May is OLDER AMERICANS MONTH & NATIONAL ELDER LAW MONTH!!

May 1, 2018

On April 18, 1963, President Kennedy issued Proclamation 3527, which designated May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month. In this proclamation, President Kennedy specifically noted that there were currently more than seventeen million persons age sixty-five and over in the United States. He went on to note that “this large segment of our population represents a great national resource of skills, wisdom, and experience upon which much of our Nation’s progress has been built and which continues to enrich our daily lives and to provide counsel and leadership.” Every President since 1963 has, likewise, recognized the importance of this “great national resource,” and continued with the tradition of issuing a proclamation declaring May as a month to show support for older Americans. In 1980, President Carter, changed the name to Older Americans Month. Thus, every year since 1980, May has been known as Older Americans Month. To, further, honor older Americans, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys continues to support the annual proclamation by having also established May as National Elder Law Month.

We could not agree more with President Kennedy and every President, thereafter, that persons age sixty-five and older absolutely do represent a “great national resource,” for which we are most grateful. It is a resource that has grown tremendously, since that first proclamation in May of 1963, and  it is a resource which is continuing to grow. According to the United States Census bureau, as of 2016, this resource had increased to 49.2 million persons and accounted for 15.2 percent of the total U.S. population. These numbers translate to a significant population of Americans with a wealth of wisdom and experience, who are positively influencing our communities each and every day.

We recognize the privilege and honor that lies before us, as we salute our older Americans, and commemorate both Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month this May and encourage all to join in our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month.

(A copy of President Kennedy’s Proclamation 3527 declaring May 1963 as the first Senior Citizens Month, can be found at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=24066)

The Elder Law Center, P.C. (subsidiary of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C., www.mickeywilson.com) is located in Sugar Grove, IL, Kane County, in the Chicago Western Suburbs, phone number: 630-844-0065.

 

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Breath In, Breath Out…

November 15, 2017

Recently, I had the opportunity to re-read various articles that I have saved over the years, for one reason or another.   I quickly noticed a recurring theme that appeared in several of the articles that I had saved.  This common theme is that there are simple breathing techniques that we can do almost anytime and anywhere, which may be able to provide us with just what we need, without any financial cost, to nurture our bodies, mind, and souls. The various articles that I had saved touted the potential health benefits that might occur when performing breathing exercises, as well as the potential to  simply help one calm/relax (de-stress).  After re-reading these articles, a quick search online led to the following, August 14, 2017 post by Melanie D. Tucker, on the Livestrong.com website:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/92264-benefits-deep-breathing/

In both my personal and professional life, I have encountered many persons (myself included) whose daily lives are often busy, and at times, hectic.  In particular, the daily lives of “caregivers” comes to mind.  It is not uncommon for caregivers (particularly caregiver spouses, children, and parents) to report that there “simply are not enough hours in the day” for the caregiver to also take care of themselves.  As a result, the well-being of caregivers may suffer.   Breathing exercises (or even just pausing in times of stress to focus on taking a few deep breaths) may be a helpful “tool” that caregivers can easily add to their “tool chests of care” both for their loved one and for themselves.

Thus, as we celebrate and honor “family” caregivers during “National Family Caregivers Month,” we encourage caregivers to incorporate simple breathing exercises into his/her daily routine.  Our encouragement, however, is not limited to caregivers, simply put: the bottom line is that we encourage all persons to consider adding this simple technique to your own personal tool chest.  In times of stress, you may be glad that you did!

The Elder Law Center, P.C. (a division of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C., http://www.mickeywilson.com) is located in Sugar Grove, IL, Kane County, in the Chicago Western Suburbs, phone number: 630-844-0065.

©Copyright 2017 by Constance Burnett Renzi. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 


HUD Announces Changes to the Federal Reverse Mortgage Program

September 11, 2017

Seniors sometimes secure and use a reverse mortgage to pay for “in-home” long-term care. Specifically, a reverse mortgage allows a homeowner who is at least 62 years old to use the equity in his or her home to obtain a loan that does not have to be repaid until the homeowner moves, sells, or dies. In a reverse mortgage, the homeowner receives a sum of money from the lender, usually a bank, based largely on the value of the house, the age of the borrower, and current interest rates. There are many factors to consider before deciding whether to proceed with a reverse mortgage.  Before proceeding with a reverse mortgage, federal law requires the homeowners to meet with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counselor to help individuals make an independent and informed decision as to whether a reverse mortgage is right for them. While a reverse mortgage may NOT be a viable option for most people, in the right circumstance (after careful consideration of the financial and other factors), some will decide to move forward with a reverse mortgage.

Thus, for those considering, or already moving forward with, a reverse mortgage, understanding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) recently announced changes to the federal reverse mortgage program is critical. Citing the need to put the program on better financial footing, HUD will raise reverse mortgage fees for some borrowers and lower the amount homeowners can borrow.

To start, HUD is changing the mortgage insurance premium fees that homeowners pay in order to obtain a loan. Currently, homeowners pay 0.5 percent of the value of their home as an upfront mortgage insurance premium on smaller loans, but homeowners who take out a loan that is more than 60 percent of their home’s value pay a 2.5 percent premium. The new rule will require homeowners to pay a standard 2 percent upfront mortgage insurance premium. Homeowners considering a large reverse mortgage may want to wait until after the new rules go into effect. To offset the upfront costs, the annual mortgage insurance premium rate will be dropped from 1.25 percent to 0.5 percent.

In addition, HUD is lowering the amount that homeowners can borrow. The average borrower at current interest rates will be able to borrow only around 58 percent of the value of their home, down from 64 percent.

The changes are set to go into effect on October 2, 2017. The changes will only affect borrowers who take out new loans; they will not affect existing loans.  The August 29, 2017 Mortgagee Letter announcing these changes can be found at:  https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=17-12ml.pdf

For additional information regarding reverse mortgages, visit:

https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/hecmabou

 

The Elder Law Center, P.C. (subsidiary of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C., http://www.mickeywilson.com) is located in Sugar Grove, IL, Kane County, in the Chicago Western Suburbs, phone number: 630-844-0065.

 

 


Update on Proposed Medicaid Rule Changes

March 2, 2011

Our office has just been informed that the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (J-CAR) has received the Department of Human Services’ Second Notice regarding the proposed rule changes to implement the changes to the Medicaid eligibility rules mandated by the DRA. Our office has not yet had an opportunity to review the Department’s most recent version. It is our understanding, however, that some revisions have been made to the original version of the proposed rules. More information will follow, once we have had an opportunity to review the rules. We encourage you to periodically check our website for updates.

Click here to review the actual documents filed by the Illinois Department of Human Services.


New Attorney Catherine E. Malesky Joins the Elder Law Center

August 25, 2010

We are pleased to announce that Catherine E. Malesky has joined the Elder Law Center, P.C. as an associate attorney. She is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law where she received the CALI Award for Highest Grade in Law, Literature and Feminism and Political Asylum and Refugee Law Seminar. Before joining the firm, Catherine was a staff attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kane County. 

Catherine’s knowledge and sincerity make her well-equipped to work with our clients and provide them with the best legal representation possible. To reach Catherine, call 630.844.0065, or email her at cem@mickeywilson.com.


Open House- National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, 2010, Elder Law Center, Aurora, IL

March 14, 2010

The Elder Law Center, P.C. is giving back to the community on April 16, 2010 in support of National Healthcare Decision Day.  The Elder Law Center, P.C., along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.   As a participating organization, the Elder Law Center, P.C. is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives in accordance with Illinois state laws.

Specifically, on April 16, from 10a.m. to 2p.m., Elder Law Center, P.C. is welcoming the public to an open house at their offices at 2111 Plum Street, Suite 201, Aurora, Illinois 60506.  During the open house, three free informational workshops will be conducted by our Managing Partner, Connie Renzi, at 10:30a.m., 11:30a.m. and 12:30p.m.  At the conclusion of the workshop, you will have the option of working with Mrs. Renzi to create and execute, free of charge, a durable power of attorney for health care specifically for you.  A health care power of attorney allows you to document the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.  If you are interested in completing this important legal document free of charge at our workshop, please call May Rygh at 630.844.0065, ext. 109 to reserve your seat.

If you do not have time for a workshop or just simply want information about advance care planning and advance directive forms, please come to the open house on April 16, 2010, between 10a.m. and 2p.m. where refreshments will be served and staff will be available to answer your questions.

To learn more about the Elder Law Center, visit our website at www.elderlawpc.com.

We look forward to seeing you on April 16 in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day!


Get Involved in National Healthcare Decisions Day — April 16, 2010

February 22, 2010

Elder Law Center, P.C., along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

NHDD organizers are asking interested organizations and individuals throughout the country to help raise awareness about the importance of advance care planning on this special day—and throughout the year. To help realize this goal, they have created a Web site with information and tools for the public to talk about future healthcare decisions and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living wills) in accordance with their applicable state laws.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

Organizations and coalitions interested in participating are encouraged to sign up at the NHDD Web site. State coordinators are also being recruited to develop statewide networks and outreach activities. For details, visit nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.