“There are only four kinds of people in this world. Those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady
A good New Year’s resolution might be to solve the problem of an elderly relative who should no longer be driving. It’s not an easy task, and I can still hear my mother’s words, “Don’t you take my car away from me.” The car is not only the means to independence for most Americans, but it is also a symbol of independence.
There are certain common questions on Wills that everyone asks. The first question is usually, “Do I need a Will?” If you don’t have one, the laws of Connecticut will dictate where your assets go, and the person named to handle your Estate may not be the person you would have chosen. For many people, the Connecticut law will send property to your spouse, and if your spouse is deceased, to your children. But if you are married for a second time, the rules change and the law may not provide what you desire.
The budget bill just passed by the legislature, and signed into law by the Governor, may have the effect of impoverishing seniors. Here is why. Under current law, when either a husband or wife needs nursing home care, or care under the Connecticut Medicaid Home Care Program, the healthy spouse can keep $109,560 of assets. That in itself is not much to live on for the rest of your life, especially if you are in your 70’s when your spouse becomes sick.
There is a potentially big break for seniors just passed by the legislature but not yet signed by Governor Rell. It also needs federal approval, so it won’t be final until the federal government approves, but other states have allowed this method in the past, so there is good reason to believe it will go through.
Christmas shopping for your mother is never an easy task, but as she grows older, finding a gift that she will enjoy and use is nearly impossible. No more scarves, sweaters, or slippers please! The snuggie from last year still looks fine and those “teas from around the world” have not left her cupboard since the day after Christmas. This year you may want to give your mother a gift she could use and something you know she might not buy for herself.