Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


June brings us the start of summer, Memorial Day and Father's Day!  We honor our veterans and thank them for their service, and wish you a happy, healthy month filled with outdoor family activities and fun!  June is also Safety Awareness Month, so whatever activities you choose, be mindful of your actions to help prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries.
There have been many developments concerning Inheritance Taxes and end-of-life care in the State of Indiana, as well as on a national level.  Our newsletter this month briefs you on those issues, so you can stay on top of these important topics, and also provides you with some useful information regarding Long-Term Care and Social Security.  These are all examples of topics we deal with everyday at Severns Associates.
Our attorneys view practicing Elder Law as a calling, and we are delighted to be able to assist you in whatever services you need.  Whether you are visiting us for the first time, or coming back to update your plans, we make every effort to ensure that you are a priority.

We also welcome the opportunity to serve the people you care about.  Click on the 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
June 2013


In This Issue
Indiana State Estate Taxes Repealed
Changes in Federal Estate Tax Means Fewer Families Impacted
POST Law Passes in Indiana
Married Couples Can Maximize Their Social Security Benefits
What Happens If Your Long-Term Care Insurance Company Fails?
New Federal Agency Urges Crackdown
12 Interview Questions to Ask an In-Home Aide



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Firm Spotlight
Amy Cuomo
Amy Cuomo
We welcome Amy Cuomo to Severns Associates as Firm Administrator.  In addition to managing firm business and serving client needs, Amy is responsible for our community outreach and would be happy to assist you in booking one of our attorneys to speak to your organization. 
In her personal life, Amy is a busy mom to 3-1/2 year old triplets, and is an operatically trained soprano who still finds time to sing locally.  She and her husband Mario live in Carmel, and are active in North United Methodist Church, where Amy is a regular soloist.
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? 





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 Indiana State Inheritance Taxes Repealed

For individuals dying after December 31, 2012, there will no longer be an inheritance tax in Indiana. The 2013 General Assembly accelerated a 10-year phase-out of the Inheritance Tax that was in progress, retroactively repealing the tax altogether. This follows a national trend.


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Changes in Federal Estate Tax Means Fewer Familes Impacted


Recent decisions in Washington, D.C. will further limit federal estate taxes. Americans have long struggled with the idea and cost of Estate Taxes or "death taxes" - those that in recent years affected only those estates in excess of $5 Million. With the expiration on December, 31, 2012, of the previously set limits, the potential to impact many more estates - those with $1 Million or more - was at hand. While this amount may seem high, keep in mind that many farmers and small business owners would be severely impacted at this rate, and could force the sale of such important entities just to cover the cost of the tax.




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POST Law Passes in Indiana


Later this year, your doctor should be able to help implement your health care advance directive more effectively. On May 7, 2013, the Governor signed Indiana's Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) legislation into law, effective July 1, 2013. This program is designed to ensure that a patient's wishes are honored in the hospital or nursing facility. Special forms are being developed to permit a doctor to enter an order specifically directing what end-of-life care should be given or withheld. 



Married Couples Can Maximize Their Social Security Benefits Using File and Suspend

Are you married, with one spouse wanting to retire but the other one prepared to keep working? If so, you should take a close look at the "file and suspend" strategy to maximize your Social Security benefits.


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What Happens If Your Long-Term Care Insurance Company Fails?

When you buy long-term care insurance years before you need it, you are taking a gamble that the company will still be around when it is time to pay out. But what happens if the company goes out of business?





New Federal Agency Urges Crackdown on the Profusion of Senior Financial Designations


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - the new federal agency that protects the financial interests of the nation's consumers - is urging tougher regulation of the professional designations that financial advisors use to market their services to seniors.





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12 Interview Questions to Ask an In-Home Aide

Most older Americans want to remain in their homes as long as possible. For growing numbers of elders - and concerned family members - this is only possible with the help of a home care aide. In our practice, we frequently refer clients to a private nurse care manager to help arrange in-home care. There are two basic types of aides and two ways to engage one: either through an agency or hiring one yourself.


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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