July 22nd, 2011
Recent polls support the idea that the government should soak the rich for more taxes. More than 70% of the adults in the United States approve of increasing federal taxes on families who earn more than a quarter of a million dollars per year starting in 2013. More than half of the Republicans agree to the tax increase as well as more than three quarters of the Democrats.
Is Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars A Year The Number that Establishes that Someone Is Rich?
The cost of living in major metropolitan areas of the United States is high. Two hundred fifty thousand dollars a year is a lot of money. But it does not make a family rich! President Obama is consumed with the idea of raising taxes. His definition of who is rich is incorrect. A fairer measure of wealth would be to set the standard for individuals receiving a tax increase at between five hundred thousand and one million dollars per year.
Bush Presidency Tax Cuts
When President Bush was in office, he was able to motivate congress to pass tax cuts for everyone. This included individuals earning millions of dollars per year. These tax cuts stay in effect until the end of 2012.
President Obama believes that the best way to reduce the deficit is to “tax the rich”. This is not the best solution to America’s financial problems. A much more sophisticated detailed plan must be enacted to the deal with America’s huge deficit. A more effective tax cut then those proposed by President Obama would be to raise the tax rate of everyone in the United States making under $500,000.00 a year by one percent and raise the tax rate for individuals who make over $500,000.00 by two percent. This would generate much more income.
New York Elder Law Attorneys
Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He drafts wills. He also deals with guardianship matters and assisted living issues. The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel handles medicaid eligibility, medicaid problems and also drafts living wills. Call for a free consultation.
How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?
If you don’t know the answer to the question how much money you need to retire, you should not retire. Guessing is not a solution to this problem. Recent studies show that more than half of Americans who retire aren’t sure how much money they will need. Those Americans that have retirement strategies often do not take into consideration the rising cost of health care retired Americans face.
A recent study showed that baby boomers felt they needed $60,000.00 a year to retire. However, the same individuals could not calculate how large a financial portfolio was necessary to throw off $60,000.00 a year in income.
Just Keep Working
A large portion of the baby boomers interviewed felt that their retirement solution was to “just keep working.” I personally subscribe to this theory! As long as you just keep working you don’t have to worry about how much money you will need to retire or how much money you don’t have that is necessary to retire.
Do’s and Don’t’s Involving Retirement
Speak to friends, relatives and other individuals who have retired and ask them what it is costing them. Develop a plan and put the plan in writing. Thereafter, carry out the terms of the plan. Educate yourself as to issues involving investing for retirement. Participate in employer related 401K and pension plans. Last but not least, simply don’t retire!
Wills and Trusts Lawyer
The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel has experience in handling all types of wills, trusts and estate law issues. We probate wills and contest wills. We deal with issues concerning administration, estate taxes and estate planning. We represent executors of wills and we probate the wills. We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts for our clients. We also draft special needs trust for special needs children. We deal with all types of elder care issues, including, but not limited to the nursing home abuse, medicaid planning techniques and medicaid qualification. Feel free to call us for a consultation.
June 29th, 2011
When Is The Right Time to Retire?
It’s hard to say when it’s right time to retire; however, it is easy to say it is the wrong time to retire. You shouldn’t retire unless you have sufficient funds to carry you through your golden years. In the past, most people retired in their sixties. With declining savings and living costs going up, many Americans will have to wait till they’re in their seventies.
Instead of quitting your job, you may be able to negotiate reducing your working days or working hours. This will allow you to live without drawing on your savings. Downscale your life style. If you want to retire, you need to try to live more modestly. If your home is large, you can sell it and buy a smaller home or rent an apartment. You can move from an expensive state, such as those located in the Northeast, to cheaper, less expensive states in the South and Southwest.
You need to prioritize your needs. Instead of eating out once or twice a week, it is much less expensive to cook your meals and eat at home.
Losing your job or being downsized may force you into retirement. Employers may no longer want experienced employees in their fifties and sixties. This tends to raise the cost of their group health care and other group benefit packages. What do you do if you’re downsized and no one wants to hire you?You need to see a job counselor. You need to train yourself to work in another industry. Unfortunately, you also need to downsize your expectations as to what you’ll be earning.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel has been assisting senior Americans regarding wills and trusts issues for more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children.
June 1st, 2011
Estate planning is a dry and dull subject. However, the family dynamics and transactions of celebrities bring issues involving estate planning before society as a whole. The deaths of Michael Jackson, Catherine Hepburn, singer Don Ho and the problems involved in their estates have been in the news in the past few years. The problems encountered by these celebrities are good examples of what the do’s and don’ts of estate planning are.
All Estate Planning Should Be In Writing!
Don Ho made various promises to his estranged first wife on her death bed. He told her he would let her six children inherit the family’s beach front home in Hawaii. This eight bedroom luxury home had been in the family for decades. Unfortunately for his ex-wife and her children, this was an unenforceable verbal promise. The house was subsequently listed for sale. While the home was on the market, he died of heart failure.
The home, which was owned by a trust, was listed at 6.8 million dollars and eventually sold for approximately 6 million dollars. Thereafter, the six adult children of the first wife were evicted from the house. There has been a lot of litigation and many estate lawyers have made significant legal fees related to Don Ho’s estate. As of this date, the six adult children of Don Ho’s late wife have not received one penny.
Creating A Trust Is Only a First Step; the Trust Needs to Be Funded
Michael Jackson had created a family trust during his lifetime. He took this action as part of a sophisticated estate plan. However, he did not transfer any assets into the trust. It was therefore absolutely worthless!
To put a home in a trust, a new deed must be created. This deed must transfer the title of the property from the name of the individual creating the trust into the trust. The deed thereafter must be recorded at the County Clerk’s office or the register of deeds in the county where the home is located. Michael Jackson’s estate is now involved in a probate mess that could have been avoided if his trust was funded!
Leona Helmsley left significant assets to her pet. This did not sit well with her friends and family members. They did not like the idea that Leona felt a pet was more important than them. Care should be taken in estate plans to explain exactly who is to receive your assets. If you’re disinheriting individuals, your will or trust should specifically state that they are being disinherited. Think about the consequences and problems that may be caused by your estate plan and take action to deal with these consequences.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel can provide you with expert legal assistance in the areas of estate planning. Our law office probates wills. We litigate contested wills and estates. We draft wills and trusts. We prepare revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts during our clients’ lifetimes.
We provide elder care legal advice concerning issues involving nursing home abuse, medicaid and medicaid planning techniques. We also draft special needs trusts for special needs children. Feel free to call us for a consultation.
May 13th, 2011
Fewer doctors in the United States are going into family practice. Solo medical practitioners involved in family practices are becoming scarcer. The American Academy of Family Physicians, in 1986, represented forty-four percent of the practicing doctors. As of 2008, only eighteen percent of practicing physicians are in family practice and that number continues to grow smaller.
In 2007, twenty-eight percent of the doctors in private practice described themselves as being self-employed. In 1970, almost sixty percent of all doctors were self-employed.
New Doctors Don’t Want Family Practices
Many of the doctors graduating medical school have no interest in small family practices. They seek better life styles, which involve shorter working days and weekends off. They want to avoid patient emergencies.
New Doctors Have to Deal With Debt Obligations
Many doctors going into medical practice today borrowed large sums to help pay for their medical school expenses. These young doctors are looking for steady pay checks that have no risk attached to them.
Will Patients Suffer?
There are benefits for patients who use larger medical practices. These larger practices can provide more preventive medical services. They have the financial ability to use technology to enhance their practice, which gives them greater capabilities.
Loss of the Personal Touch
Generations of Americans have had personal, confidential relationships with their physicians. Physicians were trusted individuals. Patients felt they had a personal relationship with them. Newer, larger medical groups may lack this personal touch. Doctors who are part of larger medical groups have the ability to pool their resources to provide more sophisticated, higher levels of medical care.
There are pluses and minuses involved in a demise of the local family sole practitioner. Although there is a loss of the personal relationship, the patient may end up with more sophisticated medical care!
The attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel have more than 70 years of combined legal experience. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for our clients. Elliot Schlissel is a member of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
We represent individuals with regard to issues concerning medicaid, medicaid planning techniques and developing special needs trusts for special needs children. We also deal with issues involving nursing home abuse. Feel free to call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
April 28th, 2011
Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment for Americans. The current economic situation in the United States may require a re-thinking of retirement issues. A recent study has shown that one in four individuals approaching retirement have saved nothing for their retirement years! The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently revealed that nearly 50% of all individuals who are close to retirement, age 56 through 62, will run out of money if they are retired for twenty years or more.
Planning for Retirement
Planning for retirement is a complicated process. You never know how long you’re going to live! It is difficult to anticipate future medical expenses.
In the year 2011, the average individual receiving social security benefits will take in about $1,200 a month. Studies show you’ll need approximately eighty-percent of your pre- retirement income to maintain the same level of life style you maintained in your pre- retirement days. If you are nearing retirement, it is strongly suggested that you obtain literature and/or professional advice concerning retirement. Some retirement organizations offer community seminars. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has an enormous amount of information concerning what you can expect your expenses to be during the course of your retirement.
Are You In Debt
One of the first things that is recommended to individuals approaching retirement is to eliminate debt. The best way to do that is to review your expenses and take affirmative action to reduce these expenses. Examples of reducing expenses would be eating out in restaurants less often. You may have to change your life style and live a simpler, less expensive life.
Can You Downsize Your Home Expenses?
You may be able to sell your home and move into a smaller home. In some situations, you may be forced to sell your home and live in an apartment.
Who says sixty-five years of age is the magic number to retire! People are living much longer today. Working into your early seventies may be the solution to your retirement issues. Another alternative is to simply not retire. I’m sixty-one years of age and I have no intentions of retiring anytime in the near future. I simply wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I retired. I anticipate I would be bored to tears!
Our law office has been handling estate planning matters for our clients for more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts for our clients. We assist our clients in estate administration and probating wills. We deal with elder care matters involving nursing homes, nursing home abuse, medicaid, medicaid planning and medicaid planning techniques. We also assist our clients in developing special needs trusts for special needs children. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
April 19th, 2011
Today, there is a new phenomenon in medical care. Individuals are paying their doctors a fixed annual fee. They pay their doctors this fixed annual fee whether they use their services or not. The fixed annual fee is usually in the area of $1,500 a year. The annual fee is for what is now referred to as concierge medicine.
Concierge medicine refers to situations where doctors limit their medical practice to those patients that pay the annual fee. This type of concierge medical practice can create a two tier system for medical care in the United States. Unfortunately, Americans who can’t afford to pay the $1,500 retainer fee to their doctors may be stuck in what may be considered a lower tier of medical care.
It is estimated there are approximately two thousand doctors in the United States that are utilizing this concierge medical care system. The large majority are primary care physicians. It is estimated that more than 300,000 individuals and families have paid these retainers and are utilizing concierge care physicians.
Concierge Care Provides Better Medical Service to Patients
Concierge care physicians claim that this system provides more personal attention and promotes a better doctor-patient relationship. If a concierge care physician has two hundred patients at a $1,500 retainer basis, he or she starts the year with a minimum of $300,000. This is a very hefty sum of money. The theory behind concierge care is if the doctor has less patients to treat, each of those patients will receive a higher standard of medical care. In addition, the doctor also bills medicare, medicaid and private insurance companies for covered medical services.
Two Tiered Medical System
John Rother, policy director for The American Association of Retired Persons, feels that this may create a dual medical system and that it would have a negative effect on middle class Americans and individuals on medicare. When you take into consideration the fact that, under President Obama’s new health care program, it is estimated that as many as 34 million more Americans are qualified for medicaid in the United States, a two tiered system for medical care is becoming a real possibility. In the two tiered medical system, Americans with financial resources will receive high quality medical care. The question is what will happen to the quality of medical care for those who can’t afford the annual fee.
Our law office has assisted our clients with regard to wills, trusts and estate issues for more than three decades. We probate wills and we litigate contested wills and estates. We handle estate administration, estate taxes and we do estate planning for our clients. We also draft revocable living trusts, irrevocable living trusts and all other types of trusts. We handle elder care matters for our clients involving nursing home abuse, medicaid applications and medicaid planning techniques. We are experienced in drafting special needs trusts for special needs children. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
March 23rd, 2011
On February 17, 2011, more than one hundred doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other medical providers were arrested as part of a huge, nationwide investigation dealing with medicare fraud. Approximately seven hundred law enforcement personnel were involved in the arrests of individuals accused with illegally defrauding medicare of more than $225 million dollars. The $225 million dollars represented illegal false billing of medicare for services that either were not necessary or never provided. Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States. It is one of the causes of the high expense rate for this program.
The February 17, 2011 medicare fraud arrests involved individuals in the following cities: Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Tampa, Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In Detroit, a pediatrist who performed unnecessary partial toenail removals by the name of Dr. Errol Sherman was accused of defrauding medicare out of $700,000 for these unnecessary procedures. His alleged partial toenail removals were actually Dr. Sherman simply cutting the toenails of his patients. Dr. Sherman had the audacity to bill medicare for twenty toenail removals on three toes for one patient! He charged medicare $110.00 for each of these non-existent treatments. Query – how many toes can a patient have?
Scandalous Brooklyn Proctologist
Dr. Borus Sachakow, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a proctologist. He billed medicaid for ten hemorrhoid removals for one patient. This is impossible! Dr. Sachakow had been previously arrested last year on criminal charges for other fraudulent medicaid activities.
Three clinics in Brooklyn, New York, that specialized in physical therapy were also busted. These clinics were part of an organized crime ring operated by Russian immigrants. They paid recruiters to find senior citizens to come to their office for unnecessary treatment. They billed medicaid $57 million for physical therapy that consisted of back rubs.
Home Care, Inc., which was run by two Miami physicians, was charged with writing $25 million worth of fake prescriptions. In Miami, more than three dozen individuals were charged with medicaid fraud. They were charged with falsely billing medicaid for more than $56 million. The busts on Thursday, February 17, 2011, were in addition to the arrests of twenty one people in Miami on Tuesday of that week for $200 million in medicare fraud.
John Gillis, the FBI Agent in charge, stated “we can arrest and charge people every day and it still won’t make a dent until changes are made to medicare.”
Unfortunately, medicare operates under a system that pays for medical services without investigating as to whether these services were actually necessary. Medicare is one of the largest medical supplier systems in the world. It has more than $1.3 million licensed suppliers nationwide. This is increasing by more than 18,000 new suppliers coming onto the system each and every month. This system program needs a better system of policing.
Medicare Needs To Be Reformed
America is going broke. Medicare is one of those programs that is contributing to the financial problems faced by state and local governments. The medicare system must be changed. Procedures must be developed to provide quality medical care. The system today promotes high quantities of unnecessary medical procedures. We simply can no longer afford this!
There are many issues faced by senior citizens. The elder care lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel can assist seniors with these issues. We draft wills. We probate wills. We litigate contested wills and estates for family members and friends of the decedents. We engage in medicaid planning. We deal with nursing home issues and we assist our clients when they feel there has been nursing home abuse. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children. We also provide tax planning advise for our high net worth clients concerning estate tax issues. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.
March 22nd, 2011
Baby Boomers are going to have difficulty retiring. Recent studies indicate that baby boomers will work four years more than earlier generations due to the economic problems they have faced in recent years. The years following retirement are referred to as the “golden years”. There may not be much gold left for the baby boomers!
Baby boomers are individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. There are approximately 77 million baby boomers. This represents 37% of the nation’s population that are age sixteen or older.
Retirement – A Grim View
Baby boomers have supposedly been saving during the course of their lifetimes for their golden retirement years. Unfortunately their savings have been involved in stocks, bonds and real estate that has been devastated by the recent economic crisis in the United States. The past five to seven years have had a negative effect on the net worth of a large portion of the baby boomers who are expected to retire during the next five to seven years.
Even the baby boomers whose investments have not been effected by the recent economic down turn may be hesitant to retire due to concern over their financial future.
In a recent survey by certified public accountants shows that their clients who had assets between $500,000 and $5,000,000 were concerned about retiring and were prepared to work four or more years before retiring. If individuals with such substantial assets are nervous about retiring, the picture is even more bleak for baby boomers who do not have savings.
“Boomers have been scarred by the economic turmoil in the past two years and face complex challenges going forward” Clark M. Blackman III recently stated. Mr. Blackman is the chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Personal Financial Executive Committee. Baby boomers golden years may be less than golden!
Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Elliot Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. His law office probates wills, deals with contested wills and estates, drafts wills, and provides estate planning for their clients. They also draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for their clients. The law office provides all types of elder care legal services including dealing with issues of nursing home abuse, medicaid planning techniques and actually applying for medicaid for their clients. The law office also deals with children with special needs and the drafting of special needs trusts for these children. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350- 2802. Link to Wills Website
February 28th, 2011
One Million Americans Lose Health Insurance
More Americans Given Healthcare Coverage
Starting in the year 2014, insurance companies will no longer have the ability to reject individuals with preexisting medical conditions or to charge individuals who currently are suffering from illnesses higher premiums for medical insurance.
There are a number of court challenges to the Affordable Health Care Law. Several Federal Judges have set aside the law for various reasons. It will be interesting to see how the Appellate Federal Courts deal with this issue.
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He provides his clients with detailed Elder Care legal services involving Medicaid planning, nursing home issues, special needs trusts and issues involving special children. If you have a probate, Wills, Trusts and Estates or Elder Care matter, we are the law firm that can help you. Call us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.
February 24th, 2011
Are you concerned that either you, a close friend or a loved one has the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease? What are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? Are your parents just becoming forgetful or do they have the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? Should you believe that yourself, a friend, a family member or a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s disease, then you should go to a physician that deals with this disorder. There are very specific tests a physician can perform to determine whether Alzheimer’s disease is in its early stages.
The following are a list of symptoms you should look for concerning Alzheimer’s disease:
Memory lapses -Does the senior repeat himself or herself or tell the same story again and again? Are they forgetful concerning names and acquaintances? Is this a problem that is getting worse? Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Confusion - Has this individual’s speech patterns changed? Does he or she stumble over their words? Instead of using specific terms, do they instead use terms such as “whatchamacallit”?
Mood changes - Is this individual subject to certain mood changes? Where they were normally assertive, are they now reflective? Is this individual becoming withdrawn or depressed?
Difficulty with common activities - Does this individual seem to have difficulty doing normal daily activities such as cooking, washing, bathing and playing games? Does this individual start projects and fail to complete them?
Disorientation - Does this individual become disoriented in situations where they never had difficulty before? Do they get lost easily or wander around aimlessly?
Misplacing items - Has the individual suddenly started to lose things or misplace items? Does he or she lose track of things such as keys, glasses or telephones?
The aforementioned provides you an overview of many of the problems experienced by individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease. Should you see these problems in a friend, family member or loved one, have them a see a physician to look into whether they are developing Alzheimer’s disease. There are medications that can slow the onslaught of this horrendous disease.
The Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel drafts wills and trusts for our clients. We probate wills and trusts. We litigate contested wills and estate proceedings. We help our clients deal with Medicaid planning and issues involving nursing homes. We deal with estate administration and estate taxation issues. We also draft special needs and trusts, as well as supplemental needs trusts, for our clients. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561- 6645 or 718-350-2802 should you need legal assistance.