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Which Nursing Home Rating System Should You Trust?

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Nov 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a difficult decision and it can only be made more confusing by the various rating systems. A recent study found that using both Medicare's Nursing Home Compare site and user reviews can help with the decision making.  The official Medicare website i...

Medicare Premiums to Increase Slightly in 2021

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Nov 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Medicare premiums are set to rise a modest amount next year, but still cut into any Social Security gains. The basic monthly premium will increase $3.90, from $144.60 a month to $148.50. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium and other Medicare cost increa...

Always Put Caregiver Contracts in Writing

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Nov 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

When hiring a caregiver, it is important to put the contract in writing. Courts can be especially strict about requiring contracts when caregivers are relatives, but a formal agreement is still necessary even if the caregiver is not a relative.  A recent Michigan court ruling illustrates how ...

Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Nov 03, 2020 | 0 Comments

In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the overall costs may be far greater. Medicaid Planning Services If you use a non-lawyer to do Medicaid planni...

The Ins and Outs of Guardianship and Conservatorship

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Oct 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Every adult is assumed to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court determines otherwise. If an adult becomes incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision-maker, usually called a "guardian," but called a "conservator" or another te...

What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult in Virginia

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Oct 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

If someone you love becomes mentally incapacitated and is incapable of making responsible decisions, the Circuit Court in the city or county where your loved one resides will appoint a substitute decision-maker for your loved one, called a "guardian" with respect to his or her health care, and a "conservator," with respect to his or her finances. Guardianship and Conservatorship is a legal relationship between a competent adult (the "guardian" or “conservator”) and a person who because of incapacity is no longer able to take care of his or her own affairs (the "ward").

An Update on COVID-19 from Virginia Medicaid

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Mar 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

An Update on COVID-19 from Virginia Medicaid The following announcement, published 3/20/2020, is from the Virginia Department of Medical and Assistance Services. The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) is working with Governor Northam, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH...

Medicare and Medicaid Will Cover Coronavirus Testing

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Medicare and Medicaid Will Cover Coronavirus Testing With coronavirus dominating news coverage and creating alarm, it is important to know that Medicare and Medicaid will cover tests for the virus.  The department of Health and Human Services has designated the test for the new strain of coronavi...

Make Sure You Are Counted in the 2020 Census

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Make Sure You Are Counted in the 2020 Census The 2020 census is starting soon, and seniors need to be counted. This may be more of a challenge this year because for the first time, the census will be completed largely online. The U.S Constitution mandates that the federal government conduct a cen...

How Secure Is Social Security?

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

How Secure Is Social Security? For years people have been worried about Social Security's future, but what is the actual outlook? According to the federal government, unless Congress acts to intervene, Social Security shortfalls are expected beginning in 2035.    Social Security retirement benefi...

How Does Medicaid Treat Income?

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

How Does Medicaid Treat Income? The basic Medicaid rule for nursing home residents is that they must pay all of their income, minus certain deductions, to the nursing home. The deductions include a $60-a-month personal needs allowance (this amount may be somewhat higher or lower in your state), a...

Medicaid Protections for the Healthy Spouse

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Feb 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Medicaid Protections for the Healthy Spouse Medicaid law provides special protections for the spouses of Medicaid applicants to make sure the spouses have the minimum support needed to continue to live in the community while their husband or wife is receiving long-term care benefits, usually in a...

Free Tax Preparation Help Is Available to Seniors

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Feb 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Free Tax Preparation Help Is Available to Seniors Seniors and retirees should know that they may be able to use online tax preparation software free of charge. Most low- and middle-income Americans qualify for the free help, but do not take advantage of it. And all seniors are eligible for free c...

Medicaid's Treatment of the Home - 2020

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Jan 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

Medicaid's Treatment of the Home Nursing home residents do not automatically have to sell their homes in order to qualify for Medicaid, but that doesn't mean the house is completely protected. The state will likely put a lien on the house while the resident is living and attempt to recover the pr...

The SECURE Act Makes Big Changes to Retirement Plans

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Dec 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

The SECURE Act Makes Big Changes to Retirement Plans Congress has passed and sent to the President a spending bill that contains major changes to retirement plans. The bipartisan legislation is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some ...

Medicaid’s Treatment of the Home - 2019

Posted by Aubrey Sizer | Dec 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Medicaid's Treatment of the Home Nursing home residents do not automatically have to sell their homes in order to qualify for Medicaid, but that doesn't mean the house is completely protected. The state will likely put a lien on the house while the resident is living and attempt to recover the pr...

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Attorney Sizer provides customized and affordable estate planning (including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives); elder law services (including long-term care planning, special needs planning for the disabled, and guardianships and conservatorships); probate, estate and trust administration (including advising executors and administrators of estates about post-mortem planning and the local probate process in Virginia), as well as general aging and disability advice in Northern Virginia, including but not limited to Arlington, Alexandria, Ashburn, Bristow, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Gainesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Haymarket, Herndon, Leesburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, and throughout Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax counties.

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