Feb. 1, 2012 – The year 2011 was a milestone in American demographics. The first of the baby boomers turned 65, thus becoming eligible for Medicaid and approaching the cusp of full eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits. Many new retirees and older employees will be exploring private and public benefits to which they might be entitled and also contemplating end-of-life issues, such as how to pass assets to their heirs and whom to turn to when they can no longer make their own decisions about property-related and health-care matters. Advising Older Clients and Their Families can help Wisconsin attorneys provide service to this always-growing group of potential clients.
Who is the client? And other basics
Volume I, supplemented in October 2011, begins with an overview of elder law practice. Chapter 3 surveys the array of private and public agencies and organizations throughout Wisconsin that provide services to elderly persons. The question, “Who is the client?” is particularly likely to arise in an elder-law practice, because adult children often approach the attorney on behalf of their elderly parents. Chapter 2, on special ethical considerations, helps the attorney answer this potentially thorny question as well as others. Although the midlife years and beyond often are portrayed as “golden,” many individuals struggle to keep their jobs, take care of their families, find affordable housing, or have enough money to live comfortably. The remainder of Volume I covers the cases, statutes, and regulations dealing with these core areas of employment, grandparents’ rights, housing, and financing for retirement and disability.
Developments outlined in the 2011 supplement to Volume I include recent employment discrimination case law (Chapter 4); changes to statutory provisions regarding computation of the allowable homestead credit for Wisconsin taxpayers and to rules concerning eligibility for and limitations on WHEDA home improvement loans (Chapter 5); further elaboration and clarification of the extent of grandparents’ rights in custody and visitation actions (Chapter 6); and federal agency actions concerning the payment of Social Security disability benefits to certain categories of immigrants (Chapter 9). The supplement also contains up-to-date data concerning poverty rates and enrollment in governmental health-care programs.
Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, and other programs
Volume II, supplemented in June 2011, discusses the federal Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits systems and Wisconsin’s home-grown programs, whose outlines are dictated by federal law but many details of which have been developed specifically by Wisconsin lawmakers and administrators. The chapter on estate planning enables attorneys to help clients decide how to best dispose of property after death and how to maintain appropriate eligibility for governmental benefits while making lifetime transfers. The estate-planning chapter also discusses durable powers of attorney, which are essential for coping with situations in which advanced age is accompanied by diminishing mental or physical capacity. A separate chapter focuses on substitute decision-making for health-care matters and instructs attorneys on the nuances of the different types of documents clients can use. A chapter on long-term care introduces attorneys and clients to the different types of residential facilities to which individuals may need to turn if they no longer can or want to live in their own homes.
Advising Older Clients is a two-volume resource (each volume also is available individually), available in a print version and also electronically via PINNACLE’s subscription-based interactive online library, Books UnBound®.
Advising Older Clients is available in print to members for $175 for one volume, $275 for the two-volume set, plus tax and shipping. Subscribers to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future updates at 10 percent off the update price. Annual subscriptions to Books UnBound start at $129 per volume ($249 for the two-volume set) and $649 for the full library (single-user prices; call for firm pricing). Order online, or for more information, call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.