Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


We are pleased to return to the regular monthly delivery of our newsletter, just in time to celebrate National Elder Law Month and National Older Americans Month! Every year since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions and achievements to our communities.  The theme for 2013 is "Unleash the Power of Age!"
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 Associates, P.C.


Elder Law News from Severns Associates, PC
May 2013

2013 Firm Photo 

In This Issue
Women Will Pay More for Long-Term Care Insurance
Protecting Your Home From Medicaid Estate Recovery
Retirement Home Worker's Refusal to Administer CPR Sparks Debate
The Largest Unclaimed Estate in New York History
Did you know?
Federal Government is Getting Rid of Popular Revierse Mortgage Option
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Firm Spotlight

 Scott Severns

Scott R. Severns named Best Lawyers  2013 Lawyer of the Year!


Founding attorney, Scott R. Severns, has been honored by Best Lawyers as the 2013 Attorney of the Year practicing Elder Law in Indianapolis.  This is a significant accolade, as only a single attorney in each practice area is honored with this distinction, and winners are elected by their peers in the legal community.


Congratulations Scott!!   


Severns Associates has also been named to the list of Best Law Firms by this same group for 2013.


best lawyer 2013 logo  

If you answer yes to any of these questions, Severns Associates 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? 







Women Will Pay More for Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance will soon be getting more expensive for women. The country's biggest provider of long-term care insurance has announced plans to introduce gender-based pricing.


Life insurance has long had gender-specific pricing, but long-term care insurance has always been gender neutral. This is changing now that Genworth Financial has decided to charge more for policies purchased by single women. Other insurers will likely follow suit. Genworth hasn't said how much it will raise rates for women, but according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), women will likely end up paying 20 to 40 percent more than men.


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 Protecting Your Home from Medicaid Estate Recovery

After a Medicaid recipient dies, the state must attempt to recoup from his or her estate whatever benefits it paid for the recipient's care. This is called "estate recovery." For most Medicaid recipients, their home or income produicing property is the most valuable asset in the estate.


Life estates


For many people, setting up a "life estate" is the simplest and most appropriate alternative for protecting the home from estate recovery. A life estate is a form of joint ownership of property between two or more people. They each have an ownership interest in the property, but for different periods of time. The person holding the life estate possesses the property currently and for the rest of his or her life. The other owner has a current ownership interest called a "remainder interest," but cannot take possession until the end of the life estate, which occurs at the death of the life estate holder.




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Retirement Home Worker's Refusal to Administer CPR to Save Resident Sparks Debate


The refusal of a retirement home employee to administer CPR to a dying resident has gained international attention and sparked debate about both the legal responsibilities of independent living facilities and the efficacy of CPR itself.


When Lorraine Bayless, 87, collapsed in the dining room of Glenwood Gardens, an independent living facility in Bakersfield, California, 911 was called. The phone was handed to an employee, whom the 911 dispatcher asked to perform emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while paramedics were en route. The employee, who described herself as a nurse, refused, saying that it was against the facility's policy to give CPR to residents. The dispatcher's repeated pleas to the employee to perform CPR or find someone who could were unavailing.


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The Largest Unclaimed Estate in NY History
An example of why you should have a will
We all know we should have one.  We all think we will have time to get around to it.  But one 97 year old New Yorker waited too long.  Roman Blum, a Polish immigrant and Holocaust survivor, was a true self-made man.  After losing his entire family during World War II, he came to the United States, and by the time of his death last year, had accumulated a net worth of almost $40 Million Dollars.
Even though he had no heirs, Mr. Blum could have created an estate plan to ensure that the money he had worked so hard for went to his friends or organizations of which he was a supporter. 
Instead, his estate is being auctioned off and the money will pass to the State of New York.  As a part of their due diligence, the public administrators of the estate are conducting in-depth searches for long-lost relatives, and are hiring geneologists in Europe to be sure that there are no surviving heirs. Unless an heir is found, the State is $40 Million Dollars richer.
Did you know?
Other items in the news
Legos aren't just for kids! 
A recent national Lego competiition was focused on finding ways to improve the lives of the older population.  Called Senior Solutions, it challenged participants to partner with a senior to identify and learn about a problem faced by senior citizens and to create an innovative solution to the problem using legos and robotics.
Robot Nurses?
The Japanese govenment has begun subsidizing research and development costs related to nursing home robots.  Because of the high percentage of the Japanese population in their older years, and a shortage of nursing home workers, four different types of robots are being created to perform the essential tasks of transfers, walking, monitoring, and cleaning.
The latest scam
The FTC recently issued warnings about a new telephone scam. The caller asks consumers to provide personal information in order to receive a "National Medical Card" (nonexistent) from the government claiming that it relates to the Affordable Care Act.  Never give your personal information to someone who calls you.  If they are legitimate, they will already have that information.


Federal Government Is Getting Rid of Popular Reverse Mortgage Option

The federal government is eliminating its most popular reverse mortgage. Soon homeowners will no longer be able to get a lump-sum payment if they apply for a reverse mortgage under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Standard program.


A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner aged 62 or older to receive a sum of money from the lender, usually a bank, based largely on the value of the house, the age of the borrower, and current interest rates. The loans do not have to be repaid until the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or permanently moves out. The HECM is the only reverse mortgage program insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the FHA sets a ceiling on the amount that can be borrowed against a single-family house.



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About Our Law Firm
Severns Associates, P.C. is an elder law firm that has been practicing for over 30 years, and is regarded as one of the most experienced elder law firms in the Indianapolis region.  We focus on helping families work together without conflict to plan for both immediate and future needs. 
Our services include:
Severns Associates, PC
10293 N. Meridian Street Suite 150
Indianapolis, Indiana 46290