Jan G. Zager

Elder Law and Estate Planning

I take care of the things people don't like to talk about but know they should---death, taxes, who will take care of things and how when (not if, it's always when) you can't take care of things yourself. Some folks call what I do wills and trusts, medicaid planning or elder law. I call it preserving your dignity, protecting your family, and providing a legacy of values, love and financial stability. Real benefits for real people about what really matters.

At Home, Many Seniors Are Imprisoned by Their Independence


nytimes.com Almost two million Americans over age 65 rarely or never leave their homes. They are more likely to be minority women, and in poor health.

[05/05/15]   The fun begins! Here in Tampa/St Pete's Beach for a Medicaid Intensive. Everything is always changing in this wonderful world of Elder Law.

When a Medical Proxy Saves a Life


So folks, what do you think? The law here in Washington is that someone who holds a Healthcare Power of Attorney only has the legal right to make a decision for the person for whom s/he is the agent or proxy if that person is unable to decide or give informed consent. This opinion piece seems to say that the holder or proxy was the decision-maker despite the fact that the patient was competent. But there's a lot of family dynamics here and I believe this isn't about a health care power of attorney or proxy at all. This is about the relationship between two rather extraordinary women, the writer's mother and grandmother. But turning the essay into one about a legal document is misleading because it gives the wrong idea about who is the actual decision-maker.

opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com My grandmother thought she was ready to die. She was wrong.

When Heirs Fight Over Assets With Sentimental Value


It can be anything, can happen to anyone and potentially can happen to everyone. Do you want to leave a legacy of ill-will and resentment even if it's the Passover Seder plate or the Easter basket and not Mork's red suspenders? This is the reason I spend so much time with my estate planning clients; we talk about family and family dynamics as well as the stuff. And craft ways to make passing on material things as smoothly (and cost-effectively) as possible.

nytimes.com Robin Williams’s widow and children are in the middle of a fight over his personal effects. Such wrangling is hardly uncommon.

[04/03/15]   So dear friends: this is quite the holiday weekend coming up with the Passover Seders and Easter Sunday. This is the perfect time to start thinking about our important legacy---the legacy of values, hopes and community each of us leaves. Like all estate planning, these are matters that many of us don't like to talk about. But just as with matters relating to our stuff where we all have an estate plan just perhaps not one we have chosen, our ethical legacy will be passed on whether we plan and therefore leave something intentionally or whether we just let things happen. Think and talk with family about the important things this weekend. Who are you and what do you stand for? How do you want to be remembered? What are you most proud of? Where do you come from and where are you going? What are your hopes for your children? Your grandchildren? This country? The world?

Facing Early Death, on Their Terms


Thinking through how we want others to think of us and treat us in the event we can't speak for ourselves is not just for the elders of society (though, of course, we can model this for our children!). The professionals as well as parents and kids in this article all said that these were wrenching but healing discussions.

well.blogs.nytimes.com A national push and a new guide are giving critically ill young patients a voice in end-of-life discussions.

Who Will Care for Your Dog after You're Gone?


doggies.com Although it's not a topic any of us really want to think about, responsible dog parenting requires that we give some thought to what would happen to our dogs if one day we didn't come home.

Tips for the Future Care of Disabled Family Members


So true---though she didn't even address the challenges of getting and maintaining adequate services. But the tools discussed here are critical for parents to discuss at all stages of a loved one's life.

nytimes.com The new 529A savings account, special needs trusts and professional advice are among the tools that can make planning decades ahead less overwhelming.




3023 80th Ave SE, Ste 201
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