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This regularly updated elder care planning legal blog contains helpful insights for those thinking about the future of their elder parents, spouses, and other loved ones. This short and informative blog posts contain helpful tips on elder care planning, information about medicaid planning, frequently asked life care planning questions, and other useful elder care planning tidbits that could help you give comfortable golden years to your loved one.

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12/11/2013
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Marty Habiger

On October 20, when I made my last blog posting, there seemed to be some hope that Marty would rally and pull through her immediate crisis. Although the plan at that time was for Marty to enter a Hospice room at her hospital, it seem that she would once again rally … as she had done so many times before.

Category: General

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10/16/2013
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I'm Still Yours Faithfully

On my most recent drive home from visiting Marty, I tried to take my mind off Marty’s lack of response to my presence at her bedside; she was still too doped up to do anything other than give me a brief smile. So as I put miles between us, I listen to a professional development CD, which got me only half way home.

Category: General

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10/9/2013
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Marty knew in advance that her leg needed to be amputated.

Prior to Marty’s surgery, friends who knew of Marty’s inability to communicate verbally in an intelligible manner frequently asked whether Marty understood that she was going to have her leg amputated. I worried that she did not fully comprehend but resigned myself that even if she did not she nonetheless needed to have the surgery.

Category: General

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10/2/2013
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October 2nd, 2013 Update on Marty

This past Sunday, my daughter Kathleen and I visited Marty. She was sleeping when I arrived. Kathleen and I tried to get Marty to wake up; but she would open her eyes only momentarily and then promptly close them again. We concluded that her pain medication was the reason she could not wake up and that it probably was good … so as to keep her from feeling any pain.

Category: General

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9/25/2013
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Update on Marty 9/20/2013

Marty pulled through her surgery without any complications. However, her recovery did have its ups and downs: pain and more pain … but fortunately her nurses were at her side, armed with calming medications, within minutes whenever they were alerted.

Category: General

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9/11/2013
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Marty Is Recovery From Surgery

By the time you receive this update, Marty probably will be recovering from a surgical amputation of her right leg. If you are not a first-time reader of this blog, you know that Marty has three wounds on and around her right ankle and that the wound on her heel has turned gangrenous due to insufficient blood supply to the affected tissue. The decreased blood supply is due to diabetes, with which Marty has struggled for 35 years.

Category: General

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9/4/2013
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September 2, 2013 Update on Marty

Marty has developed a new, third, open wound on her ankle. From my untrained eye, all three were much worse. Under the circumstances, her physician gave her a choice between Hospice and a surgical amputation the affected leg. As Marty’s guardian, it fell to me to make the choice.

Category: General

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8/28/2013
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August 21st, 2013 Update on Marty

Marty was very “weepy.” I could not understand what the problem might have been, other than perhaps Marty’s desire to go home. While this might have been part of it, I really suspect her tears are, in part, an expression of a common emotional state which stroke victims experience.

Category: General

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8/21/2013
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Newest Update on Marty

Marty had a follow up visit with her wound doctor. The doctor looked at the wound on Marty’s ankle and said it was continuing to heal. I thought, “OK so far.”

Category: General

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7/17/2013
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Update on Marty

Marty, of course, wants to come home. Unfortunately, her medical condition continues to be such that she continues to need 24-hour care. Her physical and cognitive abilities have not changed.

Category: General

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5/14/2013
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How is Marty Doing?

Many people have asked me how my wife Marty is doing. For those who do not know, allow me to explain The evening of July 4, 2009, my wife Marty and I stayed home to watch the July 4th musical and fireworks celebration on our local PBS station. Suddenly "fireworks" started going off in her head

Category: General

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5/10/2012
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Free Living Wills in Honor of National Elder Law Month

May is National Elder Law Month and in honor of this, Habiger & Associates Elder Law Office will be providing Free Living Eills to residents of Southern Illinois who are 55 years of age and older.

Category: General

9/26/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Illinois about to "Lawfully Mug" seniors

In a article to be published in the Southern Business Journal, Habiger analyzes the new Illinois Medicaid rule.

Category: Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection

9/24/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning, Simply Stated, Is Like a Do-it-Yourself Lobotomy

Estate planning of any type, including long-term care and Medicaid planning, is extremely risky. This is due to the highly technical and complicated nature of the federal and state laws the planner must have mastered in order to not botch the job.

Category: Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection

9/15/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Estate Planning Traps and Pitfalls

List of common estate planning traps, pitfalls, and mistaken beliefs that can befall those who do-it-themselves rather than obtaining the assistance of an estate planning attorney.

Category: General

9/1/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Stieg Larsson, the author of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", died without a will in 2004. His estate is still tied up with his heirs fighting over who will be the beneficiarys of the estate. Don't allow your estate to befall the same fate. Call us today!

Category: General

8/18/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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New DRA Medicaid Rules Threaten Life Estates

Illinois Medicaid rules will soon be amended to implement the DRA in Illinois. It will profoundly affect Medicaid qualification for the payment of nursing home expenses...including seniors who have already given theim home to their children, but retained a Life Estate. A retained Life Estate means the home is not protected.

Category: Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection

8/12/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Disinheriting a Child Requires Special Provisions

Disinheriting a child or other heir is an extreme measure and should be done only after much thought and care in drafting a Last Will or Trust if a person is going to avoid a court challenge to the estate plan. In Illinois this technically can be done by merely omitting the disinherited child's name. But this can lead to costly litigation. So additional language ought to be incorporated into the estate planning documents.

Category: Special Needs & Disability Planning

7/27/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Bankruptcy Can Be An Estate Management Tool

Bankruptcy can be an important tool for estate management for some, particularly seniors with huge medical and long-term care expenses.

Category: General

7/16/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Include your Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning

The first important step, following death or incapacity, is to track down and identify all of the assets, liabilities, and other concerns. To help your family and designated successor, leave a list of assets and liabilities for them. Also, you will want to help your successors by creating an inventory of your digital assets, passwords, etc.

Category: General

7/13/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Don't forget your Digital Assets when doing your Estate Planning

Inventroy your digital assets. Without a detailed and accurate list, your successors will have a hard time protecting you and your digital legacy.

Category: General

6/30/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Taking Care of Digital Assets

Tips for handling digital affairs after the death of another person, including changing passwords, contacting e-mail and social media accounts, preserving photographs, protecting financial information, and backing up all data.

Category: General

6/19/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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The Estate Tax is Not Dead

The estate tax is not “dead”. It has been repealed, but, without action by Congress, will come back in 2011 with only a $1 million exemption and a top 55% tax rate. The Obama administration attempted to permanently fix the exemption at $3.5 million, but Congress balked.

Category: General

6/11/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Help for Seniors - Professional Geriatric Care Managers

Professional Geriatric Care Managers can be a great help for those caring for a loved one at home. Planning and sensitivity is important as a parent advances in age. Personal as well as financial concerns ought to be discussed.

Category: Life Care Planning

6/7/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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Paying for Institutionalized Spouse's Care

Question and Answer about Medicaid planning for a married couple, one of whom was still working, and where the other spouse needed care in a nursing home. Must the income or assets of a working spouse (the “community spouse”) be used for the care of the spouse in the nursing home (the “institutionalized spouse”)? Divorce is one option, but should never be used without first consulting with an elder law attorney.

Category: Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection

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Toll Free: 800-336-4529

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Phone: (618) 985-4529