Sunday, July 17, 2011

NH Elder Law Attorney Marla Matthews Accepted into National Association

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire Attorney Marla Matthews, who practices in the area of trusts and estates, has become a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). NAELA is a professional association of attorneys, judges and professors of law who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to seniors and people with special needs. As a condition of her membership, Matthews pledged to support NAELA’s aspirational standards for the practice of elder and special needs law.

She represents clients in a wide range of estate planning matters such as preservation and transfer of wealth, gift and estate tax planning, special needs trust planning, estate and trust administration, and planning for public benefits such as Medicaid. She is also a member of the New Hampshire Chapter of NAELA, as well as the Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate Law Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pet Trusts: Who Will Care for Fido and Fluffy after You Are Gone?

All but five states have some sort of pet trust laws (see linkable map), that allow for legal planning of the care and feeding of your pet after your death. Recently, Massachusetts enacted The Massachusetts Pet Trust Bill, which provides pet owners the ability to create a pet trust and set aside funds for their animals, including instructions for care, exercise and diet. The law also provides for designating a caregiver as a trustee to ensure directives are carried out. Massachusetts estate planning attorney Michelle Mulvena writes in her law firm's blog,
"In the past, pet owners had little say over how their animals were to be cared for upon their death. Many had chosen to designate money and appoint an individual in their wills for pet care, but there was no real legal obligation to carry out their wishes – until now."
She also writes:
"Not only will a pet trust give you peace of mind and ensure that your pet’s daily routine and lifestyle will not be disrupted, but it will drastically reduce the number of animals forced to enter shelters..."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hiring Elder Law Attorney Can Help Seniors Navigate Red Tape

In 2010, seniors who reached the $2,700 annual limit for prescription drug coverage and fell into the “doughnut hole,” received a $250 rebate. In 2011, the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” will begin shrinking and by 2020 Medicare Part D participants will be responsible for 25 percent of their total prescription drug cost.

This according to National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) who released this information on the one year anniversary the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While some parts of the ACA have not yet taken effect and Congress may make additional changes, it is important to highlight a few sections of the ACA that have already taken effect and are providing senior citizens with a higher quality of health care.

Starting in 2011, seniors will receive an annual wellness checkup from their doctor at no charge, and deductibles and coinsurance are eliminated for certain preventive services. The ACA will also expand Medicaid in order to help more people obtain quality, affordable care.

There is much more to the act and seniors who may feel overwhelmed by the new health care law and the changes to Medicare, should consider contacting  an Elder Law attorney to help them make informed decisions. Concerns about long-term care options can also be discussed with an Elder Law attorney who can help them navigate through the red tape and explain all of their options.

A listing of Elder Law attorneys who are members of NAELA can be found at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boomer Generation Rich in Inheritances — Estate Planning Needed

The MetLife Study of Inheritance and Wealth Transfer to Baby Boomers reports that Boomers will inherit $8.4 trillion at 2009 levels. The median per person figure is $64,000. $2.4 trillion has already been received.

The study, authored by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for the MetLife Mature Market Institute, shows the wealthiest Boomers will be given an average of $1.5 million, while those at the other end of the spectrum will be left $27,000, an amount that represents a larger percentage of the latter group’s overall wealth. Two-thirds of all Boomers stand to receive some inheritance over their lifetime.

Alicia H. Munnell, a co-author of the study and director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, recommends that the subject of inheritance among the Boomers be used to generate family discussions about estate planning. While not everyone will be comfortable engaging on this topic, those who do so will likely find it helpful. A trusted family financial advisor may be useful in this regard.”

For more findings and methodology, or to download the report, go to:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Elder Law News? Share It Here...

This Lex Markets blog is just getting started. If you have elder law related news or articles to share, please submit them for consideration. We will post a brief summary of your news and link to the full news item or article elsewhere on the web. Submit your elder law news to LexMarkets editor. Thank you.