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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Meet our Newest Attorney, Jeffrey Baxter!

Jeffrey Baxter is the newest attorney to our Highpoint Law Team. Like the firm’s founding attorney, Peter J. Gilbert, the law is Jeff’s second career.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Jeff served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) in Warminster.  He also served in the Naval Reserves at NAS Willow Grove.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

VA Closing the Door on Benefits


By Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

For several months, the VA has let it be known that it’s going to get much harder for Veterans to receive help with their long-term care expenses. For many years, this “Aid and Attendance” benefit has been a godsend to thousands of veterans and their spouses. With this VA help, they’re able to afford helpers coming to their home, going to Adult Day Care, or living in an Assisted Living facility.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Aging Parents

Protect Your Aging Parents

How to Ensure Your Parents Don’t Lose Their Home, Bank Accounts, & Assets To Long Term Care Costs
A friend relayed a story that is one I hear all too often when it comes for caring for aging parents.

Her friend, I’ll call him Bob to protect his identity, has an aging father who is still living at home. Bob’s father has some dementia and some other ailments. He sometimes forgets to take his medicine and often forgets to feed himself. On good days Bob’s father is mostly okay by himself at night after he goes to bed, but he’s getting to where he really needs round-the-clock care.

Bob has three siblings and for the past three years they have been rotating taking care of their dad. Bob has shifts after work twice a week and during the day on Saturday. He also rotates some additional shifts. All the siblings have pitched in to pay for upkeep on the house and added things to make the house safer for their dad.

This is hard on Bob as he also has two small children and a wife at home. In fact, all of the siblings are growing wary and Bob’s father’s health is declining. Bob and his siblings know it’s past time to sell his father’s house and move him to a facility, but they aren’t sure how their dad will take it or which facility is right and they worry about whether or not their dad’s money will last.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

Mom and Dad Are Failing—What Do I Do Now?


by Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

It starts when you’re home for the holidays. Mom and Dad are happy to see you and the family, but you sense something’s not right. Dad has lost a lot of weight; you find “snowdrifts” of unopened mail piled up on the kitchen table.


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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is your Estate Plan up to Date with Technology?

One of the biggest complications in estate planning is that the law is forever catching up to technology. Obviously, for privacy concerns, access to the content of communications such as emails, text messages and social media accounts must be specifically given to an Executor or Power of Attorney Agent. These specific instructions should be placed in your will, trust, power of attorney or similar document. Does your Power of Attorney or Will or Trust mention access to digital access or on-line accounts?

There may come a time when someone needs lawful access to your online accounts and the current default (similar to laws of “intestacy,” when someone dies without an estate plan) is to follow a companies’ terms of services agreements. Some companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have developed policies to deal with the accounts of deceased users, but many are still unaware of these policies.


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Discuss Your Social Security Options With An Estate Planning Attorney

For many older clients in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Social Security benefits represent a very large portion of their post-retirement income.  Because of the way that the system has changed since it was originated in 1935, it is extremely complex.  Literally hundreds of amendments have been made in the nearly 80 years since the Social Security Act.  It just may take an experienced lawyer to wade through the options with you.

And just what kind of options are you looking at?  There are a lot of them to consider.  While there is certainly good information to be learned from others who have already been through the process, it could be a big mistake to simply take someone else’s word about what is the best approach to take.  After all, what is right for one family or individual may not be best for another.

For example, did you know that you might not have to quit working entirely in order to begin collecting Social Security benefits?  A lot of people are not aware of this, and it can have a huge impact on their income levels.  There are at least four ways that a person can receive his or her Social Security, and that’s just for those who are not married.  Married couples find that they have a total of 16 different options.  Again, having an experienced attorney go over all of the options is a good way to maximize the options available to you.

Speaking of married couples, chances are that the wife will survive the husband and then be eligible for his Social Security benefits.  This is very important, as almost a quarter of widows and other single female seniors live below the poverty line.  For this reason alone, the responsible thing is for a couple to spend a little time with the estate planning attorney in order to put together a comprehensive plan that will cover either spouse in the event that the other passes away.

While self-sufficiency is certainly an important part of our culture, decisions regarding retirement and estate planning are some that really should be informed by a knowledgeable professional.  Estate planning attorneys are well-versed on how Social Security works and are able to provide solid advice on how to get the most of what you deserve.  In this day and age, it’s pretty simple to get on the Social Security Administration’s web site and start submitting requests without having enough background information and knowledge to make the best choices.

When it comes to Social Security and things like Medicaid benefits, there is too much at stake to risk not hiring an estate planning attorney.  Whether you will be living strictly off of your Social Security benefits, or they will be used in other ways as a part of your long-term retirement plans, this is not an area to take lightly.


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HighPoint Law Offices assists clients with Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Medicaid Planning and IRA Preservation in Chalfont, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas including Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton Counties.



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