Attorney Ethan Welch’s Estate Planning Article is Featured in The Morning Journal’s Senior Living Edition

Attorney Ethan Welch had his blog Should I Share My Estate Planning Information with My Family featured in the Senior Living tab for The Morning Journal’s July Edition. Ethan states “there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to sharing estate plan information, and some approaches may work better than others”.

 

 

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Can a Student Get Suspended for a Snapchat Post?

Social media is something I did not have to worry about as a kid, but it’s a very different story today. Every silly, embarrassing or inappropriate thing that a kid posts on social media can be instantly shared with hundreds, sometimes thousands or millions, with the tap of a finger. It immediately becomes part of their permanent record that could come back to haunt them when they’re looking to get a job, get accepted into college, and it can get them into trouble at school.

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Medicaid and Your Home

One of the most common questions I get asked is if Medicaid is going to take the home. For many families, their home is their most valuable asset. But even if you have assets worth more, you probably don’t have the same emotional attachment to your retirement account as you do to your home. It’s easy to see why! You live in your home for many years, and your time there is full of memories. The thought of Medicaid forcing you to leave your home is frightening. Unfortunately, a lot of bad information is out there about Medicaid and your home. So let me be clear: Medicaid will not take your home. Hopefully, this blog post helps you better understand how Medicaid treats your home, how you can protect your home from Medicaid spend-down, and how to be ‘Medicaid smart’ if you do decide to sell your home.

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Medicaid and Medicare Working Together

Medicaid and Medicare are the two largest publicly funded health programs in the country with different missions that often overlap. Medicare provides health coverage to seniors and some individuals with disabilities. Medicaid covers adults and children who cannot afford insurance, or who have health care costs they cannot afford. Often, an individual will be eligible for coverage through both programs. Today, I will focus on how both programs work together by answering some commonly asked questions.

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Advocating for your Child in the School System

Special Education Advocate Mary Jo O’Neill wrote a feature article in the April issue of Autism Advocate Parenting Magazine: Advocating for your Child in the School System, where she provides advice on how to create an effective Individualized Education Program (IEP), how to form positive working relationships with your child’s educators and how to advocate for a successful school year for your child.  “You know your children best.  You know their strengths, their weaknesses and their capabilities. Although the school system can be difficult to navigate, it’s imperative for parents to advocate for their children, because they deserve a program that can give them the opportunity to thrive in education.”

Link to the full article: Advocating for your child in the School System 

 

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Paying For Long-Term Care

Long-term care is not just nursing home care, like many of us think. I often speak about the “Elder Care Continuum”, which describes what many of us and our loved ones will or are experiencing as we age or face health challenges. In the beginning you may have little to no real limitations, reside in your home with no cost of care, and have private insurance through Medicare and various compliments. As you continue to age and some health issues arise, perhaps you’ll need to pay for some in-home assistance, which may be covered or paid for by VA Benefits, community services, or private caretakers. As your needs become greater and limitations increase, perhaps a move into a retirement community becomes more appropriate, funded by Social Security and retirement income.

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Preparing for College for a Student with a Disability

Graduation season is nearly upon us as high school seniors across the state are making plans for their next adventure. If you have a disability and choose to go on to college, there are additional steps required, both in choosing the right university and in seeing that your needs are met.

I’m talking to you, the student, not your parent. You’re likely 18 now and a legal adult, so it’s your turn to take the lead and pave the way to the future you’ve dreamed of. The college will be communicating directly with you, not your parents, from now on. If you want your parents involved, you’ll need to forward them all the information along the way. That may be a big change for you because, up until now, your parents had the power to make decisions about your education and the school had a legal obligation to see that your needs were met (follow your IEP or 504, ensure that you made progress, etc.) College is different – you must ask for what you need, and provide proof, before they’re required to provide it.

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Parent-Teacher Conferences: GO!

Many of you are probably getting notices about parent-teacher conferences approaching.  We know it’s yet another thing to add to your already busy schedule, but we highly encourage you to participate! Even if the parent-teacher conference is a virtual planform it still can be productive.

Conferences are your opportunity to gather data and feedback in between progress reports, which typically come out every nine weeks. Nine weeks is a long stretch if things aren’t going well.  You’ll want to discover problems sooner rather than later so that changes can be made.  COVID has made school more difficult for sure, but the school is still obligated, under IDEA law, to meet your child’s needs and make sure that he or she is making adequate progress in light of his or her unique circumstances.  Keep your eye on your child’s progress!

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