Category Archives: Recent Blogs

Court Confirms that Joint Ownership Trumps a Will

In 1988, Robert Ehrhardt, Sr. and his wife, Julia, purchased a home as “joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, and not as tenants in common.”  In 2000, Robert Sr. executed his last will and testament.  A provision of his

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Divorce May Not Revoke Your Old Will

A recent Mississippi Court of Appeals decision (Chaney v. Chaney, No. 2015-CA-01613-COA, https://courts.ms.gov/Images/Opinions/CO120771.pdf) points out that a divorce by itself will not revoke one of the spouse’s earlier will. Facts: James Chaney Jr. executed his last will and testament in

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Do a Letter of Intent for Your Child

A “Letter of Intent” is a detailed description of a child (or incapacitated spouse) with a disability, including explanations of his or her medical, physical, mental, emotional, family, social, religious, educational and recreational history, abilities, preferences and dislikes.  This Letter

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Elder Exploitation a Growing Problem

June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  On June 14, Richard Courtney attended the summer meeting of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in Seattle.  A large portion of that meeting

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FALL (ING)

Last Friday at 3:02 PM Central Time, summer here was over.  Fall began.  Fall.  I have had a few thoughts about that word. For the next three months, it will be Fall.  A noun.  A season.  A beautiful time of

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Holiday Helps for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

November and December are holiday months.  The holiday season is a time for visiting and reconnecting with family, friends and neighbors.  Sometimes this season can be sad or stressful for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.  Here

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How Do Annuities Compare to Social Security?

Are you hoping to retire one day with enough income to live comfortably in your golden years?  Where will that income come from when you finally quit working?  Social Security forms one leg of the “three-legged stool” of retirement planning

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Medicare Milestones

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law.  At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled

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Trust Protectors for Special Needs Trusts

Loving parents set up a special needs trust (SNT) for their child with disabilities and name themselves as trustees.  They intend to fund it with assets upon their deaths and provide for the appointment of the husband’s sister as the

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Two Different Types of Special Needs Trusts

This article is reprinted with permission of the Special Needs Alliance - www.specialneedsalliance.org. There are two types of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), commonly designated as first-party and third-party SNTs. It is important to determine which type of SNT you have or

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Upcoming Events and Presentations

Below are some upcoming presentations by Richard Courtney on various elder law and special needs planning topics, followed by important information about some great events to be put on by a variety of non-profit groups.  (Contact us if you would

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We Need to Be Careful with Tax Reform

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) was introduced in the House of Representatives last week. This is the first major tax law overhaul since the 1986 Tax Act, which took approximately four years of bipartisan Congressional activity to

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What is a Health-Care Surrogate?

Many times a person may suffer an injury or illness and require medical decision-making for their care.  If that person is unable to understand the doctors or medical professionals and give “informed consent” for such health care, and if that

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When a Court Can Undo Joint Ownership

When a widowed parent begins to lose the ability to care for himself, children may move in and take over the management of the parent’s finances.  In some cases, the managing or caregiver child may change the ownership of assets

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When is a Lease a Will?

Rose Greer leased land to David and Jene Nunnery.  Section 3 of the lease - which extended until July 31, 2025, in automatically renewing one year terms - stated: In the event of the death of the Lessor, this lease

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Where Can Service Animals Go?

by Richard A. Courtney, CELA Service animals can change lives. My daughter, Melanie, who’s had service dogs for years, comments that beyond the many helpful tasks they perform and the unconditional love they provide, they open up opportunities for social

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