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Denver Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

ABLE accounts increase mobility by linking to ride hailing apps

This week we celebrate the start of spring (March 20) as well as World Down Syndrome Day (March 21). The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) encourages people to commemorate the day with a “virtual” 3.21 event. Run, walk, bike, hike, swim or move 3.21 miles to celebrate and raise awareness.

The focus for many families with special-needs children and young adults is often ability and what a loved one can do. A new option could soon offer great transportation choices for those in the Denver metro area. Lyft, in partnership with NDSS, has started offering convenient and affordable transportation through ABLE accounts.

Comprehensive organizational skills a big plus for testators

Many people have heard of the recent phenomenon of “döstädning” — Swedish death cleaning. The idea is that a person should sort through and pare down their possessions in anticipation of death so that family will not have to do it.

Death cleaning took off worldwide with the release of Margareta Magnusson’s book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.” Rachel Connor wrote in The Conversation that while Magnusson’s idea of death cleaning focuses on sorting our physical objects, the practice should extend to our digital “possessions” like passwords, digitized pictures and music, email and social media accounts.

Part 2: Legal strategies for Colorado business succession plans

At our law firm, we help small-business owners in Colorado plan for the eventual exit from their commercial enterprises by developing creative, comprehensive business succession plans. In part 1, we introduced the idea of creating a business exit strategy for the eventual departure of the owner or founder of the business, which could be either unplanned such as because of disability, a planned retirement or several other potential scenarios.

Today, we will cover some of the more common legal vehicles used in business transition planning.

Part 1: Colorado entrepreneurs should have business exit plans

Across our state, innovative, hardworking people are starting or operating small businesses in a wide variety of industries and professions. Commercial endeavors as diverse as a downtown boutique, a dental partnership, a plumbing service and a tool-and-die manufacturer have an often-overlooked need: a sound, well thought out business succession plan.

Revisiting Colorado special needs trusts

March 21, 2019, is World Down Syndrome Day, followed by World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. According to the CDC, almost 17 percent of Colorado adults have some kind of disability and 7.7 percent of adults have cognitive impairments.

The bottom line is that many Coloradans have children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, parents or grandparents with cognitive or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, disabilities related to aging or other kinds of serious impairments. People with severe disabilities almost always need to access public benefits for housing, long-term care, medical care and more — and some of the federal or state programs have asset and income eligibility limits.

Choupette: A famous cat with a message for all cat owners

The Birman with distinctive coloring and sapphire blue eyes had the good fortune to be cat-sat by the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. He was candid about then stealing her from his friend, saying “Choupette would not return to him.” She became the most famous cat.

Chou is French for “cabbage,” but more colloquially, “mon petit chou” translates affectionately to darling or sweetheart and Choupette is sweetie. Following Lagerfeld’s recent death, it has been widely reported that she received a significant inheritance. While pet trusts are more commonly created for dogs (for example, Leona Hemsley’s Maltese, Trouble), they can provide for beloved cats as well.

Part 2: What is long-term care insurance?

We recently posted here about the importance of long-term care planning in case of the temporary or permanent need for long-term health care at home, in assisted living or in a nursing facility. As a follow-up to that post, today we will talk about long-term care insurance as a potential component of this planning.

Your employer may offer LTC insurance as part of a benefit package, likely through a group policy. You might need to pay premiums, but they may be relatively affordable if your employer subsidizes the policy. In addition, a policy through employment may not require that you undergo a physical examination to qualify for coverage, which can be an important opportunity if you have any pre-existing conditions that might disqualify you from coverage or raise your premiums, depending on the terms of the particular policy.

How to speak to those with memory loss so they will understand

A mother with Alzheimer's disease understood a written prescription to move into a memory loss facility after her career as a nurse. A widower in his 80s best understood the financial considerations of a decision after spending decades as a CPA.

Language is specific to many professions. For example, working with information technology, or IT, can easily lead to miscommunication. Almost anyone who has had a tech issue has probably experienced this when asked to find operating system information or to open the black coding box. Harvard's extension service even provides guidance for talking the language of computer science. In this post, we discuss why this matters when considering long-term car planning.

Part 1: What is long-term care planning?

At Chayet & Danzo, LLC, we help our Colorado clients prepare for the possibility that eventually, they may face the need for long-term care because of an illness, accident or condition that develops in older age. Many people do not care to think about these possibilities, but being prepared financially and logistically for long-term care can help loved ones when you face the need for such care.

For example, a person at any age could unexpectedly fall and strike his or her head. This can cause temporary or permanent disability related to a brain injury. Long-term-care services may be delivered at home and could include nursing care, help with personal hygiene, housekeeping support and other services. In some situations, moving to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home, either temporarily or permanently, may be necessary.

Protecting vulnerable loved ones in severely cold weather

The winter of 2019 is shaping up to be one of the coldest on record across the country. Those of us with loved ones who are particularly susceptible to harm from frigid conditions — the elderly, developmentally disabled, mentally ill or physically handicapped — can take steps to protect them.

In addition to caring for disabled or aged loved ones out of concern and love, people who are guardians, conservators, agents, trustees or caregivers have legal responsibilities in this regard. Family members and those with duties of care — whether private or professional — can help provide a safety net in severe cold.

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