What do you do if you believe a family member or a friend has become unable to care for themselves or their finances? This is a very stressful and troubling question that, unfortunately, many people end up asking themselves.

In some instances, the individual has an estate plan in place. This might include a power of attorney, or other directive, that indicates who will make important decisions for the individual in the event that they are unable to do so. Sometimes, there is no estate plan, but the individual does not have the capacity to execute estate planning documents, including a power of attorney. All is not lost.

Continue Reading Becoming a Guardian in Pennsylvania

In this series of blogs with regard to guardianship in Pennsylvania, I have discussed the nature and process of guardianship of the person. The guardian of an incapacitated has general and specific legal obligations and duties to the incapacitated person. The general obligations include: bringing lawsuits on their behalf in the case of injury; assertion of the rights and interests of the incapacitated person; respect for the wishes and preferences of the incapacitated person; participation, where appropriate in the development of a plan of support services to meet the incapacitated person’s needs; and encouragement of the incapacitated person to participate in the management of his or her personal affairs, if feasible.
Continue Reading The Duties of a Guardian of a Person in Pennsylvania

The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 18. This means that at age 18, not only can an individual legally vote and drink alcohol, he or she has the right to make legally binding decisions on his or her own behalf. This is true regardless of whether or not an individual has a disability. However, if a person is unable to make decisions for him or herself as a result of an injury or for any other reason, the court may be petitioned to judge the person to be “incapacitated” and appoint a guardian to make decisions for that person.
Continue Reading What is Guardianship in Pennsylvania?

These days, many people are still working past age 65, the age at which you can start receiving health insurance coverage through Medicare. If you are one of these people, and are covered by your employer’s health insurance plan, you may think there is no need for you to sign up for Medicare.
Continue Reading Medicare and Employment Based Health Insurance for Workers Over Age 65

Every year you postpone claiming your Social Security retirement benefits, up to age 70, you add 8% per year to your base amount. What does this mean? If your full Social Security retirement age is 66, and you delay receiving benefits until you are age 70, you can collect 132% of your primary amount plus the intervening annual cost-of-living adjustments.
Continue Reading Delaying Your Retirement Age

Social Security is reporting an overall increase in average hearing processing times to nearly a year in 2013. That means, if you file an appeal of the initial denial of your Social Security Disability Claim or Supplemental Security Income Claim, it may take you a year or more to get your case heard by a Social Security judge.
Continue Reading Backlog in Processing Disability Hearing Requests

The Social Security Administration has made changes to the retirement earnings test for 2013. This test only applies to people who have taken early retirement and are under their full retirement age. One out of two exempt amounts applies depending upon the year you reach your full retirement age.
Continue Reading Changes in Retirement Exempt Amount under the Earnings Test