Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,


Here it is, nearly September, and it seems like the summer has gone by in a flash.  A flash of lighting, that is, if you live in Central Indiana.  What a strange, wet, few months we have had, more given to indoor activities than an evening at the pool.  I hope that whatever your experience, you spent the time with those you love.


After taking the summer off, we plan to resume monthly distribution of our newsletter, so stay tuned for the latest developments in Elder law and news for you.


This month's newsletter focuses on families solving problems.  From our founding attorney, Scott Severns, an article about Rock Steady Boxing - a program which builds up Parkinson's patients by teaching them how to deliver a knock out.  Scott serves on the Board of Directors for this worthwhile cause. Highlighted next, we often talk with our clients about planning end-of-life care, but many people skip an also important step of how to make your funeral wishes known. And what if you are weighing the options of staying in place as you age vs. moving to another location? The third article helps you with some renovation ideas beyond just ramps. Worried about the financial stability of your heirs? Read the fourth article for insight about how new Supreme Court rulings can impact inherited IRA funds.  And lastly, having difficulty negotiating Carmel traffic?  Some days, so are we! This article will help point you toward some answers. We hope our selections have some relevance for your individual situation. If not, know that our firm is always here to provide you with counsel.


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
Late Summer 2014  



Parkinson's Patients Build a Rock Steady

Approach to their Future


By Scott R. Severns


I have worked with many Parkinson's patients and their families over the past 30 years.  In the course of making legal plans for the disabling disease, asset protection planning, and qualifying for Medicaid and Medicare services, I have seen how the wonders of medical science have worked to stave off the most disabling aspects of the disease for much longer periods than in my early days as an elder law practitioner.  I have taken great satisfaction in helping secure the financial future for people with this disease, but never before been able to contribute directly to the effort to slow the progression of the disabling effects of the disease.  Until six years ago, I would never have thought of Parkinson's clients boxing their way to a better life.  Now, as a member of the Board of Directors of Rock Steady Boxing (and an occasional boxer myself) I regularly see women and men literally fighting back against the disease and winning! 


Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) is a first-of-its-kind, Indianapolis-based nonprofit gym founded in 2006 to provide an effective form of physical exercise to people who are living with Parkinson's. Though it may seem surprising, this non-contact boxing-inspired fitness routine is dramatically improving the ability of people with Parkinson's to live independent lives. 


Read more 


How to Make Your Funeral Wishes Known


How can you make sure your funeral and burial wishes will be carried out after you die?  If you are a person who has ideas about how they would like to be remembered, there is only one way to make sure that things will go the way you would like: express yourself while you are alive.  While this is a topic that many are not comfortable discussing, it is important to let your family know your desires and to put them in writing.  Just don't do it in your will. 


Is Your House Evolving With You? Conducting a Home Access Audit


Rebalance portfolio: check! Update the will: check! Adjust insurance coverages: check!   


Estate planning is an ongoing process, one we should re-visit during life's milestones, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, or retirement. A "home access audit" should be on this checklist as well. This audit is a review of the physical environment so that it can be adjusted to make living easier. After all, a home is one of the most significant investments most of us ever make, and one that can continue to serve us well into the later years with thoughtful accessible features.  


How to Protect an IRA From Heirs' Creditors


When a person declares bankruptcy, an individual retirement account (IRA) is one of the assets that is beyond the reach of creditors, but what about an IRA that has been inherited?  Resolving a conflict between lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court recently (and unanimously) ruled that funds held in an inherited IRA are not exempt from creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding because they are not really retirement funds. 
US-31 Traffic Update

US-31/Meridian Street in Hamilton County is undergoing a transformation over the next few years to a freeway. Currently, it is closed for construction from 126th to 136th Streets, with detours clearly marked.  Later in the process, access from I-465 will be suspended and ultimately, 103rd street, where our office is located, will no longer intersect with US-31/Meridian Street. 

There are signs in place on I-465 and US-31/Meridian Street announcing road closure with access only to local traffic, but if you are coming to our office from the South, you will not be affected by this construction. Coming from the North, please follow the marked detours. We will keep you updated with more changes as they occur, but in the meantime, you can continue to access our office from any direction. For more information about this project, visit Hamilton County's New US-31 website. 

Severns Associates will be closed on Monday, September 1, 2014, in observation of Labor Day.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!



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In This Issue
Parkinson's Patients Build a Rock Steady Approach to their Future
How to Make Your Funeral Wishes Known
Is Your House Evolving With You? Conducting a Home Access Audit
How to Protect an IRA From Heirs' Creditors
US-31 Traffic Update



Quick Links

Attorney Spotlight
Congratulations to attorney Scott Severns, on being named a 2014 Hoosier Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree by Heritage Place - a 38-year old grassroots organization providing older adults with comprehensive and coordinated human services to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles, independence, well-being and quality of life.


Community Events:



One-Hour Fundraising Breakfast to benefit Rock Steady Boxing


Thursday, October 9, 2014        7:30 - 8:30 am

Indiana State Fairgrounds Agriculture/Horticulture Building, 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis


Please join us as we celebrate the courageous boxers fighting back against Parkinson's disease at Rock Steady Boxing. With a professional boxing ringmaster, a glimpse into the lives of our fighters, and a great breakfast prepared for you by Jonathan Byrd's Catering, it will be a morning you'll never forget.


This event is free, but reservations are required.


Call 317.205.9198 or email [email protected]


Special Needs Family Information & Resource Fair


A place for families caring for loved ones with special needs  to connect with organizations, services and resources that support and serve individuals with special health care needs.


Saturday, September 6th 2014 10am-2pm

North United Methodist Church

3808 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46208

At the intersection of Meridian & 38th Street


Free admission

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