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Guide to Legal Issues for
Pennsylvania Senior Citizens

You'll find a wealth of useful information in the Guide to Legal Issues for Pennsylvania Senior Citizens.  

Download the Guide.

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This informative publication covers everything from Age Discrimination and Elder Abuse to Trusts and Capital Gains.  See our helpful index.

The Guide is a publication of The Pennsylvania Bar Association and The Pennsylvania Bar Insurance and Trust Fund 2009 - 2010.   More information is available at the website: www.PABar.org.

Index for the Guide

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A

Abuse, 73, 74
     Hotline , 73
     Signs of, 73
Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 74, 75
Activities of Daily Living, 62, 66, 71
Adult Day Care, 21, 65, 66, 69, 70
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 76, 77
Agent, 31, 32, 33, 34, 60, 61, 82, 84
American Association of Retired Persons, 25
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 74, 75, 76
Appeals in Denials of Benefits, 50 , 51, 52
APPRISE Program, 50, 55, 56
Area Agencies for the Aging, 19
Assisted Living Facilities, 61-64
Attendant Care, 20
Attorney-Client Relations, 17

B

Beneficiaries, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 42, 43, 46, 48, 49, 53, 58
Benefit Triggers, 71
By-Pass Trusts, 27

C

Capital Gains Tax, 23, 30
     Jointly-held Property, 23, 28
Caregivers, 20, 50, 66, 69, 76
     Protection From Discrimination, 76
Charitable Gift Annuity, 30
Charitable Organizations, 79
Checklist For Your Personal Filing, 84
Choosing an Attorney, 18
Conflicts of Interest, 17
Consumer Protection, 77, 78, 79

     Long Term Care Insurance, 69-73
     Resources, 72, 73
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), 63-64
     Contract, 63
Continuing Legal Education, 17
Counseling, 19, 55, 58, 59, 66

     Medicare Insurance, 55
     National Family Caregiver Support Program, 66, 67
     Veteran’s Benefits, 58,59
Credit Shelter Trusts, 27
Custody-Grandparents’, 81-82

D

Daycare, 19, 20, 68
Disability Benefits, 36, 41, 42, 45, 57
Discrimination, 74, 76-77

     Age, 76
     Disabilities, 74
Domiciliary Care Services, 65
Do Not Call Lists, 80
Drivers’ Licenses, 83
Durable, 28, 31, 45, 46, 50

     Medical Equipment, 45, 46, 50
     Power of Attorney, 28, 31

E

Elder Abuse, 73-74
Elder Law, 17-18
Employment Assistance, 20
Energy Assistance, 56
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 76, 77
Equity Conversion, 23, 24, 25
Estate and Gift Taxes, 29, 30
Estate Planning, 26-31
Ethical Rules, 17
Executor, 26, 31, 35, 84

F

Failure To Act, 32
Fair Market Value, 30, 55
Family Caregiver Support Program, 20, 66, 67
Fannie Mae, 24
Fees, 27, 28, 31, 62, 63

     Assisted Living, 62
     Trusts, 27, 28
Financial Planning, 21-26
Financial Power of Attorney, 32
Food Stamps, 56
Fraud, 17, 32, 33, 40, 50, 78, 79, 80

     Mail Fraud, 79
     National Fraud Information Center Phone Number, 80
     Steps to Minimize, 32-33
     With a Power of Attorney, 32

G

Geriatric Care Manager, 67, 68
Gifts, 29, 30, 32, 55

     Estate Planning, 26-31
     Taxes, 29, 30
Grandchildren, 59, 81, 82
Grandparents’ Custody and Visitation Rights, 81, 82
Guardianships, 34, 35

H

Handicapped Parking, 84
Health Care, 32, 33, 34, 35, 46, 48, 49, 51, 57, 58, 60, 62, 63,
64, 68, 72, 83

     HIPPA, 34
     Living Wills 33, 34
     Provisions in a Power of Attorney, 33
     Veteran’s Benefits, 57, 58
Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, 33, 34
Hearing Before the Court, 35
Home Energy Assistance, 56
Home Equity Conversion, 23, 24, 25

     National Center Website, 25
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, 23, 24
Home Support, 19
Hospital Insurance, 45
Housing, 24, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 82

     Long Term Care Facilities, 60
     National Housing Locator Seniors, 66
     Options, 65, 66
     PA Housing Finance Agency, 24
     Subsidized, 65

I

Identification Cards, 84
Incapacitated Person, 35, 36
Income Tax, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30

     Credit, 22
     Income Tax Planning & Preparation, 21
     Returns, 21, 25, 27, 30
     Social Security Benefits, 40
     Standard Deduction at Age 65, 22
Inheritance Taxes, 28
In-home Services, 20, 66

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 22, 30
     Toll Free Number, 22
Intestacy Law, 26

L

Lawyer Referral Service, 18, 28, 37, 59
     PA Bar Association’s Toll Free Number, 28
Lawyers Fund For Client Security, 17
Living Trusts, 28

     Revocable, 28
Living Wills, 33, 34
Long Term Care, 20, 21, 51, 60, 61, 64, 69

     Assessment, 61, 66, 67
     Costs, 69
     Facilities, 60, 69
     Helpline, 21
     Medical Expense Deductions, 22
     Ombudsman, 19, 61, 68
     Resources, 69
Long Term Care Insurance, 69-73
     Benefits Trigger, 71
     Consumer Tips, 71, 72
     Coverage Needed, 70
     Factors Affecting Costs, 70, 71
     Independent Advice, 72
     Resources, 72, 73
     Services Covered, 70

M

Mail Fraud, 79
Meals on Wheels, 56
Mediation Services, 82

     Benefits of, 82, 83
Medicaid, 54, 55
     Disqualification, 55
     PA Guide for Senior Citizens 90
     Eligibility, 54
     Medicaid Planning, 55
     Estate Recovery, 55
Medical Expense Deductions, 22
Medicare, 45-53, 58, 59, 60

     Appeals, 50, 51
     Medicare Advantage, 47, 48, 49
     Part A, Hospital Insurance, 45
     Part B, Medical Insurance, 46
     Part D Assistance for Persons with Low Income, 52, 53
     Savings Program, 49, 50
     Veteran’s Uniform Benefits Package & Medicare, 58
Medigap, 46, 47
Medigap Insurance, 46, 47
Meeting With Your Lawyer, 31

N

National Mail Order Pharmacy (NMOP), 58
Neglect, 73

     Hotline, 73,
     Signs of, 73
Non-Probate Property, 28
Nursing Home, 60, 61, 68, 69,

     Costs, 69
     Licenses: Problems, Sanctions and Revocations, 68, 69
     Residents’ Rights, 60, 61
     Resources, 69

O

Older Americans Act, 19-21
Ombudsman, 19, 61, 68
On-line Scams, 80
Orphans’ Court, 35

Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders, 34

P

PACE, 21, 26, 52, 53
PACENET, 26, 52, 53
Parents, 26, 39, 81, 82
Pennsylvania Bar Association, 3, 4, 5, 6, 28
Pennsylvania Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, 37, 59
Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Bureau, 77
Pennsylvania Department of Aging, 19, 21, 47, 56, 61, 65, 69, 72, 73
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, 56
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, 25, 26

     Property Tax & Rent Rebate Information Toll Free Number, 26
Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations, 79
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 83, 84

     Handicapped Parking, 84
     Identification Cards, 84
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), 24
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), 77
Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, 29
Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security, 17
Pennsylvania Legal Services, 59
Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, 77
Personal Care Homes, 66, 69
Personal Records, 84

     Checklist for Your Filing System, 84
Planning, 18, 21-31, 55
     Estate, 26, 31
     Gifts, 30,
     Financial, 21-25
     Medicaid, 55
     Meeting With Your Lawyer, 30, 31
Power of Attorney, 28, 31-34, 36, 61, 82, 84
     Failure to Act, 32
     Fraud, 32, 33
     General, 31, 32
     Health Care, 33, 34
     Revoking, 32
Prescription Benefits, 51, 52
     Additional Benefits for Members of the Uniformed Services, 58
Property Tax and Rent Rebates, 25, 26
Protection From Abuse Orders (PFAs), 74
Protective Services, 19, 20
Public Benefits For Non-Citizens, 59

R

Railroad Retirement Benefits, 56, 57
     Disability Benefits, 57
     Railroad Retirement Board, 56, 57,
Recovery, Estate, 55
Rent Rebates, 25, 26
Residents’ Rights, 60, 61, 62, 63

     Assisted Living Facility, 62, 63
     Nursing Home, 60, 61,
Resources, 21, 42, 69, 72, 80
     Consumer Protection, 80
     Housing Options, 66
     Long Term Care Facilities, 69
     Long Term Care Insurance, 72, 73
     Older Americans Act, 21
     Social Security, 42
Retirement Communities, 63-64
Reverse Mortgages, 23-25
Revocable Living Trusts, 28
Revoking A Power of Attorney, 32
Rules of Professional Conduct, 17

S

Safe Deposit Box, 27
Sale of Residence, 22-23
Senior Adult Activities Centers, 20
Service Connected, 58
Skilled Nursing Facility, 45, 53, 54
Social Security, 36-44

     Benefits For a Divorced Spouse, 39, 40
     Benefits to Divorced Widow(er)s, 40
     Correcting Records, 37
     Deadlines, 36
     Disability Insurance Benefits, 38
     Fact Sheet, 43, 44
     Income Tax, 40
     Legal Assistance, 37
     Retirement Benefits, 38
     Resources, 42
     Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 38
     Survivor Benefits, 39
     Toll-Free Number, 36
     Website, 36
     Written Explanation for Denial of Benefits, 37
Springing Power of Attorney, 31
Subsidized Housing, 65
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 25, 27, 37, 38, 43
Survivor Benefits, 39, 40

T

Taxes, 20- 23, 25, 26, 29, 30
     Basis, Special rules for Surviving Spouse, 23
     Credit, 22
     Estate Tax, 21, 29, 30
     Gift, 29 , 30
     Inheritance, 29
     Planning/Preparation, 20, 21
     Property Tax & Rent Rebates, 25, 26
     Standard Deduction, 22
Telemarketing, 79, 80
The National Family Caregiver Support Program, 66, 67
Transportation Services, 65
Trigger Date, 55
Trustee, 27
Trusts, 27, 28

V

Veterans, 57, 58, 59
     Federal Benefits for Veterans 57
     Veterans’ Health Care Benefits 57, 58
     Veterans’ Uniform Benefits Package and Medicare 58
Visitation Rights, Grandparents’, 81, 82
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, 22
Volunteer Services, 20

W

Wills, 26, 27, 33, 34
     Living, 33, 34

 

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