Tag Archive for: marriage

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Clanging For 65 Years!
(Not Edited For Spelling Or Punctuation Or Anything Else) (Warning: Not Legal Advice!)

Though I Speak With The Tongues Of Men And Of Angels, And Have Not Charity,
I Am Become As Sounding Brass, Or A Tinkling Cymbal.

—1 Corinthians 13:1

Question: Would an adult child be responsible for an elderly parents’ nursing home expenses?

A low income, elderlycouple (85+) have been living independently for over 20 years. Their adult child (not an in-state resident ) provided their living expenses for the past 20 years. Due to illness, the adult child is only able to provide very limited living expenses for them.

In 2021, they both were hospitalized due to life threatening illnesses. They do not have any relatives in state and do not have money. At a doctor’s request, adult protection services and some social workers helped them move into a nursing facility due to their low-income status.

One person is qualified for Medicaid. The other one is not.

However, they do not have any money.

The question is, would the adult child be responsible for their elderly parents’ nursing facility medical and living expenses?

Short Answer: Maybe. Most states have filial responsibility laws that impose financial responsibility for parents on the kids. But not in Michigan. Used to be that if your parent wound up in the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital (known at its opening in 1859 as the Michigan Asylum for the Insane), you would get the bill. But not anymore. In Michigan.

Most states do not enforce their filial responsibility laws, but Pennsylvania is an exception. A recent appellate court ruling upheld the constitutionality and enforceability of the law. And Pennsylvania does come after the kids. Sometimes.

Long Answer: Beware when you “sign in” your parent to a nursing home or other facility. At least glance at the papers before you sign them. Better yet, read them. Even better, have your friendly, neighborhood elder law attorney take a gander before you sign.

Back in the day, it was not at all unusual to find a personal guarantee of fees buried in the mound of paperwork that the facility asked you to sign. And people did sign them. And facilities did enforce them. And it was a mess. Which is probably why the practice has pretty much died out. But not entirely, so buyer beware. Or get a little elder law assistance.

When long-term care costs $200-850/day (that is per day!), can you afford to just sign everything?

Imagine you are placing a loved one in a residential care facility. Do you think it is easy? Easy for the loved one? Easy for you? Most folks get overwhelmed. Crushing need for help and inability to provide care at home. Anger and frustration of the loved one. Guilt and helplessness of the caregiver forced to take this drastic step. And how do we break the promise: “You’ll never to to a nursing home!” Does it matter that you made that promise without knowing the reality of 24-hour, 7-day, 52-week care?

No wonder people sign documents without understanding what they are reading. Perhaps it might be helpful to have someone who has been down this path before…

Question: My boyfriend of 10 yrs just passed and now I got 30 days to get out it just don’t seem right. Is this how it is?

I was working he needed me at home. Before we could look in to caregiving he passed. His sister is 50% on the deed… something like that. So I got 30 days to get out 10 yrs of my life peacefully and she will give me his car and 2500$ I guess that’s the way they do it.

Short Answer: It is harsh to say, but you are probably not entitled to the money or car. Some states have “common law” marriage or “palimony.” In those states, you might have a claim. But not in Michigan.

Long Answer: Seems like sister is “on the deed”, maybe as joint tenant. Since you are definitely not on the deed, you have no title.

Michigan takes a hard line on marriage. Either you are married, with license and ceremony, or you are not. Marriages that were contracted in other states or territories that were valid in those locations are recognized and given effect in Michigan. But that is as far as it goes.

You probably received a 30-day Notice To Quit. This document is the first step in eviction. You may comply and leave, or fight the eviction or force the sister to go through the entire process. There are several ways this could go.

First, you up and leave. You get the car and the money.

Second, you fight. Not sure what basis you have for fighting, so the judge may get annoyed and assess damages for frivolous defenses. Plus you have lost the car and the money.

Third, you insist on every step of the eviction process being followed exactly. This may slow things to a crawl. Or you may get a judge who briskly moves cases through. Eventually, you will be forced to leave. And you may lose the car and money.

Marriage has consequences. Like inheriting property. Like entitlement to spousal share rights. Marriage is not a bed of roses and if it were, you’d find plenty of thorns. But there are benefits to marriage as well. Something to bear in mind.



16+% Wholesale Inflation – Again! | 10.1% Cost Of Food Inflation

You Don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows

Nostalgic For The Good Old Days Of Jimmy Carter? Me Too.

More good news from our friends at the Bureau of Labor Statistics! Consumer Price Inflation is setting new 40-year records. Again.

Energy prices are up. Way, way up. And that’s easy to solve. Simply stop driving anywhere. Stay at home. Problem solved.

Now that summer is finally here, you may wish to turn on your air conditioning. Do not. Your cost of cool is up 35%. Fortunately, sweat is still free. And it is all natural. Probably gluten-free, too. So, stay home, in the dark, with the air conditioning off. It is the New American thing to do.

consumer price index chart may 2022

Also, you can forget about going to the pool. No lifeguards. According to that paragon of virtue, National Public Radio: “the National Recreation and Parks Association says 8 out of 10 parks and rec departments can’t find enough staff.” “Tens of thousands of pools across the country are closed…”

Everybody complaining about gas prices. Is that the worst? No. Gas prices are not the worst part. So what is the worst? Since you have not read or heard it anywhere else, it falls to your Elder Law Reporter to point out the worst. Food Inflation. Food Inflation is in double-digit territory. Food costs 10.1% more now. You can stay home and save gas. Can you stay home and not eat? For how long?

Little Orphan Annie said, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun!”

Little Orphan Annie has not been watching the Producer Price Index.

Every time you go to the store, you experience the Consumer Price Index. The CPI is how the government measures misery today.

Future pain is predicted by the Producer Credit: Pacific Comics Club Price Index. The PPI measures wholesale inflation, before it gets to your local store. Wholesale inflation is once again at a 40-year high. 16.6%.

Did you think 10% Food Inflation was bad? How about 16.6%?

producer price index chart may 2022

coffee price chart

That is what’s coming tomorrow.

Hey Annie! Wake up and smell the coffee! Whoops, according to the Wall Street Journal, thanks to “extreme weather and supply-chain disruptions,” we have a coffee shortage and prices are up 76%. Yeah, we got a chart for that.

Homebuyers! Do not feel left out. Home mortgage interest rates are still climbing, according to Freddie Mac (formerly known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation):

mortgage market survey chart

Investors! Guess what… the market is tanking. Down 17% this year. So far. But you already knew that.

dow jones industrial average chart june 2022

What’s It All About? Six Keys To Happiness

How do you survive when the best-case scenario is: Horrifically Worse Than Jimmy Carter, But At Least No Thermonuclear War? Follow the Six Steps:

Stay home. Do not move about. Do not turn on the A/C. Do not eat. Do not buy another house. Do not look at your investments. Easy!

Is traditional trust planning failure a scam…
Your Estate Plan Is A Death Trap
Or Can It Be Explained By Incompetence And Indifference?

Traditional estate planning is supposed to avoid probate, save taxes, and dump your leftover stuff on your beneficiaries. After you die. Nobody cares what happens to you while you are alive. How does that help anyone? Stupid.

Traditional estate planning fails because the overwhelming majority of us will need long-term skilled care. 70% of us. For an average of 3 years. And we will go broke paying for it.

Is it surprising that thousands of recreation properties: cottages, cabins, hunting land, are lost to pay for long-term care? Why is your estate planner hurting you and your family? It is evil intent? Or stupidity?

LifePlanning™ defeats Nursing Home Poverty. Keep your stuff. Get the care you have already paid for. Good for you. Good for your family. Good example for society.

When my mother suffered from the dementia which led to her death, over 10 years ago, their estate plan preserved their lifesavings. Mom’s months in the nursing home did not mean Dad’s impoverishment. Dad spent the last years with security and peace of mind.

Is Now A Bad Time For A Real Solution?

Perhaps you think you already have an answer to this problem. Maybe you do not see this as a problem at all. It is possible that you do not believe in the passage of time or its effects on you.

Peace of mind and financial security are waiting for everyone who practices LifePlanning™. You know that peace only begins with financial security. Are legal documents the most important? Is avoiding probate the best you can do for yourself or your loved ones? Is family about inheritance? Or are these things only significant to support the foundation of your family?

Do you think finding the best care is easy? Do you want to get lost in the overwhelming flood of claims and promises? Or would you like straight answers?

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

The LifePlan™ Workshop has been the first step on the path to security and peace for thousands of families. Why not your family?

It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.

Get Information Now. (800) 800317-2812

Opposites Attract
Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Not Really Kidnapping
Do It For The Children

She Said We Were Going Out To Dinner…
What Happened Next Changed Our Lives Forever

A Friday night in July. Hot. Humid. Threat of thunderstorms. Sue, a retired teacher, wheels the red Jeep Cherokee to the front door. Bob, an engineer, hops in, a bit mystified. “Where are we going?” he asks. “Your favorite steak place… Rico’s Rocket Room. But first, a special pre-dinner appetizer…” she mysteriously replies. After 30 years of wedded bliss, Bob wisely refrains from further comment and settles down for the ride.

Most married couples are not a matched set. Opposites do attract. She likes paisley, chintz, and patterned wallpaper. He prefers solid primary colors, leather, and walnut paneling. You say, “Spare the rod and spoil the child!” Your loving spouse whacks you in the head (figuratively!) with Doctor Spock’s “Baby and Child Care” book (also known as “How to Coddle a Criminal”). You “Rutabaga”. You say “Potato.” Loving spouse says “My sister and her family are coming to visit for a week. With my mom.” You say, well you say nothing at all. Or maybe, “Gosh, that’ll be nice.”

Couples who endure find ways of coping. Some delight joyfully in daily surprises dished up by their spouse. Others do not.

Noted finance guru, author, radio show host, and all-around wonderful fellow Dave Ramsey has observed: human beings are either natural spenders or natural savers. Not that there is anything wrong with either. But as you well know, natural savers overwhelmingly marry natural spenders. And vice versa. Sometimes this does not work. Debt. Fights. Divorce. But sometimes it works well. Balance. Harmony. Peace.

As a teacher, Sue is a natural planner. Lesson plans, grades, dates, times, objectives. Order. Sequence. Schedule. Engineer Bob thrills to the daily challenges he must solve.

An overloaded dam. A rusting bridge. Floods. Washouts. Emergency. Danger. Solution.

Two great workers who work great together. But after 30 years, they still only have the Last Will and Testament drawn up when they first had kids. Sue hears the clock ticking. Sue has reserved seats at the LifePlan™ Workshop several times now. Bob has always had an “emergency.” Of some sort. Including a dinner special at Rico’s Rocket Room…

Whose Fault When Nursing Home Poverty Strikes Middle-Class Savers?

Sue and Bob are just like your friends. Just like the folks at church. Little or no debt. Lifesavings. Home. Taking one day at a time and making the most of it. Confidence based on accomplishment. Security founded on savings. Sue and Bob recognize that they’re not experts on everything. A financial advisor helps. Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance secure their future medical needs.

So who is to blame when middle-class folks, just like Sue and Bob, have to exhaust their lifesavings on long-term care? And give up their security. Fall into nursing home poverty? Did the Financial Advisor screw up? Is the Medicare Supplement insurance agent at fault? Somebody must have done something wrong… right?

Are You Stepping Into The Long-Term Care Trap?

Bottom Line: 70% of Americans need long-term care services for an average of 3+ years. 20% need long-term care for 5+ years. According to the federal government. Look it up. https://acl.gov/ltc You may not be interested in long-term care. But long-term care is interested in you.

Read On… To Learn The Rest Of The Story

Financial Advisors try to keep your money safe. And grow it too! Safe Money Plans claim to ride the market elevator up, but not down. Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, portfolio theory, annuities, retirement-year funds. They have charts and spreadsheets and glossy brochures. Have you ever been to a boat show? Salesmen, proposals, financing charts… You come home with a shopping bag full… Some financial advisors are kind of like that. Information overload… and all to do with: #1 Not losing your money in the market. And #2 Growing your money safely. All about investments and the market. But nothing about long-term care..

What about the Medicare agents? Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance are intended, designed, and operate to make sure that seniors get top-shelf medical care. Need an operation? Medicare! Sick in hospital? Medicare! Broke hip? Medicare! But if you need long-term care for a chronic condition… dementia, physical disability… You are on your own! Sure, Medicare will help with rehabilitation, for a whole 20 days! And 80 more days, with a $170/day co-pay. If you qualify for rehabilitation. Which you will not.

Traditional estate planning lawyers want no part of this. Estate planning is all about when you die. Who gets the leftover stuff? How can we stop the kids from fighting over it? That is their concern. Foolish! When long-term care gobbles up all your stuff, there are no leftovers. Nothing for your estate plan to do.

Here is a crazy idea: What if we first made sure that you did NOT go broke? What if you could avoid nursing home and long-term care poverty?

Traditional planning leads to nursing home and long-term care poverty.

LifePlanning™ is the “Rest of the Story.” LifePlanning™ delivers freedom and choice. Sue and Bob earned the freedom to choose. By working. Saving. Doing all the right things. And they still fail, depending on Financial Advisors and Medicare. They were close, but…

A baseball that soars over the fence is called a homerun. A baseball that nicks the top of the fence and falls into the centerfielder’s glove is called an out. The celebrating football player who drops the ball one foot short of the goal line has a fumble. The one who protects the ball over the line has a touchdown. An almost win is a fail. A real win is a triumph… for you, for your family.

Why Should You Get Stuck With The Bill?

As anyone can see, rich folks have it made. Were you surprised when leaked IRS records proved that billionaires pay little or no federal taxes? Me neither.

Folks who have no resources cannot pay. Simple as that. Last I heard, you still cannot get blood out of a turnip. So I say, poor folks get services for free.

The rich have fixed things so they do not pay. The poor have no ability to pay. Who does that leave? Who gets stuck with the bill? Who pays for it all?

You do. Sue and Bob do. Middle Class foots the bill. Which sucks. Of course, it is nothing new. Other people have always counted on you. For your entire life. To do the job. Follow through. Pay taxes. Volunteer. Pitch in. Donate to charity. Bring something home-made to the potluck. And I pray you never change. Keep on smiling. Be reasonable, cheerful, action oriented. Do not let them get you down.

But gee… why do you have to go broke when your spouse needs long-term care?

Why Do They Say YOU Are Greedy?

They get care for free or without sacrifice. Sue and Bob are charged the highest rates and are wrung out to dry in a few months. Broke. All we ask is to keep some, a little bit. They say “No!” Take those Required Minimum Distributions… Pay the in- come tax. Too bad if grandkids need help. Sorry if you want to provide for your spouse… or yourself. Want to pay a little bit forward? Nope. You did work for it, but too bad. What the hell makes that OK?

Are You Selfish Because You Help Family First?

Sue and Bob are not selfish. Yes, some people are unlucky. True, bad things happen to good people. But seriously, some people are shortsighted and self-centered. They must have the new boat/car/ snowmobile/TV/cruise/whatever right now. Some sacrifice security for pleasure. Greedy, selfish people do exist. Bad decisions are made. We will take care of them all. No problem. But Sue and Bob want to take care of their own family first… how can that possibly be a bad thing?

I Expected A Cocktail And Hot Hors D’Oeuvres,
I Got An Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and A Bottle of Water

Minutes passed, miles rolled away, and Bob grew curious. “C’mon Sue, where are we going?” “You’ll see!” was her only reply. On arrival, a friendly young man greeted them. He handed over name badges, information folder and fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies. They chose bottled water over coffee. Sue and Bob were directed to their reserved seats. Several other couples, just like Sue and Bob, were there as well. Sue had finally gotten Bob to a LifePlan™ Workshop.

After introducing himself, the attorney conducting the Workshop asked if there were any questions.

Bob raised his hand… “What is this all about? Sue said we were going to dinner and here I am!” “Well dear,” said Sue, “this is that estate planning seminar we keep scheduling and cancelling…” “That’s fine,” said Bob, directing his comments to the attorney, “but there’s really only one thing that bothers me, and it keeps me up at night… what if I get dementia and need a nursing home… we’ve got a little saved, but what happens to Sue?”

That Workshop was the best! Sue had no idea that these questions were eating at Bob every day. He was even more concerned than she had been. She was surprised at the number of his questions. I was impressed with his analysis.

I don’t know what happened at Rico’s Rocket Room, or after… but Sue and Bob have turned out to be one of my favorite couples of all time.

Is It Kidnapping If It’s Your Spouse?

Getting your spouse to a LifePlan™ Workshop under false pretenses may be a bit extreme. But it is not kidnapping. Usually. Besides, desperate times call for desperate measures… You may not be sure exactly what to do.

As I see it, once you have decided to plan, you have three choices:

First: Same Old, Same Old

GOOGLE estate planning attorneys. Or look in the Yellow Pages. Ask friends. Check out billboards on the highway. Set appointments with several. Spread your personal information all over town. Thoroughly interview each. Ask questions. Get fuzzy answers. Lots of legalese. This will be great!

Second: Do Absolutely Nothing

Who wants to plan anyway? Spend all that time and money for what? A will or trust? Peace of mind… who needs it? You do not need that security. You like exactly where you are. Get exactly what you have always gotten. Acid indigestion. Insomnia. Migraines. This is as good as it gets.

Third: LifePlan™ Workshop – Kidnapping Optional

Try it, you’ll like it! Don’t give up your current plan right now. LifePlanTM Workshops are happening all over the place. Check it out. Once again offering those famous fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies. Sixty eye-opening minutes. You will be glad you did.

There’s no need to fear, the LifePlanTM Workshop is here!

Which Is Easiest For You?

Let’s see…
#1: Track down lawyers. Set appointments. Go to offices. Get third degree. Research. Try to pick… One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four…
#2: Sit Still and Go Broke.
#3: Sixty lively minutes. Getting the “Rest of the Story!”

Which one is easiest? Which most likely to help you to security and peace of mind?

Why Not Get It Done In Twenty-One?

I fear 2020 was a year of wasted opportunity for regular families. Devastating. The good news is that 2021 is rebounding! More families planning than ever!

Got Questions? Get Answers!