Financial Abuse

Monday, August 24, 2015

On NOTICE: Obama Signs Law Requiring Hospitals to Warn of Costly Medicare Loophole

Many Medicare beneficiaries are being transferred to nursing homes only to find that because they were hospital outpatients all along, they must pick up the tab for the subsequent nursing home stay -- Medicare will pay none of it. 

The new law, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act, does not eliminate the practice of placing patients under “observation” for extended periods, but it does require hospitals to notify patients who are under observation for more than 24 hours of their outpatient status within 36 hours, or upon discharge if that occurs sooner. Read more.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Should you use your 401(k) before Social Security?

My wife would like to retire at 62. Would it be better for to use the funds from her 401(k) first to get to the age of 65 before filing for Social Security?

See the full answer here,

Every situation is different. But it can be beneficial for many individuals to consider waiting to at least full retirement age (FRA) before starting Social Security and using 401(k) or IRA distributions to fund the "bridge period" between the time retirement starts and Social Security is claimed, says James Mahaney, a vice president with Prudential Financial.

The reasons are two-fold. One, if your wife starts Social Security at age 62, she'll lock in a permanent "real" reduction of 25%. "I say 'real' because the lower benefit will provide a smaller base on which cost-of-living-adjustments will apply into the future," says Mahaney.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Do Elderly Parents Fall For Scams That Seem So Obvious To Us?

There are various reasons why our elders are such easy prey for these thieves.  One root cause is isolation and loneliness, a fact of life for many seniors who are not closely monitored by loved ones.  A pleasant, slick professional calls on the phone in a friendly and engaging manner and traps the vulnerable elder with kind words, attention and a feeling of connection.  The thieves are trained and smart.  They smell the kill. They know exactly what to say to get the elder to trust them.

Another very important factor is diminished cognition in the elder.

Read full story,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Financial protection for Maine's elderly advances

The House passes a bill to deter assets exploitation as Maine prepares for a surge in its population of seniors.

L.D. 527, sponsored by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, a former Cumberland County sheriff, was passed by the House on Tuesday. It now awaits votes in the Senate.

The bill would clarify state law to say that people with dementia and other cognitive impairments cannot consent to financially abusive conduct by caregivers that would be criminal without the consent.

In a state plan released last year, the Department of Health and Human Services said one in five Mainers older than 65 have been exploited financially by family members, caregivers or scammers.

Dion, who is now a lawyer, said that as a police investigator, he often walked away unsatisfied from unprovable cases involving elders. Often, many seniors couldn't "consent the way the general public understands consent," he said.

Full Story

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Read Testimony Supporting Law Against Financial Abuse

Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging offered testimony in support of LD 527, which would clarify state law to say that people with dementia and other cognitive impairments cannot consent to financially abusive conduct by caregivers that would be criminal without the consent.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Protecting Your Parents' Money from Fraud

One out of every five older Americans has been sold an inappropriate investment, paid excessive fees for a financial product or service, or been a victim of fraud, according to a 2010 study by the Investor Protection Trust; new research from MetLife puts their collective losses at $2.9 billion last year.

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The Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC, assists clients with Medicaid (MaineCare) Planning, Planning for VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, and Probate, Estate & Trust Administration matters in York County, Cumberland County and nearby Maine counties.

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