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October 21, 2010

Senior Crime Busters and Financial Planning

Who's Afraid of Probate, Senior Crime Busters and Financial Planning
Senior citizens face many legal issues unique to their ages and situations.

Managing debt in retirement—a hot topic for senior citizens—wasn't even on the radar screen 10 years ago.  Now that, and new issues such as Internet-based identity theft and 401Ks, are among the concerns facing today's older residents. 
Some have been created by the current economic climate, others by the new world of social networking.
Those topics and perennial issues such as estate law, financial planning, navigating the medical system and wills and trusts draw consistent interest, says attorney Steven A. Schurkman, a principal member of Keane & Beane law firm in White Plains and author of Elder Law Q&A: Answers to Questions About Estate and Financial Planning, Health Care Planning and Elder Abuse.
Gary S. Brown, Esq., the Director of Communications and Policy Research with the New York State Consumer Protection Bureau, says he knows things have changed because of the reaction he got at a recent workshop for Hudson Valley seniors.
"A few years ago, when I would ask how many people in the room use computers, no one raised their hand. Now, more hands than not go up," Brown says.
 Brown wants seniors who use the Internet to be aware of identity theft—and wants them all to shred documents.
In addition to phone safety and charities fraud, he singles out the new  "grandson scam," a con aimed at the elderly where a caller claims to be a relative—usually a grandchild—and asks to have money wired immediately to take care of an emergency. Don't be taken in by anyone on the phone or on email, he says.
 He and other legal and financial experts recently talked about these issues at Senior Law Day at the Westchester County center in White Plains, legal and financial experts were on hand to provide free advice to an estimated 250 seniors at the 11th Annual Senior Law Day Oct. 14 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. 
Each year, new elder law topics are added to a growing list of workshops determined by the needs of the elder community. Changes to tax and power of attorney laws and New York's new Family Health Care Decision Act were two new topics and were addressed by workshops entitled "How the New Tax Laws Will Affect You and Yours" and "What Happens If I Can't make Medical Decisions?"
Westchester Commissioner Mae Carpenter —who has served the county's seniors for the past 31 years— is a rock star among the seniors she champions.
In addition to her message of empowerment, she always repeats her mantra: "A failure to plan is a plan to fail." 


SOURCE:   Scarsdale.Patch.com

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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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