Be on the Lookout for New Medicare Cards (and New Card-Related Scams) The federal government is issuing new Medicare cards to all Medicare beneficiaries. To prevent fraud and fight identity theft, the new cards will no longer have beneficiaries' Social Security numbers on them. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is replacing each beneficiary's Social Security number with a unique identification number, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Each MBI will consist of a [...]


Can Adult Child Be Liable for a Parent's Nursing Home Bill? Although a nursing home cannot require a child to be personally liable for their parent's nursing home bill, there are circumstances in which children can end up having to pay. This is a major reason why it is important to read any admission agreements carefully before signing. Federal regulations prevent a nursing home from requiring a third party to be personally liable as a condition of admission. However, children of nursing home [...]


New Brokerage Account Safeguards Aim to Protect Seniors From Financial Scams New rules have been put in place to protect seniors with brokerage accounts from financial scams that could drain the accounts before anyone notices. As the population ages, elder financial abuse is a mounting problem. Vulnerable seniors can become victims of scammers who convince them to empty their investment accounts. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the organization that regulates [...]


If you own property -- whether houses, bank accounts, or vehicles -- in more than one state, do you need estate planning documents for each state? The answer is probably no, but you need to do some planning if you want to avoid going through probate in each of the states. A lawyer can generally draft a will that is generic enough to be probated in any state except Louisiana, which has very specific rules. However, real property in another state is subject to probate in that state even if you [...]


Choosing Retirement Account Beneficiaries Requires Some Thought While the execution of Wills requires formalities like proper witnessing and the need for a notarized witness affidavit, the reality is that most property passes to heirs through other, less formal means. Many bank and investments accounts, as well as real estate, have joint owners who take ownership automatically at the death of the primary owner. Other banks and investment companies offer payable on death accounts that permit [...]


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