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Burlington, VT office 802.540.0529
Hanover, NH office 603.643.6072
Rutland, VT office 802.773.3822
Woodstock, VT office 802.457.9492

April 7, 2010 Newsletter Archive

Announcing Melendy Moritz PLLC's
Life Care Planning Program

Melendy Moritz PLLC is pleased to announce the unveiling of our new Life Care Planning Options program. Our life care planning gives you access to a multi-disciplinary team which includes our geriatric care advisor, Victoria Strousse, a registered nurse with 27 years of experience, our life care coordinator, Martha Forgione, and our attorneys.

Life Care Planning Options for You

Life care planning is a holistic, family and elder centered approach to legal matters, which compliments our traditional law practice. Our goal is to promote wellness, good health and safety, and to focus on quality of life issues of elders and their families. We help families respond to the challenges presented when elderly lovees are did onagnosed with a chronic or debilitating illness.

Life care planning is inter-disciplinary and identifies present and future care needs. Rather than being crisis-oriented, life care planning fosters on-going family relationships with us and includes estate planning, asset protection planning, qualifying for public benefits, health care and financial decision making, care advocacy, strategies for paying for long term care, and crisis intervention and support.

In addition to traditional tax planning, Medicaid planning and estate planning (wills, financial powers of attorney and health care directives), we can also help with the following:

You are not alone. Call Melendy Moritz PLLC Life Care Planning today at 603-643-6072 or 802-457-9492.


The New Health Care Law and Long Term Care Planning

Financing late life care for ourselves and our spouses is often overlooked. Many of us do not want to even think about it until we are facing a problem. We have heard many clients speak about Medicare supplementing these years, and it will to a degree. Yet, virtually all non-medical help must come from our own pockets. Discovering this during a crisis often brings on panic.

So, how will you finance your long term care?

There are many ways in which to finance your long term care. These usually fall into the following areas and are often used in conjunction with one another: privately paying through fixed and passive income sources; using private long term care insurance (if you have purchased it); increasing your income stream by securing a reverse mortgage; applying for Medicaid which is an eligibility program for the needy; and using a combination of family caregivers and community supports.

Last month Congress enacted a new health care law which includes among many other aspects, a program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act. This program essentially enables enrolled individuals who need help in their later years with activities of daily living to receive a daily cash payment.

CLASS works by having individuals pay a monthly premium, and then, after five years of participating, those individuals have the option of receiving a $50/day cash payment to help with home care needs, home renovations and medical equipment.

The enrollee is eligible to begin receiving benefits once the enrollee is deemed to have a function limitation in activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting, and continence. The actual cash payment is dependent on how many activities of daily living are lacking.

Interestingly, individuals are enrolled through their employers. This presumes that when an individual enrolls they are still active in the work force and perhaps years away (at least five years away) from needing to tap into this resource. Additionally, some employees may choose to opt out of enrolling in this program. These employees will not be able to participate later in the benefits.

Some have decried the $50/day amount as being scarcely adequate to cover needs. Indeed it does feel miniscule when the cost of home care can be in the several thousands of dollars per month. While CLASS is not a magic bullet of any sort, it is one more revenue stream for those patching together a quilt of services from a variety of resources mentioned above.

To read the complete CLASS Act (24 pp) click here.


The Well Lived Life: Writing Your Family Legacy Letter

Writing a legacy letter can be difficult. Many times we don't know where to begin. What is it that we truly want to convey to our loved ones and why? Fortunately, there is no right or wrong way in which to leave a written legacy. Your high school English teacher is not going to correct your grammar and the culture police are not going to judge you on what is important and unique to you.

Sometimes staring at a blank page seems to make our mind go blank as well. We encourage you to set some time for yourself, find a special notebook and perhaps even a special writing place in your home, and begin writing a little bit every day. Once you begin, just as with any practice, your writing will become more fluid. Hopefully this will become an enjoyable experience prompting you to continue to write.

It can be helpful to begin with specific topics on which to write. We give our clients some guiding questions which may prompt them. As an exercise we ask them to take just one question at a time in each category and see how that experience feels once they have written a little.

In short, once you begin to write, you will notice patterns in your values and your life story that will more easily guide you to writing the Family Legacy Letter that you intend. Remember that this can be a moving, spiritual journey. Have fun with it, relax and let your pen and creativity flow.

For more information and guidance in writing your legacy letter call us at 603.643.6072 or 802.457.9492 or send and email to daphne.

Melendy Moritz PLLC is a client centered boutique firm. We focus on your unique needs by providing the individualized legal counseling and advising tailored to your specific situation.

We concentrate on the planning that matters to you.
Call us at 603.643.6072 or 802.457.9492


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