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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors

Wills & Estate Plans Are More Necessary Than Ever During Covid-19

When the reality of the coronavirus Covid-19 initially began to sink in, people everywhere rushed out to buy toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other items essential for staying at home indefinitely. Now that Covid-19 is an indispensable part of our daily conversations, individuals are becoming aware of another critical necessity: Coronavirus uncertainties emphasize the need to have in place a complete

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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors Medical Matters and Aging Seniors

List of Important Items To Have Available During This Coronavirus

For years, before the coronavirus pandemic, we advised clients to have important legal and health documents in a file or folder and to tell family members the location of the file so they were available in an emergency. The current pandemic has added a few extra dimensions to what you need to include if a loved one requires hospitalization.

Remember that visitors are NOT allowed in hospitals. It will become difficult, if not impossible, to get these items to your loved one and if they do not bring them with them when admitted to a hospital.

  1. Clearly written and UPDATED accurate list of medications: name, dose, frequency and name, and phone number of the prescribing doctor.
  2. The name of your primary treating physician, their office number, emergency number, office address.
  3. Legal documents including Health Care Proxy, Advance Directive, and/or POLST (Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, printed on a single sheet and in a bright or neon color).
  4. A complete and updated written list of emergency contacts and phone numbers, including the password for your phone. Remember, you may be unconscious; your phone may be locked. There will be no way for medical staffers to contact your next of kin.
  5. If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator: a copy of the pocket information card that states the brand, model number, MRI compatibility. The same goes for any medical device, like a port or pump.
  6. If you use inhalers, bring them.
  7. Extra batteries for hearing aid or other medical devices.
  8. Prescription eye drops.
  9. Bring a cell phone charger. Bring a spare if you can, and if you have extra batteries, bring those too.
  10. Inexpensive headset.
  11. Pack up a toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear in a plastic bag, and any hair items you need.

Article provided by Stephen J. Silverberg, Attorney at Law, Founder of the Law Office of Stephen J. Silverberg, one of New York

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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors Senior Fraud and Scams

Beware of Fake IRS Agents

When I hear the stories of seniors who get scammed, it just breaks my heart. That’s why I wanted to share the article below. This was part of a series on “Scam Me If You Can” as seen in AARP magazine:

When Megan Murfield, then 40, answered a phone call in early 2018, two people were on the line: a woman and a man, both claiming to work for the Internal Revenue Service. “They said I owed $2,085 in back taxes and that if I didn’t put 50 percent down, I was going to go to jail,” Megan says. The woman told her, “We have never gotten a response from you, so it has been considered an intentional fraud, and a lawsuit has been filed under your name by the United States government.” The man said, “The arrest warrant is released on your name.”

“I was scared,” Megan recalls. She walked to a nearby Walgreens and did as the IRS “agents” instructed: She bought a gift card. She then scratched off the strip to reveal the numbers on the back and read them to the scammers over the phone. “The man told me I had to go back into the store and buy more cards,” she says, her emotions still raw almost a year later. “I kept telling him how cold it was outside, and he’d just say, ‘That’s OK, ma’am – just keep scratching off and reading the numbers to me.”

The man kept her on the phone the whole time, warning her not to tell anyone why she was buying so many cards with cash. In all, she bought $650 worth of gift cards, not the amount originally demanded but enough to appease the crooks.

Megan was so frightened that she called one of her coworkers to tell her she might not make it to work the following Friday because she was going to be arrested for tax evasion. After hearing the story, the coworker said she was worried her friend was being scammed. Megan then realized what had happened to her. The scammers had gotten her “under the ether,” as the condition is known among conartists – that heightened emotional state where you’re unable to think clearly or make rational decisions.

But it was too late; her money was gone for good.

THE LESSONS

This is a classic imposter fraud; it’s rampant in America right now, and older Americans are often targeted because they are more likely to answer the phone and be trusting of the “authority”on the other end. But foiling these phone frauds is relatively easy, as long as you know how the federal government – and most scammers – operate.

  • The IRS doesn’t notify people of tax issues by phone until it has sent written communications – usually multiple times. So just hang up if you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent or representative.
  • The IRS and its collection agencies don’t accept payments via gift cards – period. If anyone claims to be from a government agency and asks you for a payment using a gift card, this is without doubt fraudulent.
  • Government agencies don’t make idle threats such as saying they’ll freeze your assets, revoke your driver’s license or change your immigration status. If you have legitimately broken tax law, the government will follow due process, meaning there will be letters and in-person hearings.
  • The IRS doesn’t send out unsolicited emails or ask for detailed personal and financial information via email. Delete emails purporting to be from the IRS, and don’t click on links.

Have you dealt with impostor fraud? Leave a comment below.

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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors

Will Your Heirs Get the Cash You Want Them to Have?

Blank or missing paperwork can send pension, IRA and 401(k) money astray

You’re probably tired of my yammering about having the correct beneficiaries listed on your retirement plans. If you die suddenly, will the right people inherit your money, as opposed to the people (maybe now dead, maybe no longer married to you) that you listed 20 years ago? But there’s another important issue that I haven’t spoken about. What if you haven’t filled out your beneficiary form at all? What if the plan’s custodian misplaces it (that happens!) and your heirs don’t have a copy?

What started me wondering was the dreadful experience of a multiple sclerosis patient, the wife of a New Mexico State University employee. After her husband’s sudden death at 66, she was denied his pension because no one could find the beneficiary form. The state wouldn’t accept his will as proof that he wanted her to inherit the money. More than two years into her struggle, and after a newspaper ran a story about her, the state agreed that she really was her husband’s pension beneficiary. Finally, she is being paid

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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors

“My dog ate my socks while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro” (a wacky obituary)

Who’s going to fact check an obituary?

That was the perspective of Norma R. Brewer when she penned her own obituary. You can’t blame her!

The obituary claims the cause of the 83-year-old Connecticut woman’s death was hypothermia after her dog ate her socks and boots at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Norma died while attempting to climb the 19,341-foot mountain, Africa’s tallest peak. She never realized her life goal of reaching the summit but made it to the base camp where she died in the company of her daughter, her cats, and her dog “Mia,” who all joined the trek at the last minute.

“There is suspicion that Mrs. Brewer died from hypothermia, after Mia ate Mrs. Brewer’s warm winter boots and socks,” read the death notice.

“It was just typical mom,” Norma’s daughter Donna was reported saying with a chuckle. “She always had stories, many of which were not true, but thought were funny.”

Donna said her mother actually died from a stroke and had been wheelchair-bound for more than a year.

“People who know my mother are laughing and saying, ‘Yeah, that’s Norma.'”

Some were wondering if the death notice was one last foray into the news, or a test of the fact-checking process?

“Possibly,” said Raymond, Norma’s son. “It more had more to do with the way she viewed the world. While life is serious, it shouldn’t be taken all that serious.”

You know what? I agree with her.

I deal with questions of death and incapacity every day. How depressing would it be if I didn’t make it lighthearted every now and then?

“Life is serious, but shouldn’t be taken that seriously.” Great words to live by.

To Your Prosperity,

Profile Image Katie Charleston
Katie Charleston Law, A Professional Corporation
katie@katiecharlestonlaw.com
(317) 932-0363 – Work
katiecharlestonlaw.com

P.S. Before you start penning your own obituary, let’s start penning your estate plan. Schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session by calling our office at (317) 932-0363 or scheduling online right here. The normal $750 session fee (or $950 if you have an existing estate plan you need reviewed) is currently being waived for new clients. Use coupon code: LAUGHATDEATH. Schedule today and we will waive this fee (note: we will reinstitute the fee soon so don’t miss this window).

A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.

Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let

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Financial and Legal Matters and Seniors

Why your estate would lose $50,000 when your neighbor loses $0

This article was shared by Katie Charleston

Most of us think we have a “simple” estate. One with assets that aren’t worth that much. So the most basic estate plan possible is enough, right? No special planning needed when you have a simple estate

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