Leah McElmoyl

Leah McElmoyl

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.

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How to Recognize and Prevent Abuse of People with Special Needs

For a variety of reasons, people with special needs are more likely to suffer physical, mental and financial abuse than are others. Whether a physical disability prevents someone from protecting himself from bullying or a...more

8/15/2016 - Financial Abuse Physical Abuse Special Needs Adults Special Needs Children Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Moves Out of House Committee

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would correct a decades-old error in federal law that prohibits people with special needs from creating their own special needs trusts, has passed out of the House Energy and...more

8/11/2016 - Pending Legislation Special Needs Trust

The Top Five Responsibilities of a Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

If you are considering taking on the responsibility of serving as the trustee of a special needs trust, you will probably have questions about the trustee's role. Trustees of special needs trusts have many important...more

8/10/2016 - Beneficiaries Duty of Prudence Fiduciary Duty Investment Management Recordkeeping Requirements Special Needs Trust Tax Returns Trust Distributions Trustees

What Is Required of an Executor?

Being the executor of an estate is not a task to take lightly. An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual's estate. Although the time and effort involved will vary with the...more

7/13/2016 - Beneficiaries Decedent Protection Division of Assets Estate Planning Executors Probate Tax Returns

Called for Jury Duty? You May Be Excused Based on Your Age

In many states, seniors have the right to decline jury duty based on their age. But the age limits and rules vary by state and by type of court, so if you are summoned for jury duty, check with the court to determine if you...more

7/12/2016 - Exemptions Jury Duty

Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the overall costs may be far greater....more

7/11/2016 - Health Insurance Medicaid

Most Caregivers Are Now Entitled to Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay

The federal government recently extended minimum wage and overtime protections to most home health care workers. If you are hiring a caregiver for yourself or an elderly loved one, you need to become familiar with the rules,...more

7/8/2016 - Companionship Exemptions DOL FLSA Home Healthcare Workers Minimum Wage Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

Don't Forget: Some SSI Beneficiaries Can Switch to SSDI When a Parent's Circumstances Change

Because of her disability, a person receiving SSI may not have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on her own work record. Therefore, once she meets the government’s strict...more

4/14/2016 - Social Security Benefits Social Security Disability SSDI SSI

Department of Labor Issues Guide for Employing Home Care Workers

If you employ a home care worker who provides services for a family member with disabilities, you may have to deal with the very strict wage and hour requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. These requirements...more

4/13/2016 - DOL FLSA Home Healthcare Workers Wage and Hour

New SSA Policy Makes It Easier to Understand Why Your Special Needs Trust Was Rejected

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued an Emergency Message to all personnel requiring workers to specifically inform Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants or beneficiaries of the reasons a special...more

4/8/2016 - Administrative Appeals Social Security Administration (SSA) Special Needs Trust Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Program Provides Tax Benefits to Workers Shouldering Care Expenses

Workers who must pay for the care of a dependant relative, including a child with special needs, so that they can continue to work can get a significant tax benefit under a little-known provision of the Internal Revenue Code,...more

4/7/2016 - Dependent Care Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) Employee Benefits IRS Special Needs Children Tax Credits

Last Chance to Use File and Suspend Strategy for Claiming Social Security Benefits

Time is running out to use a potentially very lucrative Social Security benefits-claiming strategy. Spouses will no longer be able to use the "file and suspend" strategy after April 29, 2016. Beware, however, that the new...more

3/8/2016 - Retirement Social Security Benefits Spouses

Things to Remember at Tax Time

April 15th is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T's and dotting I's in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you're...more

3/7/2016 - Gifts Income Taxes IRS Medical Expenses Tax Deductions Tax Refunds Tax Returns

How Likely Are You to Need Long-Term Care?

Planning for retirement and deciding whether to buy long-term care insurance would be a lot easier if you knew your odds of needing long-term care, as well as at what age and for how long. Unfortunately, there's no definite...more

3/4/2016 - Elder Issues End-of-Life-Care Health Insurance Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Retirement

Your Right to Refills If Medicare Drops Coverage of Your Drugs

Medicare prescription drug plans can change which drugs they cover, leaving you without coverage for a drug you need. Or you may switch plans into a plan that doesn't cover your medication. In these circumstances, Medicare...more

3/3/2016 - Long Term Care Facilities Medicare Medicare Advantage Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

New Rules Will Make It Harder to Qualify for Long-Term Care Help From the VA

The Veteran's Administration (VA) offers a pension benefit to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need help at home with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing. The pension, called Aid and...more

11/12/2015 - Aid and Attendance Benefits Long-Term Care Look-Back Measurement Period Penalties Pensions Surviving Spouse Veterans Veterans Administration

Do Frequent Flier Miles Expire When You Do?

Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after somene dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail? The answer to...more

11/11/2015 - Airlines Beneficiaries Customer-Loyalty Programs

What Is Cost Basis and How Do You Prove It?

Knowing the "cost basis" of your property is important for tax purposes, but proving cost basis can be difficult. Cost basis adjusts at death, so it is a good idea to appraise property when a joint owner dies. Cost basis...more

11/10/2015 - Capital Gains Cost Basis Homeowners Inheritance Property Tax

Medicare Open Enrollment Means It's Time to Shop Around

Are you happy with your Medicare coverage? Could you get a better plan for less money? It is time to review whether your plan or plans are working for you. Medicare's open enrollment period, in which you can enroll in or...more

11/9/2015 - Health Insurance Medicare Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Tax Deductions and Credits for People with Disabilities and Their Families

If you or your spouse have a disability, or if you care for a dependent with a disability, you may be able to qualify for one or more tax credits and deductions. Here is a description of some of the more common ones...more

10/13/2015 - Dependent Care Disability Earned Income Credit Medical Expenses Special Needs Adults Tax Credits

Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House

The Senate has unanimously approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others. Now that...more

10/12/2015 - Disabled Pending Legislation Special Needs Adults Special Needs Trust Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Transferring Assets Could Create a Long Waiting Period When It Comes Time to Apply for SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that helps people with disabilities and very low incomes pay for food, clothing and shelter. Unlike some other disability benefits, SSI is a "needs-based" program, which...more

10/9/2015 - Asset Transfer Disability Benefits Penalties Social Security Administration (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Recent Case Spotlights Problem of Excluding People with Special Needs From Gifting Plans

In an effort to preserve government benefits for a child with special needs, parents giving gifts to children will sometimes provide nothing to the child with special needs while giving substantial amounts to the child’s...more

10/8/2015 - Disability Benefits Estate Planning Special Needs Children Special Needs Trust

Use This Form to Avoid Loved Ones Being Denied Medical Information About You

If you are in the hospital, the last thing you want is for a family member or a trusted friend to be denied information about your condition or prognosis. But this could happen if you haven’t already given authorization...more

7/7/2015 - Forms Health Care Providers Healthcare HIPAA Power of Attorney Releases

Decisions to Make for Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. From whom to appoint to what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into...more

5/15/2015 - Estate Planning Power of Attorney

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