead will remain exempt during the lifetime of the applicant if the above criteria is met.

In addition, Florida has constitutional protection for homestead many states do not offer. In many states, creditors, including Medicaid, can force the sale of homestead property. This is not the case in Florida if the home is left to the surviving spouse or other family member. So, if you are discussing this issue with your brother in New Jersey there might be a different answer for New Jersey homestead but here in Florida, an individual can qualify for Medicaid while still owning his or her home.

So, what exactly is homestead? The Florida Constitution defines homestead as real property of no more than 1/2 of an acre of contiguous land in a municipality, or 160 acres outside a municipality, owned by a natural person, and the improvements on it. There is extensive case law about what exactly constitutes homestead, but that is beyond the scope of this article. For purposes of this article, homestead is the dwelling and attached land where you, or your family, reside. Rental properties and vacation homes are not typically considered homestead property. Further, in Florida, an individual can usually only have one homestead property. Homestead property is protected from Medicaid under Florida law, but additional properties are not.

It is important to keep in mind there are scenarios that may cause a Medicaid recipient to lose their homestead during their lifetime. Although the Medicaid rules allow retention of homestead as an asset, the Medicaid income rules can create practical challenges. Once approved for Medicaid, the bulk of the individual’s monthly income must be paid to the nursing home where the person is residing. Consequently, even though the homestead is not considered a countable asset, the real problem occurs if the applicant or applicant’s family can no longer afford to pay the taxes, insurance, and/or mortgage on the homestead property. If expenses on the home cannot be paid, Medicaid will not take the person’s home, but the inability to pay for upkeep and maintenance could force the sale of the home and, upon the sale of the home, the proceeds from the sale are not protected and may cause the loss of Medicaid eligibility if not timely planned for.

As you can see, the question of whether Medicaid can take your Florida homestead is not a simple answer of “Yes” or “No.” There are several factors that determine the correct answer. It is always prudent to consult with an elder law attorney regarding your specific situation in order to receive the most appropriate explanation. If you have questions concerning qualifying for Medicaid or any other elder law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan at (407) 977-8080.

SPECIAL May Elder Law Month Workshop

Kathleen FlammiaIn honor of May National Elder Law Month, we are offering a *FREE* and *SPECIAL* Workshop. This event will take place on Tuesday, May 22nd from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at One Senior Place located at 715 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714.

During the first half of the workshop I will be discussing the in’s and out’s of Elder Law, what documents you need and what you need to do to save your assets from the always growing Nursing Home costs!

The last portion of the workshop will be dedicated to a FREE Estate Planning document review by an Attorney. If you would like your current Estate Planning documents reviewed for FREE by an ATTORNEY, call 407-478-8700 today! We are only accepting the first 20 pre-registerered guests, so call now before it’s too late!

 

Understanding Florida ABLE Accounts

H&B new picThe Achieving Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE Act, was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.  ABLE updates the Internal Revenue Code to allow eligible individuals and their families to establish a tax-exempt savings account that allows for disbursements of income tax-free funds for “qualified disability expenses,” including education, transportation, housing, obtaining and maintaining employment, personal support services, assistive technology and health and wellness.  Money contributed to an ABLE account is generally disregarded, or not countable, when determining eligibility for federal benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

The Florida legislature passed the Florida Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on May 21, 2015. This state law establishes ABLE United, to oversee the state of Florida’s qualified ABLE program. As of this month, July 2016, eligible Florida residents may establish ABLE accounts.

In order to establish an ABLE account, the individual with a disability must be a Florida resident. Further, the ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals who have developed significant disabilities before turning 26 years old.  You do not have to be under the age of 26 to qualify as long as you have documentation and/or medical records which prove the onset of the disability before age 26.  If you meet the age of onset criteria and are receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI you are automatically eligible.  Otherwise, you must have a condition listed in the “List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions” maintained by the Social Security Administration, certify blindness or have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.

An individual may only have one ABLE account and the total annual contributions, by all contributing individuals, including family and friends, is $14,000. This amount will be adjusted annually for inflation. Under current tax law, $14,000 is the maximum amount individuals can gift to someone else and not pay taxes. For individuals with disabilities, who also receive SSI and/or Medicaid, there are further limitations. The first $100,000 in an ABLE account will be exempt from the SSI $2,000 individual resource limit. When an ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the beneficiary will be suspended from eligibility for SSI benefits and no longer receive that monthly income. However, the beneficiary will continue to be eligible for Medicaid, as there are no Medicaid limits for ABLE accounts.

If you would like more information about ABLE accounts please contact the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan at (407) 977-8080 or visit HoytBryan.com, for more information.

Long-Term Care Insurer Cannot Be Sued for Elder Financial Abuse

Submitted by: Kathleen Flammia, P.A., Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, One Senior Place Resident Business

Kathleen FlammiaLong-term care insurance policyholders suing Bankers Life and Casualty Company were dealt a blow by the Oregon Supreme Court when it ruled that the state’s elder financial abuse statute does not apply to their case.

Residents of Oregon who bought long-term care insurance policies from Bankers Life and Casualty Company sued the insurer five years ago in federal court. The policyholders claimed that the company violated Oregon’s elder financial abuse law by purposely delaying and denying insurance claims. The policyholders alleged that, among other things, the company didn’t answer phone calls, lost documents, wrongly denied claims, and paid less than policyholders were entitled to.

The lead plaintiff, 87-year-old Lorraine Bates, moved into an adult foster home in 2009 but Bankers refused to pay her claim, saying the facility didn’t meet its policy requirements. Another plaintiff, Eileen Burk, purchased a long-term health-care policy from Bankers.  After she moved into an assisted living facility, her son had trouble filing a claim with the insurance company because the company refused to assist him.

After the federal district court dismissed the lawsuit, the policyholders appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Because the legal question centered on the state’s elder financial abuse law, the appeals court asked the Oregon Supreme Court to determine whether the policyholders could sue the insurer under state law for wrongful withholding of money. The financial abuse law prohibits an entity or person that is holding or controlling an elderly person’s money from withholding that money if the money was acquired from the elderly person. The policyholders argued that the insurance company acquired money in the form of premiums from the insurance company and then refused to return it in the form of benefits.

The Oregon Supreme Court determined that the elder financial abuse statute does not apply to an insurance company that delayed the processing of claims and refused to pay benefits. The court rules that the law applies only when one person or entity holds the money that still “belongs to” the elderly person. According to the court, the money the policyholders paid to Bankers became Bankers’ money and no longer belonged to the policyholders.

To read the Oregon court’s decision, go here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S064742.pdf.

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The Law Office of Kathleen Flammia has been serving Orange County and surrounding areas for the past fourteen years. Kathleen Flammia began her Elder Law practice in the heart of Winter Park, Florida after being in the criminal defense arena for 15 years.

“Veterans Benefits: Best Kept Secrets”

One Senior Place & VITAS Healthcare’s Veteran’s Benefits Resource Fair A Success!

The Best Kept Secrets About Veterans Benefits Were Revealed!

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Last Friday, March 16th from 2-4pm One Senior Place and VITAS Healthcare held their first free Veterans resource fair to share the Best Kept Secrets when it comes to Veterans Benefits.  Four presenters came out to speak on their respective specialties in order to give the Veterans the best assistance they could receive.  They included:

 

Doug Walton from FDVA: Disability Benefits

Dennis Vannorsdall From the Brevard Veterans Service Office: Aid and Attendance

Don Murphy From Cape Canaveral National Cemetery: Burial Benefits

JC Burchette From Eastern Florida State College: GI Bill

 

The event brought at least 40 individuals out to the Veterans Memorial Center, with an overall estimated 70 people in attendance including various vendors and organizations.  Attendees asked great questions not only to the presenters, but also to the vendors. There was a local high school JROTC that came and presented the Flag for the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterwards, the Museum donated a check to support their program. Everyone was thrilled to see them come out and show off their skills.  Rob Medina from Congressman Bill Posey’s office gave the invocation and spoke briefly.  Mr. Medina commended both One Senior Place and VITAS Healthcare for holding such a great event for our Veterans.

One big highlight of the event was when a 94 year old World War II Veteran got up and asked a question. He briefly went into his service to our country and mention that he and his 92 year old wife are doing well. He told a few jokes and everyone truly enjoyed his contribution to the event.  He was given a huge round of applause which was very touching.  The entire event was a wonderful success!

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The team involved would like to give a special thanks to those who came out to support the event including One Senior Place CEO and Founder, Don Kramer; OSP Referral Specialist, Barbara Fradkin, BSW; along with VITAS Healthcare representatives Sara Goldberg, Brianna Sequeira, and Kathi Ridner.  We would also like to thank the 15 various vendors that were in attendance who aided in the explanation of various Veterans benefits and services as follows:

 

VA Clinic Viera

Vet Center Melbourne

UCF Restore

Space Coast Honor Flight

Volunteers of America

211 Brevard

Aging Matters Brevard

Helping Seniors Brevard

Sonata Viera

Housing for Homeless Titusville

Jewish War Veterans

 

One Senior Place and VITAS Healthcare look forward to bringing this event to the community again and again to give the Veterans of our community the important information and recognition that they need and deserve!

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