Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


Several major developments occurred in the last 30 days that directly affect our clients.  First, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 5-4.  Then the Government Accountability Office issued its report regarding abuses in the VA pension program.  Congress promptly introduced legislation to add transfer rules for VA pension applicants and recipients.  This issue reviews the proposed VA pension transfer rules.  We will review developments in the implementation of the Affordable CAre Act in future issues.
We always appreciate referrals from our satisfied clients, friends, business partners, and family members.  We welcome the opportunity to serve the people you care about.  Click on the gray Forward Email button at the bottom of the page to send this newsletter to someone who will benefit from our insights.



Severns and Stinson, P.C.


Elder Law News from Severns & Stinson

July 2012

Severns & Stinson. P.C.           Scott R. Severns 
10293 N. Meridian Street            Jeffery D. Stinson 
Suite 150                                   Anna M. Howard Indianapolis, Indiana  46290        
(317) 817-0300                            
(317) 817-0302 Fax
In This Issue
Senate Bill Calls for Transfer Penalty for VA Pension Applications
A Commentary on Recent GAO Study Citing Abuses in VA Pension Planning and Proposed Legislation
The Importance of a Comprehensive Estate Plan
How to Prepare When Elder Parents Move In With Adult Children
Quick Links


Firm Spotlight
Scott Severns

Scott Severns was recently interviewed by WIBC radio regarding the decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Act. 


To read more, click here.

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? 

 Senate Bill Calls for Transfer Penalty for VA Pension Applications


-by Jeffery D. Stinson, CELA*  


Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced legislation that would restrict Veteran's Affairs pension applicants and recipients from receiving assistance if they have made certain gifts or other uncompensated transactions.

  Read on
A Commentary on Recent GAO Report Citing Abuses in VA Pension Planning and Proposed Legislation


-by Jeffery D. Stinson, CELA*  



On the heels of a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found abuses in VA Pension Planning, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced legislation that would impose transfer penalties on VA pension applicants (see Senate Bill Calls for Transfer Penalty for VA Applications).


While we at Severns & Stinson are concerned at the rigidity of the recently proposed legislation, we applaud efforts to curb abusive pension practices.  We wholly stand with the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, in which Scott Severns is a founding member and Jeff Stinson is a former president of its State Chapter, in its support of and contribution to the report.  Unfortunately, we have encountered many of the abuses noted in the GAO report in our own community,  Read on

 The Importance of a Comprehensive Estate Plan


In contacting an attorney, an individual takes an important step in ensuring his or her estate planning goals are met. We often receive inquiries from potential clients who "just want a Will" or want to know the "cost of preparing a Will." However, the drafting of a Last Will and Testament is only a minor task in the attorney's counsel to the client. The real value in hiring an attorney for an individual's estate planning needs is in utilizing his or her expertise in the law. The attorney will help the client clarify his or her goals, identify and discuss potential issues (both known to the client and those that are unknown) that may hinder the accomplishment of those goals, and then provide the best methods to ensure those goals are met.  Read on


How to Prepare When Elderly Parents Move In With Adult Children 


More and more parents are moving in with their adult children, and the trend probably won't reverse anytime soon.  As nursing home costs continue to rise, children and their parents are finding that living together is a better arrangement, both financially and emotionally.  But having a parent move in is a big adjustment for everyone, and it is important to be prepared.  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