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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2008 / 19 Adar I 5768

‘Helpful’ lawyer leaves nephew in a bind; tax deduction for assisted-living stay

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: I have been looking after my uncle, now 82, for the past five years. He has no other family. He had placed my name on all of his bank accounts, his home and his stocks. I took him to a lawyer last year to get a power of attorney so that, if he became unable to take care of business, I will be able to handle matters. The lawyer filled in the blanks on a one-page form, which my uncle signed. He charged $100 and told us this was all we needed. After my uncle suffered a stroke last month, no one would accept the power of attorney even though it had been recorded, and I was told it had expired. The lawyer now tells me that I will have to go to court to get appointed as my aunt's conservator, and that he can help me. My uncle can't sign another document. What can I do?


A: Under the law of every state, all powers of attorney terminate at the death of the person who has given the power. Although we have not seen the document prepared for your uncle, from what you tell us, it would seem that the document was not "durable," that is, it did not contain the language to allow you to continue to act after your uncle's incapacity — the time you need it most and the very contingency under which your uncle intended for you to have the authority to deal with his assets.


Durable powers of attorney are recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We believe the form you signed was an "old one." We urge caution in relying on pre-prepared forms and fill-in-the-blanks documents. Durable powers of attorney should be individually drafted to meet the needs of the principal.


What to do: Here, your uncle placed your name on all of his assets and accounts. That means you have full signatory rights on each account. It would appear that you could use your authority to pay his bills as they come due in this fashion. If there are questions and you are required to seek the assistance of a local probate or surrogate court, find another lawyer, as the one who prepared your uncle's power of attorney has "helped" enough.


Q: I am concerned about my mother, who is 78, continuing to live at her home alone. She is forgetful, is not eating as she should and has been having accidents. I looked at a few assisted-living facilities and was told by the administrator of one that Mom's stay would be tax deductible. Since she is now paying income taxes on interest, dividends, and pensions she is receiving, a deduction of $40,000 per year would help. Can you tell us how to take advantage of that tax deduction?


A: If your mother itemizes her deductions and is not subject to the alternative minimum tax, she is entitled to deduct unreimbursed expenses for her medical care to the extent that these expenses exceed 7.5 percent of her adjusted gross income. For income tax purposes, "medical care" means amounts paid for (1) the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body; (2) transportation primarily for, and necessary to, medical care; (3) qualified long-term services; or (4) qualified insurance covering long-term care under a qualified insurance contract.


While "medical expenses" can also include up to $50 per night for lodging while away from home for medical care provided by a physician in a licensed medical-care facility, "medical care" does not include custodial care, and an assisted -living facility is not a "medical care facility."


Taking the NextStep: Under the facts that you recite, we don't believe your mother can take this deduction. We also consider the facility's claim to be outrageously wrong. Since Mom won't be able to deduct these expenses, why not ask the facility as part of the admission contract to provide your mother with an indemnification to the effect that if their monthly bills are not deductible to your mother, they will reimburse her an amount equal to what her deduction would have been. Dollars to doughnuts, you won't get this. And if the facility fabricates to get your business, you might want to look elsewhere.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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