Family Elder Law Expert Blog

Family Elder Law is pleased to offer the legal blog entitled “The Family Elder Law Expert Blog,” authored by Jason A. Penrod, B.C.S., CELA. Jason is board certified as an Elder Law Expert by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation. He is also the founder of Family Elder Law with offices in Lake Wales, Lakeland, and Sebring, Florida. The blog addresses legal issues of particular interest to our readers. In addition, the blog will answer individual questions from the readership on a wide range of topics.

Family Elder Law Expert Blog


Alleviate Stress: Plan Your Estate Correctly

Friday, January 14th, 2022

As many of you know, not all estate planning documents are alike just as not all estate plans are alike.  People often ask as if their documents are “OK” or “good enough”.  I typically answer with every attorney’s favorite response, “Well, that depends.”

Navigating Resources for Veterans Facing Alzheimer's

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Did you know???  The Alzheimer’s Association reports that nearly half a million American veterans have Alzheimer’s—and as the population ages, that number is expected to grow.  And if that does not get your attention; Did you know that more than 60% of the VA’s costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s are for nursing home care?

Top 5 Estate Planning Mistakes

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Your life’s work and ability to provide for your family provide a gratifying feeling for you and your heirs. However, such planning can go awry when last-minute changes occur. The following are common estate planning errors.

Family Disputes Do Not Need to Become Legal Disputes

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

The drama, the cost, the lost time, the broken relationships – there are so many ways that family problems about end-of-life care for a parent and inheritance can have serious repercussions when these problems reach the status of a legal filing and court case. You can take steps moving beyond the possibility this might happen and create (or amend) your estate plan seeking to diffuse these potential issues before they become legal challenges.

November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Monday, November 8th, 2021

In 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan made November the designated month for National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Then fewer than 2 million Americans were diagnosed with this devastating illness that then and now destroys the lives of the people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the families who love and care for them. The impact is physically, emotionally, and financially draining on many levels. This cruel disease robs a sufferer of their personality, thinking skills, and memories until the person they were no longer exists.

Helping Parents & Children; Welcome to the Sandwich Generation!

Monday, November 1st, 2021

Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although generation is part of the phrase, it does not refer to people born at a specific time. Typically these "sandwich" family caregivers will be in the thirty to forty-year-old age range and balancing duties to provide for their families and provide care duties for both children and parents.

How Can Cryptocurrency Fit In Your Estate Plan

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Traditional estate planning elements are mostly obsolete when it comes to digital assets. Crypto-assets may comprise significant individual wealth in the forms of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and noncurrency blockchain tokens. If you own any of these asset classes, addressing complex challenges to secure, transfer, protect and ultimately gift crypto-asset wealth is crucial to your estate plan.

Are You Part of The Sandwich Generation? Here Is How to Plan

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although generation is part of the phrase, it does not refer to people born at a specific time. Typically these "sandwich" family caregivers will be in the thirty to forty-year-old age range and balancing duties to provide for their families and provide care duties for both children and parents.

VA Benefits & Long-Term Care Planning

Monday, October 18th, 2021

Are military veterans permitted to use their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to help cover the cost of long-term care? The answer is, as with most governmental things, complicated. A much-underused pension benefit known as Aid and Attendance can provide some money to cover costs for assistance performing everyday tasks. Aid and Attendance benefits may even be available to veterans with incomes above the eligibility limit if they have a large enough medical expense(s) for which they receive no reimbursement.

Who Should Be My Health Care Surrogate?

Friday, October 15th, 2021

“I can't decide which of my two children should be my Health Care Surrogate to make medical decisions for me if I am unable make them.  Should I just name them both?”

Why You May Need An Elder Law Attorney Sooner Than You Thought

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Whether you have an older adult loved one in your life or you have concerns about the health and financial welfare of the future, an elder law attorney can optimize your planning. Elder law is a highly specialized area of law focusing on the legal needs of older adults encompassing more significant issues like long-term health care needs, quality of life, and financial well-being. Specific planning may include estate planning and administration, asset protection planning, Medicaid planning and applications, wills and trusts, probate, advance directives, special needs planning, and guardianships.

The Staggering Costs of Elder Care

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

To age well and securely in America is at best expensive on many levels. The financial toll for millions of the elderly and those families who do their best to care for and support them. Long-term care facilities and retirement communities cost staggering amounts of money, as do the high costs of premiums to maintain a long-term care insurance policy. The truth is the US long-term care system is both underfunded and not well matched to the expectations of the older adults trying to thrive within it. There exists a crisis in care and a crisis in conscience within this country's social safety net.

Be Financially Aware & Prepared

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

It seems pertinent to discuss how to be financially aware today.  Organizing financial information can bring peace to you today and relieve your loved ones' future burdens.  It ensures proper management of your finances and affords control over your lifetime needs and legacy.

National Senior Citizens Day is August 21st

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

National Senior Citizens Day is rapidly approaching.  Saturday, August 21st, will be a day of celebration of our Senior Citizens which was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.  So remember to do something especially special for those Senior Citizens in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them and are forever grateful for their sacrifices for us.

Meditation During Pandemic May Be Exactly What You Need

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

For people across the globe, COVID-19 continues to be a harrowing experience. Previously unthinkable challenges, unwanted changes, and devastating losses of loved ones became all too common. Whether you call it meditation, yoga, prayer, spirituality, contemplative or philosophical thought, meditative practices can support patients, healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the general public. While the healthful benefits of meditative practices are not new, it has never been more important to adopt as a lifestyle choice.

What Can We Learn From Britney Spears' Conservatorship?

Monday, August 16th, 2021

Conservators are put in place through court authority to manage the affairs of those who are no longer capable of making their own decisions about health care or finances. In Florida, a conservatorship is known as a guardianship.  While most people's lifestyles and fortunes are decidedly different from Ms. Spear's, the problems she has and continues to experience are a cautionary tale for all of us who do not name a durable power of attorney for healthcare and financial matters. In the absence of these legal documents reflecting your wishes should you become incapacitated, family members may petition a court to appoint a conservator to manage your well-being. Yet, in Britney Spear's case, some who are under the direction of a conservatorship have no desire to be there.

Grocery Employee Pays Veteran's Bill

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

May we all be as kind, caring, and generous to our nation's veterans as the young grocery employee in this article.  Read the story below:

Estate Planning & Cryptocurrency

Friday, August 6th, 2021

The popularity of cryptocurrency is increasing exponentially, and Florida Today reports as many as 46 million Americans own the most popular and well-known crypto asset, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was created in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. This digital or virtual currency is held secure using cryptography, making it nearly impossible to double-spend or counterfeit.

What is the Probate Process?

Thursday, August 5th, 2021

Probate court is the legal process of validating a person's will and ensuring an executor handles the decedent's assets, debts, and final tax filings by law and according to the decedent's wishes. To begin probate, a personal representative or executor must file with the county court where the decedent lived, even if there is a property for dispersal in another state.