Maine Center for Elder Law Blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our new national goal: Defeating Alzheimer's in 10 years (The Washington Post, 12-17-2010)

Our new national goal: Defeating Alzheimer's in 10 years

By Sandra Day O'Connor and Maria Shriver
The Washington Post, Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Internet Estate Planning Forms

A colleague posted the following response in a professional listserve discussion about how to respond when a client asks about using online estate planning documents instead of hiring an estate planning attorney:

"I have a physician client who asked me to set up a Professional Limited Liability Company for his practice.  At our first appointment, he asked me why could he not just go to the internet and pull up the necessary forms.  I told him he was welcome to do so; just as I could go to the internet, diagnose my medical condition, and then order the prescriptions myself.

He sat down and said, 'OK, where do we start?'"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Medicare Confusion? Experts Offer Help (Portland Press Herald, 11-27-2010)

Advice that may save hundreds of dollars can be found online, in person, in print or over the phone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some States Weigh Unthinkable Option: Ending Medicaid (WSJ, 11-22-2010)

Huge budget shortfalls are prompting a handful of states to begin discussing a once-unthinkable scenario: dropping out of the Medicaid insurance program for the poor.

Elected and appointed officials in nearly a half-dozen states, including Washington, Texas and South Carolina, have publicly thrown out the idea. Wyoming and Nevada this year produced detailed studies of what would happen should they withdraw from the program. Wyoming found that Medicaid accounts for 63% of the state's nursing-home revenue.

The idea of abandoning Medicaid as a solution is so extreme that even proponents don't expect any state will follow through, but officials are floating the discussions because dire budgetary pressures have forced them to at least look at even the most drastic options.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

President Lincoln's Proclamation Creating Thanksgiving Holiday

From an e-mail today from From Rose Mary Zapor, Esq. of The Zapor Law Office, P.C. in Denver.

The quote below is the last part of President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, issued in 1863.  Since we continue in war and have been in an era of political division, I thought the sentiments expressed by our 16th President are appropriate to the season.  May we all experience a season of peace and harmony during this Thanksgiving Season.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

By The President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life Legacy Cards will change what happens this Thanksgiving

LifeLegacy Cards

Take a Moment to Share a Lifetime

A boxed set of elegant, durable cards inviting reflection on some of the essential elements in a person’s life. Use to jump-start fresh and meaningful conversations or as prompts for thoughtful writing. These handsome and stimulating cards are guaranteed to trigger rich and memorable responses.

An effective tool and a wonderful gift for parents and grandparents, clients, donors and friends:

  • Tangible expression of your respect and gratitude for them
  • Comfortable invitation to share history and values
  • Succinct structure for seeing the journey of life
  • Natural way to to deepen personal connections
  • Ready-made outline for an ethical will or recorded interview

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smoking and Older Adults…Make a plan to quit today!

From, 11/18/2010

Message from the Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee


Smoking and Older Adults…Make a plan to quit today!


Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the U.S., responsible for 443,000 deaths each year.  Most of these deaths are among people age 65 and older. Smoking has profound effects on the lives and health of older adults, dramatically increasing their risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia and more.


On November 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a new comprehensive tobacco control strategic action plan, “Ending the Tobacco Epidemic” that includes proposed new bolder health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements.  These actions are part of a broader strategy that will help tobacco users quit and prevent children from starting.  To learn more about this plan, please visit


Quitting smoking has health benefits – no matter what your age.  Today marks the 35th Great American Smokeout – a day when smokers around the country are encouraged to quit smoking or to make a plan to quit.  If you’re a smoker with Medicare and want to kick the habit, Medicare can help.  For more information, please visit  Any smoker covered by Medicare can receive tobacco cessation counseling from a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner who can work with them to help him or her stop using tobacco.  And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, as of January 1, 2011, these services will be available at no cost to people with Medicare.


For more resources and support related to quitting smoking, visit www.smokefree.govor call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.    

Friday, November 19, 2010

Social Security Inside Out

Social Security Inside Out

"Updated with 2010 Information"

Expert Guide to Social Security Benefits

Friday, November 19, 2010

AP Exclusive: Raising retirement age hurts poor

WASHINGTON – Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress.

The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security's finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Friday, provides fodder for those opposed to raising the eligibility age for benefits, as proposed by the leaders of President Barack Obama's deficit commission.

To read the full article, click here:

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