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Denver Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Alzheimer’s disease may soon be detectable through a blood test

The findings of a recent study involving 158 older adults appeared in the journal Neurology in October. Results strongly suggest that a blood test may soon help to identify Alzheimer’s disease in patients at an early stage, according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. The test may allow doctors to determine with a very high likelihood that patients have the disease even before symptoms develop.

The hope is that medical researchers can develop new treatments to slow down and fight the disease while the brain is still healthier than it will become as the illness progresses. Part of this research would be to include people whose bloodwork indicates a high likelihood of Alzheimer’s in clinical trials earlier than is possible now.

IRS announces ABLE account video on its You Tube channel

In 2014, Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, known as the ABLE Act, allowing people with severe disabilities to put away money for the future without jeopardizing their eligibility for public benefit programs that provide important safety nets for those challenged by disability. These programs include Supplemental Security Income or SSI, federal housing benefits and Medicaid, known as Health First Colorado in our state, a joint federal-state program that often covers residential, medical and other important services.

Traditionally, people have had to keep their assets extremely low, usually under $2,000, to qualify for these programs. This in essence requires people to live in poverty to get the help they need from the government, but now ABLE accounts may provide an option for saving for future needs and purchases.

The time to create a business succession plan is now

A business is a legacy. Whether it’s a small operation, a family effort or a large company, the business’ success directly supports family, loved ones and its surrounding community. As a business owner, you’d do whatever necessary to protect this legacy, right?

Surprisingly, a significant number of owners are completely ignoring one of the most important aspects of ensuring a business remains healthy long into the future: succession planning.

Make contingency plans for dementia for loved one with Down syndrome

At Chayet & Danzo LLC, our lawyers help Coloradans with Down syndrome, also called DS, and their families and loved ones create estate and long-term care plans to provide safety nets throughout the lives of people with DS and related conditions. While it is well-known that DS is associated with a higher risk of early onset Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, a new study sheds more light on the link between these conditions.

According to the study, “virtually all adults with DS” have Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology at age 40, but they can live for years without symptoms.

How to make sure a loved one is supporting a legitimate cause

There are many reasons someone would want to make charitable giving part of their estate plan. Not only can it help reduce the tax burden, doing so can leave a positive, long-lasting impact on a community.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that there are some people who will try to take advantage of this kindness, exploiting it for their own gain.

A blue bucket on Halloween means a special trick-or-treater

Halloween is a holiday for kids and adults alike, a way to socialize and visit neighbors while the kids have a ton of fun and the grownups enjoy the children's costumes and cuteness. But for a child with a developmental or intellectual disability, trick or treating may not be as enjoyable.

A kid with a disability may not understand the traditions. Crowds, pumpkin faces and scary costumes could intimidate them. They may have trouble saying, "trick or treat" or "thank you."

Tips for a Colorado guardian, part 2

In part 1 of this post, we talked about the importance for the guardian of a vulnerable adult of developing a relationship with an attorney for information, guidance and legal services. Today, we share other thoughts that might help a Colorado guardian enhance the life of their ward.

Being the guardian of a vulnerable adult in Colorado, part 1

Life can take an unexpected turn and you could end up in a place you did not anticipate. A child or sibling with a developmental disability, mental health problem, rare disease or physical impairment grows up and is unable to care for themselves as an adult. Your adult relative is in an accident that leaves them with severe injuries, taking away their ability to meet their own needs. Your elderly parent who has aged so robustly develops dementia or becomes physically frail.

In so many situations, you can find yourself having to decide how to protect a vulnerable loved one physically, medically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. There are different legal options, depending on the circumstances, but guardianship under Colorado state law may make sense. A guardian is primarily responsible for their ward’s direct care, health needs, housing, personal belongings and other property, and overall well-being.

How remarriage can impact your child’s inheritance

Remarriage is no longer a rarity. According to statistics from Pew Research, nearly one in every four married people has been married before, up from about one in 10 in 1960. While finding a long-term partner to be happy with is something to celebrate, a remarriage can introduce some new questions that need answering.

That includes how it will affect your plans for inheritance for your children.

Dealing with a home/cabin after the death of a parent

A death in the family can be difficult, no matter the circumstances. Take time to grieve, but do not wait too long before starting with estate administration functions, especially if you need to deal with real property like a home or cabin.

If you are designated a personal representative in a loved one's will, it is vital to ensure that a property is maintained to avoid damage. Have sprinkler systems been winterized? Will a lawn care service be needed to keep the grass and gardens alive?

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