My father is 81 and was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is still okay but I can tell his memory is starting to get worse. My mother also has health issues and can take care of him now, but I can see a time in the near future where she won’t be able to take care of him 24/7. Is there any special planning they need to do?

Yes, you should make sure both your parents have a written estate plan in place that covers incapacity and transfer of their assets after they are gone. This is generally going to be a Durable Power of Attorney (for handling finances), a Patient Advocate Designation (for carrying out medical wishes), and a Will or Living… Read More »

My husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am fine taking care of him at home right now, but I understand the disease can progress to the point where he may need 24/7 care. Is there any way to plan ahead of time to protect our home and what we have saved over the years in case he needs nursing home care in the future?

Yes, there are ways to plan ahead of time and, in fact, you should plan as early as possible when you are faced with a progressive brain disease like Parkinson’s (or dementia or Alzheimer’s).  If you start early, we can set aside certain assets in a special trust to make sure they are protected.  Because… Read More »

Can I Get My Prior Criminal Conviction Expunged?

The laws regarding the setting aside (expungement) of convictions can be complicated. Either felony or misdemeanor convictions may be set aside depending on the extent of your criminal record. Even if your conviction was deferred or dismissed by statute, it may still be considered a part of your criminal record and it may still result… Read More »

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it is getting to the point where I can’t take care of him at home anymore. If he moves to a nursing home, will I lose my home and my life savings?

No, but you must take active steps to protect your assets.  It’s hard to believe, but if you are married and your spouse is going into (or already in) a nursing home, you can protect your home and all of your life savings.  Congress has passed specific laws so that the spouse outside the nursing… Read More »

I’m getting married for the second time and both my new husband and I have adult children. Is there anything different I need to do with my estate planning?

Yes. We see more and more “blended families” (marriages where each spouse has children from a prior relationship).  You must take special steps to make sure you take care of each other, but also provide for your children after you are gone (if that’s your goal).  This can be quite complicated. For example, what if… Read More »


Instead of the normal “Ask the Lawyer” question today, we want to let you know about our radio program focused on legal issues relating to seniors and their families. The radio show is called Senior Law Radio and is on for an hour every Saturday afternoon, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., on WMUZ 103.5… Read More »

I am contemplating filing for divorce but my spouse makes virtually all of the family income. I am certain when I file my spouse will take me off the bank accounts and deny me access to money. If I ask my spouse to move out I am concerned that the marital bills will not get paid. What can I do to protect myself?

This issue often comes up right at the beginning of a divorce. Most Judges issue an initial Order called a “Status Quo Order” which requires people to continue doing what they were doing prior to the filing for divorce. These Orders bar people from closing bank accounts, changing beneficiaries or ceasing contributions to the marital… Read More »

I am taking care of my mother in her home. She wants to pay me as her caregiver instead of moving into assisted living. Can she do that?

If you are going to be a paid caregiver for your mother, you must follow some very strict rules. Here’s how it works. If your mother ever needs skilled nursing care, she may need to apply for Medicaid. Medicaid will penalize any payments made to a family member within five years as a “gift” unless… Read More »