Phone: (208)765-3595 | FAX: (208)765-0515

Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law News

January 2019, Volume 2, Issue 13

What is going on?

We now accept credit cards through our website, www.CWELP.com! Click on the “Payments” tab on the home page to be directed to the LawPay website.  

Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law will be closed on January 1, 2019 for the New Year Holiday and January 21, 2019 for Martin Luther King, Jr./ Human Rights Day.  

On January 8, 2019, the Alzheimer’s Association will present Health Living for your Brain and Body at the Hayden Public Library at 2 pm.  This educational program is free and open to the public!

The Lake City Senior Center is now offering smartphone classes!  For more information, visit http://www.lakecitycenter.org/.  

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Kroc Center host the Memory Café on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 1:00 p.m. at the Kroc Center Café.  It’s a safe place for those with memory loss and their friends and family to enjoy a favorite drink with others.  Contact PJ Christo at (208) 666-2996 for more information.

Check out Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law on Facebook! “Like” us to stay informed and hear about events in the senior community. Search for Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law.  Share our page with your friends and family so they can also take advantage of the informative articles and information!

“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again,

soon that little shall be much.”

Hesiod

upcoming alzheimer’s legislation-                                 by kate coyle

I recently attended a town hall meeting regarding public policy on Alzheimer’s Disease, both at the state and federal level.  It was truly eye-opening. I have encountered Alzheimer’s Disease personally in my own family. I encounter Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias every single day practicing Elder Law.  But to be shown the actual numbers and projections in Idaho and across the United States was staggering.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 65 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s Disease, resulting in half a million new cases a year.  By the year 2050, the projection is that someone will develop Alzheimer’s Disease every 33 seconds. The total number of people living with Alzheimer’s will be 13.8 million by then.  In Idaho, there are currently 25,000 people living with Alzheimer’s Disease. We are projected to have 33,000 cases in 2025.

Not only is the disease tragic to the patients and their families, it is also a huge financial burden on the individual, his or her family, the state, and the government.  In 2018, the direct costs related to Alzheimer’s Disease in America was an estimated $277 billion. In 2050, that number is projected to be $1.1 trillion. It also places a huge burden on our families.  It is estimated that 16 million family members and friends provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to people with dementia in 2017 at an economic value of $232 billion. In Idaho, 83,000 caregivers provided the equivalent of 1.9 billion in unpaid care.  I won’t even go into the emotional and physical strain it puts on these family and friend caregivers.

So what is being done about it?  There are two bi-partisan Acts federally that aim to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s Disease in the future.  

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act aims to work with the CDC and local Public Health Departments to develop Centers of Excellence around the country to expand and promote innovative and effective Alzheimer’s interventions.  It will provide funding to state, local, and tribal public health departments to promote early detection and diagnosis and increase collection of data to inform future actions.

The Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act is another bipartisan effort which will enact a national campaign to increase training for doctors and nurses on the importance of palliative and hospice care with a focus on managing and easing symptoms, easing pain and stress, and increasing comfort to improve quality of life for those with dementia.  The act will increase the availability of palliative and hospice care, where there is a significant shortage nationwide. The act will establish workforce training centers for these professions, create education and awareness, and fund research to enhance the delivery of palliative care.

What can you do?  CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS to voice your support for this type of legislative support for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease!  The Alzheimer’s Association has an entire lobbying arm (the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement) that can provide you with pre-written “Dear Senator” cards, provide you templates for letters to the editor of your local paper, and put you in touch with your state and federal leadership.  Our local Alzheimer’s Association chapter can help you through the first steps if you want to get involved. A friend of mine, Katy, lost her husband to Alzheimer’s Disease a few years ago. She now visits Boise and Washington D.C. annually to lobby for funding for Alzheimer’s research.  She started with a phone call to (208) 666-2996 to see what she could do.

 

Help us find the first survivor of Alzheimer’s Disease!  

Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law News

February 2019, Volume 2, Issue 14

What is going on?

We now accept credit cards through our website, www.CWELP.com! Click on the “Payments” tab on the home page to be directed to the LawPay website.  

The Alzheimer’s Association will present “Dementia Conversations- Driving, Doctor Visits, Legal and Financial Planning” on February 5, 2019 from 1:30 to 3 at the Lake City Center in Coeur d’ Alene.  This seminar is free and open to the public! Call (208) 666-2996 for more information.

The Lake City Senior Center is now offering smartphone classes!  For more information, visit http://www.lakecitycenter.org/.  

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Kroc Center host the Memory Café on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 1:00 p.m. at the Kroc Center Café.  It’s a safe place for those with memory loss and their friends and family to enjoy a favorite drink with others.  Contact PJ Christo at (208) 666-2996 for more information.

Check out Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law on Facebook! “Like” us to stay informed and hear about events in the senior community. Search for Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law.  Share our page with your friends and family so they can also take advantage of the informative articles and information!

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

  • John Steinbeck

Learn from the Mistake of These Celebrities Who All Died Without a Will                        By Rebecca Eyman

Celebrities!  They’re just like us!  It makes the rich and famous seem relatable when they are spotted by the paparazzi grocery shopping or pumping their own gas.  What is more surprising (and for estate planning attorneys, frustrating) is that sometimes celebrities make the common mistake of failing to prepare a comprehensive estate plan.  With all of the financial advisors, agents, managers, and other professionals that are employed by celebrities, it seems shocking that such an important task could be overlooked. However, it’s more common than you may think.

One such notable example is the late “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, who passed away on August 16, 2018.  Her estate was estimated to be worth $80 million, and she died without a will or any other sort of estate planning document.  Franklin was survived by four sons, one of whom has special needs. Now, Franklin’s heirs will have to wait while the case works its way through probate before they can expect to receive her inheritance.  This situation could have been avoided if Franklin had established a living trust during her lifetime.

Another musician who died without a will is Prince, who passed away on April 21, 2016, leaving an estate valued at $200 million. Over two years later, his estate still has not been distributed to his six siblings.  The executor and the IRS are working on valuing the estate, and while Prince’s siblings have not yet received any portion of their inheritance, lawyers working on the case have already collected approximately $6 million in attorney’s fees.

After musician turned congressman Sonny Bono died unexpectedly in a skiing accident, it was discovered that he did not have a will.  Apparently, while he meant to have a will drawn up, he simply never got around to do it. The result was that his widow, Mary Bono, battled for years to be appointed as his executor.  Bono’s previous spouse, Cher, sued the estate for $1.6 million in unpaid alimony. To make matters even more awkward, a 35-year-old man came forward claiming to be Bono’s illegitimate son, and seeking to inherit from his estate.  It took many years for Bono’s estate to be fully distributed to his lawful heirs.

 

Whether you’re famous or not and regardless of the size of your estate, it’s always a good idea to have a comprehensive estate plan in place, including a will or trust and Powers of Attorney for health care and finances.  If you already have an estate plan, now could be a great time to review it to make sure it is current and still reflects your wishes. The attorneys of Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law are here to help!

Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law News

March 2019, Volume 2, Issue 15

What is going on?

PARKING UPDATE- There are now tenants in the long- abandoned property to the East of us on Garden, and they have asked us to request that our clients not park in that parking lot.  We have plenty of street parking and you can always use our driveway as long as it is not already occupied.

We now accept credit cards through our website, www.CWELP.com! Click on the “Payments” tab on the home page to be directed to the LawPay website.  

On Monday, March 18, 2019 there will be an Alzheimer’s Community Forum from 11 am to 1 pm at the Coeur d’ Alene Library. Registration for the forum is requested by calling (800) 272-3900.  

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019 the Alzheimer’s Association will host Effective Communication Strategies for Dementia Caregivers at the Post Falls Library from 2 to 4 pm.  RSVP to (800) 272-3900.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019 the Alzheimer’s Association will host 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s from 2 to 4 pm at the Rathdrum Senior Center.  RSVP to (800) 272-3900.

Check out Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law on Facebook! “Like” us to stay informed and hear about events in the senior community. Search for Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law.  Share our page with your friends and family so they can also take advantage of the informative articles and information!

I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”

  • Jana Stanfield

proposition 2- medicaid expansion- what’s next?  by kate coyle

Note from the author:  This article is meant to be informative rather than political.  Please do not take this article as a political endorsement in favor of or opposed to Medicaid expansion.  

In the November 2018 election, Idaho voters approved Proposition 2, the expansion of our Medicaid program to include low income working adults by 61% of the vote.  What does that mean for you?

Proposition 2 was a voter initiative which approved expanding Medicaid eligibility to those under sixty-five years old whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or below and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage.  Most of the clients we work with in this office are over sixty- five or disabled and unable to work, so in a nutshell, the Medicaid expansion does not affect the work that we do. Nonetheless, I think it is important to explain what the expansion means and its outlook for the future.

For those that the expansion would affect, it would mean access to preventative health care services for about 91,000 low- income Idaho residents according to US News and World Report.  The 91,000 who fall into the “Medicaid Gap” were previously ineligible for Medicaid because their income was too high. They are sometimes referred to as the “working poor.” The Idaho Stateman newspaper has reported that Idaho taxpayers would fund 10% of the cost of the expansion, and the federal government would fund 90%.  

After the election the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which is opposed to the expansion, filed a complaint that the Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional because it gave too much power to the federal government and to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.  The suit went to the Idaho Supreme Court, which did not find the arguments persuasive and upheld the expansion as constitutional. The Court cited other programs that also reference federal law, including the existing (pre-expansion) Medicaid program which uses federal guidelines for its eligibility procedures.  

Idaho’s newly elected Governor Brad Little has, according to the Idaho Statesman, vowed to uphold the will of the voters and to support the expansion of Medicaid.  But he and state legislators have discussed possible restrictions to the expansion such as work requirements.  In February 2019, legislation sponsored by Senator Mary Souza of Coeur d’ Alene was introduced to the Idaho Senate which would nullify the expansion if the federal government changes the percentage it pays for the program.  That bill will go to hearing during this legislative session.

 

Tensions are high on both sides of this issue.  We get a lot of questions in this office about how this may affect those currently on Medicaid and those looking to become qualified in the future.  As I stated earlier, for the most part, our clients receiving long term care assistance will be unaffected by these changes. The path forward for the 91,000 who fall into the gap remains unclear.  This office will follow the expansion closely, and if the situation changes, you will likely see an update in the future. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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314 E Garden
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816

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