Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


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Severns and Stinson, P.C.


Elder Law News from Severns & Stinson

    August 2011

Severns & Stinson. P.C.           Scott R. Severns 
10293 N. Meridian Street            Jeffery D. Stinson 
Suite 150                                   Lindsay R. Knowles 
Indianapolis, Indiana  46290         Clifton A. Dennis   
(317) 817-0300                           Anna M. Howard 
(317) 817-0302 Fax
In This Issue
Two Tax Court Decisions Clarify When Long-Term Care Expenses Are Deductible
Cohabiting Seniors: Protect Your Rights
Hiring a Caregiver: Should You Employ One Yourself or Go Through an Agency?
Feds Enhance Site for Comparing Nursing Homes
Social Support Activities Lead to Better Quality of Life As One Ages
14,000 People Wrongly Declared Dead Yearly
Updating Your Estate Plan When Your Finances Change
Quick Links

Attorney Spotlight

Recently, Clifton Dennis volunteered at a local retirement community to provide free legal services, including mini-meetings and basic estate planning documents, including living wills.

In addition, Mr. Dennis volunteers through a hospice program to provide legal documents for individuals facing terminal illness.

We are proud of Mr. Dennis' generosity with his time and the important service he provides to these individuals.

Mary and Joe


If you answer yes to any of these questions, Severns & Stinson can help.

-Has a family member been diagnosed with a mentally or physically debilitating disorder such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, stroke or a decline in functional capacity?

-Is a family member isolated due to the recent death of a spouse, or have family that either lives too far away or is too busy to provide adequate care?

-Is a family member soon to be discharged into a care facility or currently receiving in-home care?

-Does a family member have a variety of healthcare providers and need coordination and advocacy for quality care?

-Does a family member seem unusually concerned about costs of medication and services, indicating he or she may be having financial troubles?

-Does a family member have assets that fall between $50,000 and $400,000 - enough to finance a short stay in a care facility but not enough for an extended stay?

-Does a family member have a spouse whose financial needs must be considered in light of a family member's medical condition?
Did you receive this from a friend? 
 Two Tax Court Decisions Clarify When Long-Term Care Expenses Are Deductible

Long-term care can be very expensive, but many expenses can be deducted from your taxes. Two important recent decisions by the U.S. Tax Court provide guidance on when caregiving services are deductible. Read on 

Cohabiting Seniors: Protect Your Rights  

More and more seniors are living together without getting married. For some seniors, marriage isn't financially worth it -- they don't want to lose their former spouses' military, pension, or Social Security benefits. Other seniors don't want to have to pay their partners' medical expenses or deal with the objections of children worried about their inheritance. Read on 

Hiring a Caregiver: Should You Employ One Yourself or Go Through an Agency?  

Most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible rather than move into a nursing home. For many families, this means eventually hiring a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health agency. Read on 

Feds Enhance Site for Comparing Nursing Homes

There is now more information available to help families evaluate nursing homes. The federal government has revamped the criteria on its "Nursing Home Compare" Web site, where consumers can compare nursing home care in the United States. In addition, new information about complaints against nursing homes will soon be available on the site. Read On 

Social Support Activities Lead to Better Quality of Life As One Ages

How important is social support as a person ages? This may seem like an easy question to answer. Most people would not choose isolation and loneliness versus spending time with companions. However, can lack of social support really hinder a person's overall quality of life? Read On 

14,000 People Wrongly Declared Dead Yearly


Social Security Admin. Averages 38 Life-Altering Mistakes Per Day. Read On 

Updating Your Estate Plan When Your Finances Change

In the recent economic downturn, many homes have lost considerable value and stock portfolios have plummeted. If this is the case for you, do you need to change your will? What if your income and assets have increased significantly? If your finances have changed markedly since you wrote your will, you should check your estate plan to see if you need to make any changes.  Read on 

About Our Law Firm
Severns & Stinson, P.C. is a law firm focused on the needs of families confronting issues with health care. We have a special emphasis on long term care issues -- an emphasis that has come to be known as "elder law." Our firm consists of five attorneys and two paraprofessionals.
Our services include the following:
  • Asset Protection & Long Term Care Planning
  • Medicaid Planning, Applications and Appeals
  • Medicare Consultation and Advocacy
  • Estate Planning 
  • "Making It Last"™ - Supplemental Needs Trusts and Asset Protection for Persons with Disabilities
  • Response Team Building - Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Declarations and Other Advance Directives
  • Guardianships and Probate Administration
  • Patients Rights and Care Advocacy.
Severns & Stinson. P.C.
10293 N. Meridian Street, Suite 150
Indianapolis, Indiana 46290