Category: Estate & Elder Law

New Albany Mediation Attorney

The legal system has become so complex, time consuming and costly that parties normally work very hard to avoid using it. After a civil lawsuit is filed, negotiations may ebb and flow, but the vast majority of Indiana lawsuits are resolved through settlements, not verdicts after trials. Those are the endings you see in movies and TV — reality is normally far less dramatic. Mediation is the use of a neutral third party to help the parties negotiate a resolution. At McNeely Stephenson, Larry Church, Jason Lopp and Dana Eberle-Peay not only negotiate settlements for their clients involved in litigation, but they also work as mediators in other cases. There are many benefits to settling a case. The biggest is[…..]

Will the Elderly Have Their Own #MeToo Movement?

Millions of elderly Americans suffer some form of abuse every year. While women suffering sexual harassment at work were able to publicize the abuse they’ve had to suffer, older Americans largely suffer in silence. In an effort to bring attention to the issue, the United Nations has named June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. There are many types of elder abuse and victims may have to deal with more than one at the same time, according to the National Council on Aging. Physical abuse: inflicting physical pain or injury. Sexual abuse: Touching, fondling, intercourse or other sexual activity with an older adult if he or she can’t understand what’s going on, doesn’t consent, is threatened or forced to[…..]

The Federal Estate Tax Has Changed, but It Still Exists.

Changes to the federal tax system enacted in December impacted but didn’t end the estate tax — at least, for the time being. The revision eased the burden of taxation, and as time goes by fewer and fewer Indiana families will have to deal with it, but it’s still on the books and will remain there. Depending on how much wealth you have, you may still need estate planning if you want to avoid or minimize the estate tax. The new federal tax law doubles the amount of money that’s automatically exempt from the federal estate tax, to about $11 million for an estate of a person who’s unmarried or $22 million for a married couple. The relaxation of the[…..]

Power of Attorney

While you never know when you might have to rely on someone else, there are ways you can prepare for the possibility. The financial power of attorney (POA) is the cornerstone to any estate plan.  It allows a person (the principal) to give legal authority to someone else (the attorney-in-fact) to take financial actions on the principal’s behalf. There are many situations where having such a document and creating such a relationship is preferable to allowing one’s personal finances to languish. Of course, the planning needs of an unmarried, childless 21-year-old are likely not the same as a 65-year-old married couple with grandchildren, but powers of attorney are highly customizable. Third parties cannot simply make financial decisions for someone else[…..]

Indiana Estate Law

Now that the holidays are behind us and it’s a new year, you are probably relieved you finally had those important financial conversations with your family that you had been dreading. In between cocktails and the big meal, you sat down with your loved ones and discussed estate planning, right? No? Well, odd as it may sound, the jovial mingling of the different generations can make the holiday season an ideal time to mention it. If you let the opportunity pass you by this year, consider starting the dialogue at the next function where the entire family comes together. Of course, sensitivity counts, and there are times when candidly discussing wills or end-of-life medical preferences is highly inappropriate. Still, there’s[…..]

Kentuckiana Gun Law Attorney

The meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is an often litigated topic with a reputation for provoking heated discussions. In a 2008 decision, the Supreme Court interpreted it as granting the right of gun ownership to individuals for purposes that include self-defense. The parameters for legally obtaining those guns vary from state to state, with both Kentucky and Indiana laws being more lenient than those of many other states. In fact, an examination by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence graded the gun laws of all 50 states based on 30 policies related to guns and ammunition, including procedures for lost or stolen firearms, background checks, and preventing dangerous people from buying weapons. Neither state fared[…..]

New Albany Business Lawyer

No one likes to think about their demise, but it’s a reality that we all must face. Making plans for that inevitable event can help ensure that your wishes are followed in a variety of situations. While nearly everyone should have at least a will, health care directives, and powers of attorney, owners of small businesses face the additional challenge of having to prepare for what should happen to their life’s work. There may be no greater gift than a legacy built from your own heart, time, and dedication, but leaving a family business to your heirs is a complex matter that should be done under a lawyer’s guidance. The earlier you begin the process, the easier the transition will[…..]

Indiana Trust Estate Planning Lawyer

These days, we do everything online. You can learn a language, find a love match, order groceries, even predict your own death if you’re into that sort of thing – the list is endless. The accessibility and utility of the Internet makes it easy to feel empowered, but some people who have turned to the Web for answers about trusts and estates have not had a positive experience. In fact, some who chose to “cheaply” draft trust or estate documents themselves ended up with unintended consequences that cost their estates more money than if they had sought professional legal advice in the beginning. There’s no doubt that contemplating our own mortality is a depressing prospect. No one relishes the thought[…..]

Medicare vs. Medicaid

May 31st, 2016 by McNeely | Stephenson

Medicare Lawyer

The federal government is a massive entity, the true size of which is up for debate. Depending on the source, the number of federal agencies has been reported to be as few as 60 and as many as 430. One agency whose existence is not in question is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which, among other responsibilities, oversees Medicare and works with state governments to manage Medicaid. These two similar-sounding public insurance programs are very different, but they have the same goal of providing medical and health-related services to certain groups of disadvantaged people. Medicaid delivers healthcare coverage to low-income families and individuals, including seniors, parents, children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. It is jointly funded[…..]

Indiana Will Lawyer

Everyone dies, but not everyone makes a will. While it’s understandable that some people are uncomfortable discussing their mortality, their reluctance to plan for it can force their families to fight through the courts in order to determine where their assets will go and how their debts will be paid. Unfortunately, not having a will is extremely common. According to a 2014 survey, more than 60 percent of Americans do not have one. And the No. 1 reason why not? “Just haven’t gotten around to making one.” Who should have a will? Just about everyone. Whether your estate is small and simple or large and complicated, planning ahead gives you some control over what happens to your belongings while also[…..]