Change of Seasons, by Joseph T. Renaldi


The Summer season gradually fades away, 
Nature's way of bidding a humble farewell to all.
A change is seen as the leaves fade in unison

As the beautiful Autumn season comes to call.

September - the sounds in the garden are quiet now, 
The song birds are no longer to be found.
Flying high up in the cloudy sky, 
Many feathered friends are southward bound...

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,


With the passing of the Summer Solstice, we have arrived in my favorite season of all. Nature once again begins her transition from verdant greens to a warmer, softer palate of hues 
Some of our resident "snowbirds" start to think about their own trips southward. The sun's angle shifts and the days begin to wane, in a parallel to our own seasons of life and the changes to our human form.  


This month's newsletter focuses on some of the changes we encounter on our paths through life.  Some of us will require long term care to help us in our future - the first article highlights some of the often confused differences between Medicare and Medicaid. As we age, we also think of the inheritance we leave to our progeny. The second article provides some thoughts about how to guide our gifts.  The next article provides some basic instruction about how to assemble a team to assist us should we need it. And lastly, another reminder of the traffic issues we face in this area as construction continues. As "Pathfinders in Elder Law" we hope that our selections will 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
September 2014  




What's the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid When It Comes To Long Term Care?


Although their names are confusingly alike, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different programs. Both programs provide health coverage, but Medicare is an "entitlement" program, meaning that everyone who reaches age 65 and is entitled to receive Social Security benefits also receives Medicare (Medicare also covers people of any age who are permanently disabled or who have end-stage renal disease.)


Medicaid, on the other hand, is a public assistance program that helps pay medical costs for individuals with limited income and assets. To be eligible for Medicaid coverage, you must meet the program's strict income and asset guidelines. Also, unlike Medicare, which is totally federal, Medicaid is a joint state-federal program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines in order for the state to receive federal money, which pays for about half the state's Medicaid costs. 

Read more 


Things To Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren


Grandparents often are particularly generous to grandchildren as they see their family's legacy continuing on to a new generation. In many cases, grandparents feel they have ample resources and their children or grandchildren may be struggling financially. Assistance with summer camp fees, college tuition, wedding costs or the down payment on a first home, can relieve pressure on the next generation and permit grandchildren to take advantage of opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach. Some grandparents also don't feel it is right that children and grandchildren should need to wait for an inheritance, when they have more than they need.


Helping out family members is to be encouraged, but can raise a number of legal issues involving taxes and eligibility for public benefits, as well as questions of fairness among family members. Here are some issues grandparents should consider before making gifts to family members:



Building Your "Response Team"


By planning in advance, older adults can prepare themselves for the contingencies and consequences of living a long time by building their "Response Team" - a group of family members, friends, physicians and lawyers - who are informed about your wishes and can carry them out as directed by you. While there are many reasons to build a Response Team, one of the most important reasons involves responding to our rapidly changing system of health care.


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. 


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September is beautiful 

And awesome all the same
It's hope for the future and the change
Comes swiftly as we sweep away...

from September Changes by Jessica Millsaps




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In This Issue
What's the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid When It Comes to Long Term Care?
Things To Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren
Building Your "Response Team"
US-31 Traffic Update



Quick Links

Firm Spotlight
Barbara J. Hicks

We welcome Barbara Hicks to Severns Associates as our new Front Desk Coordinator. Barbara comes to us from the Carmel Clay Schools, so she goes from helping the young to helping the young at heart!


Barbara was born and raised in Indiana, and attended Shortridge High School and Indiana University. A master gardener, Barbara spends her free time with her two grown daughters, her husband Mark and her two dogs. She enjoys cooking, reading, needlepoint, antiquing and attending the theatre, and is a long-time member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church. In her short time in our office, she has already made it a more beautiful place with her many flower arrangements and artistic touches.


If you need to set up an appointment or manage details of your case, please speak with Barbara.


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]


Caring Conversations at North United Methodist Church

Conversations About Dementia

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6 - 7:30 p.m.


When someone is showing the signs of dementia, it's time to talk. This program is designed to help you talk with your entire family, including the person with signs of dementia, about some challenging and often uncomfortable topics related to Alzheimer's and dementia.

with Kristi Richie, Family & Community Education Specialist for the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter


Embracing the Years with;

Courage & Caring

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6 - 7:30 p.m.


"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!" How the palliative care model mimics the Wizard of Oz. Find out who can help when you're feeling overwhelmed by a life changing illness.

with Cathy Simpson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Palliative Care Team for IU Health.


North United Methodist Church

3808 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46208


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? 


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