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Waco Legal Blog

Apple's New Phone Feature Will Block Notifications for Drivers

Driver distraction is a serious problem in Texas and nationwide. In fact, each year more than 100,000 crashes in Texas involve driver distraction, and Texas was recently ranked in the top 20 states with the most distracted drivers.

While the responsibility of stopping distracted driving ultimately falls to drivers, phone makers have begun to do their part to improve safety on the roads.

Checklist: Choosing an Assisted Living or Continuing Care Facility

1494450360_istock_000000688576_extrasmall_sm.jpgThese questions will help you to evaluate and compare just about any kind of supportive housing arrangement. (For more on assisted living facilities and continuing care communities, click here.)Questions Regarding the Solvency and Expertise of the Provider1. What is the provider's background and experience? The provider is the person or entity legally and financially responsible for providing the housing.2. Is the provider financially sound?3. Are all levels of care licensed or certified by the state?4. How does the facility ensure the quality of its care and services? Is it accredited by any recognized private accrediting organization?Questions Regarding Fees and Accommodations5. If there is an entrance fee, how much is it, and can you get a refund of all or part of it? The facility should provide a formula for a pro rata refund, based on the resident's length of stay, regardless of whether the facility or the resident initiates the termination. Some facilities may offer fully refundable entrance fees.6. What is the monthly fee? When and how much can it be increased? What happens if you cannot afford higher fees? Some facilities give residents financial help if they become unable to pay.7. Do the fees change when the resident's living arrangements or level-of-care needs change?8. How much say do you have in choosing where you live? How large is the living unit? Can you change or redecorate it?9. What if your marital status changes? Will your payments change, or will you be asked to move if you marry, divorce, become widowed or have a friend or family member move into the unit?10. What if spouses require different levels of care?Questions Regarding Services and Health Care11. What services are included in my regular fees? Ask about coverage, limitations, and special charges related to the following matters:Supportive/Social/Recreational Services

Estate Planning: How a Special Needs Trust Can Benefit a Loved One with a Disability

If you intend to leave assets to a loved one with special needs, his or her eligibility for government benefits could be put at risk in the absence of proper planning.

For example, instead of leaving a cash gift that would result in disqualification for government benefits, you can set up a special needs trust. This kind of trust can benefit your loved one while also ensuring his or her eligibility for Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income (SSI).

Eminent Domain and Landowners' Rights

It's an obvious thing to say, but here it is: when you purchase or inherit real estate, the property is then yours; no one can simply take it from you. But "simply" is the key word here.

Eminent domain is a reality, and governments can use this power to take property from private landowners if the taking is for public use. What's more: there are legal precedents for allowing private entities -- for example, oil and gas companies -- to use the power of eminent domain.

Short-Term Care Insurance: An Alternative to the Long-Term Care Variety

short-term_sm.jpgA little-known insurance option can be an answer for some people who might need care but are unable to buy long-term care insurance. Short-term care insurance provides coverage for nursing home or home care for one year or less.

Once a Nursing Home Resident Qualifies for Medicaid, Are There Any Rules on the Remaining $2,000 in Assets?

Hospital room In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits, a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets.

Texas Ranks in the Top 20 for Most Distracted Drivers

Did you know that each year more than 100,000 crashes in Texas involve driver distraction? Despite this and other staggering statistics that underscore the dangers of distracted driving, accidents involving distracted drivers are still on the rise.

In fact, a recent study shows that Texas is among the top 20 states with the most distracted drivers.

VA Pension Benefits and Medicaid Planning: Using These Tools to Defray the Cost of Elder Care

One of the biggest concerns for aging boomers is the question of how to cover the cost of nursing home care or assisted living. These are high costs that can quickly deplete the value of an estate.

If your goal is to defray the cost of long-term care for yourself or a loved one, it is important to be aware of every estate planning option for achieving that objective. 

Aging Drivers and License Renewals

car_driving_sm.jpgFor better or for worse, our current culture is very vehicle-dependent; in many places, cars are the only convenient link to the outside world. Unfortunately, as people age, driving can become more difficult and more dangerous. Statistically, the elderly drive less but have more crashes per mile than younger drivers. This is partially because elderly individuals are more likely to be affected by poor eyesight, chronic disease, and medications that might impair driving.

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