Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


As this brutal winter continues, we hope that you are safe and warm.  Perhaps you can use the time indoors for reflection and planning?  This newsletter gives you some food for thought with articles about the Top Five Regrets of the Dying and the differences between Probate and Non-Probate assets.  In other news, Long-Term Care insurance costs are changing again, this time for the better, and a recent lawsuit brings up issues of financial responsibility for health care bills. And, our own Scott Severns offers a few articles from other websites that he found interesting and relevant.

We welcome the opportunity to serve the people you care about.  Click on the "Forward to a Friend" button at the top of the page to send this newsletter to someone who will benefit from our insights. If you are a facebook user, please like us on our facebook page.  
If you are part of an organization that is looking for a speaker, our attorneys are happy to share their knowledge with the community.  Contact Amy Cuomo at our office for more information.


Severns Associates, P.C.


Elder Law News from Severns Associates, PC 
February 2014  


Court Rules Daughter Was Not Liable for Mother's Nursing Home Bill


The Indiana Court of Appeals recently ruled that a daughter was not liable for her deceased mother's nursing home bill, even though the daughter had signed as "Responsible Party" when the mother was initially admitted.  The case raises several issues that frequently come up when nursing home admission agreements are signed, on behalf of the patient, by someone else. 



Probate v. Non-Probate: What Is the Difference?


When planning your estate it is important to understand the difference between probate and non-probate assets. Probate is the process through which a court oversees how to distribute your property after you die. Some assets are distributed to heirs through the court (probate assets) and some assets bypass the court process and go directly to your beneficiaries (non-probate assets).


The probate process includes filing your will and appointing an executor or administrator, collecting assets, paying bills, filing taxes, distributing property to heirs, and filing a final account. Some people try to avoid probate by having only non-probate assets, leaving nothing to satisfy funeral expenses, claims and taxes, and often resulting in unequal distributions.


  Read more 


Can You Appeal If Medicare Refuses to Cover Care You Received?

Absolutely. Sometimes Medicare will decide that a particular treatment or service is not covered and will deny a beneficiary's claim. Many of these decisions are highly subjective and involve determining, for example, what is "medically and reasonably necessary" or what constitutes "custodial care." If a beneficiary disagrees with a decision, there are reconsideration and appeals procedures within the Medicare program. 
While the federal government makes the rules about Medicare, the day-to-day administration and operation of the Medicare program are handled by private insurance companies that have contracted with the government.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying greyscl-wheelchair-window.jpg


The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing is the title of a new book by Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse whose own life was transformed by caring for hospice patients at the end of their lives. Here are the most common five themes that those people cited as regrets, and her understanding of the reasons why:  



 Read more


Attorney's Choice: Interesting Articles


This month, I came across several items online, and I wanted to share with you not only the link to the article, but my thoughts about the content as well.  
Scott Severns  
-Scott R. Severns

Read more 






Price of Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Drops, At Least for 55-Year-Old Males


A healthy 55-year-old man can expect to pay $925 annually for $164,000 in current long-term care insurance benefits, according to the 2014 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group. The Association noted that identical coverage cost 15 percent more in 2013, meaning that the annual premium has actually declined for men.  After years of constant increases, it is good to know that at least some are getting a price break.







Like us on Facebook


In This Issue
Court Rules Daughter Was Not Liable for Mother's Nursing Home Bill.
Medicare Part B Premium to Remain the Same for 2014
Key 2014 Dollar Limits for Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage Released
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
Attorney's Choice: Interesting Articles
Price of Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Drops, At Least for 55-Year-Old Males



Quick Links



Firm Spotlight

In addition to being committed to our work, the employees of Severns Associates are also active in the community.

Scott Severns was recently named to the Board of Directors of Rock Steady Boxing, an organization working in alternative ways to strengthen those suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

Anna Howard presented a seminar to the Indiana branch of the Financial Planners Association on "Legal Planning for Asset Protection of Modest-Sized Estates." This is part of a continuing effort to educate professionals on the role of Elder Law.
Amy Cuomo serves on the Health Ministries Team and the Justice and Advocacy Team at North United Methodist Church, both of which seek to aid congregation members and those in the community through education and assistance.
Alyssa Wiseman is co-chairing "A Taste of Mt. Vernon" for the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation, which gives monetary grants to teachers in the Mt. Vernon school district to help enhance education in the schools.
Best Law Firm 2013 
Lawyer of the Year detail
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? 


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:
2013 Firm Photo  
Severns Associates, PC
10293 N. Meridian Street Suite 150
Indianapolis, Indiana 46290