Trinity Elder Law & Estate Planning - February 2020

What Would Be Your Ideal Groundhog Day? Peace of Mind Post E veryone in our area is excited as we get closer and closer to Groundhog Day. If you’re new to the area or not familiar with the tradition, the entire local town of Punsutawney becomes one FEBRUARY 2020

big party as we near the big day. Obviously, it reminds me of the classic Bill Murray comedy film “Groundhog Day,” but it also makes me think: If I had to relive one day of my life every day, what day would it be? It’s a fun thought that I pondered for some time. For a bit, I couldn’t think of the day I would choose until I remembered my first half- marathon. My first half-marathon certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’ll never forget the experience. As the race started and everyone rushed down the path, I was still fighting with the timer on my watch. It wasn’t until someone from the sidelines pointed out it was a ‘gun timed’ race not a ‘chip timed’ race, and I was already being timed, that I realized what had happened. By the time I started, I was a quarter-mile behind the pack. Somehow, my final time still managed to be just under two hours. After the race, I rewarded myself with a sundae from Dairy Queen, and someone even helped me with my groceries. So, besides an entertaining start to the race, everything worked out. Running a half-marathon was a goal of mine for a long time. I worked hard and spent my free time between July and October preparing for the race. Like any substantial goal, I broke it down into smaller subgoals. I had a training plan and week-to-week

much more than you think if you put in the time and preparation. Since that race, I’ve run in four other marathons and even an 18-mile race! Although I’m not able to do it as much as I’d like these days, it has become a passion of mine. When I ran the same race a couple years later, I improved my time! It just goes to show that if you have a plan and keep up with it, anything is possible. I’ve made some great friends along the way, as well. One, in particular, is a phenomenal runner and participates in 100-mile races. I help her when she needs a crew, and it’s been such a fun community to be involved with.

objectives. As life works, what I planned and what ended up happening weren’t the same. But I didn’t falter in my progress. If I didn’t have time to run one day, then I made sure I ran a few extra miles the next. I loved running that race because it’s a great example that you’re capable of so

“I loved running that race because it’s a great example that you’re capable of so much more than you think if you put in the time and preparation.”

So, with Groundhog Day fast approaching, what’s one day you’d love to relive? Let me know the next time you visit the office!

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Signs of Alzhe HOW IS YOUR LOVED ON As our family members age, they may become more forgetful. While some forgetfulness is natural, it becomes a problem if it starts to severely affect their daily routines, and it may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Here are some other symptoms of Alzheimer’s to watch out for so you can help them get the care they may need. Deteriorating Vision Do you find them spending an excessive amount of time reading newspaper articles or books? Do they have trouble judging distance? Can they tell colors apart? Do they have a hard time watching TV? If your loved one struggles with any of these issues, their vision may be fading. People suffering from Alzheimer’s often have reduced peripheral vision, depth perception, and motion detectability, and they may have a hard time distinguishing colors and contrasts in their surroundings. Judgment Lapses We’re all human, and we all make mistakes, but if you’ve witnessed a pattern of poor judgment from a loved one, it could be a red flag. Finances are especially an

A ccording to a recent survey by the American International Group (AIG), a majority of Americans over the age of 65 don’t know much about the myriad financial scams circling the globe. Reports show that ignorance of these scams has proven costly for the 65-plus crowd, who are the most frequently targeted demographic. Is It Love? One common shakedown taking seniors and retirees for a ride is the online romance scam. As part of it, a person poses as a potential date or romantic partner and engages in a fake relationship with the victim. The scam usually starts with an online or web-based dating service and progresses to texting or talking over the phone, but it always stops short of an in-person meeting. Instead, after the scammer has gained the trust of their victim, they’ll claim there’s been some kind of emergency for which they need money fast. The clueless victim usually offers to wire them the money. In many cases, the scammer will continue asking for money for as long as they can get away with it. Then, once the victim figures they’ve been bamboozled and try to retaliate, the scammers vanish — off to find their next target. Did You Pay? Another prevalent rip-off is the invoice scam. Again, AIG reports that about 57% of people aged 65-plus aren’t familiar with this sham. In most cases, the victim receives a phone call or email from a representative of a local company, who says they still owe money for a bill or service. For example, the scammer may tell the victim they owe an overdue $50 for their power bill. If the victim says they’ve already paid, the scammer might respond, “Your payment didn’t process correctly.” The crook’s job is to get the victim to relent and pay up. Then, once they’ve been paid, usually via credit card number or wire transfer, the scammer once again vanishes along with a significant portion of someone’s bank account. Scammers want your money, but if you are aware of today’s hustles, you can better protect yourself and your assets. Luckily, AIG also found that nearly 92% of the 65-plus crowd now ignores phone calls, texts, and emails that request personal information, and 89% of these folks say they avoid clicking links from unknown senders. PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR MONEY

Easy Shrimp Scampi

INGREDIENTS

• 4 tbsp butter • 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 tsp oregano

• 1/2 cup dry white wine

• 1/4 cup lemon juice • 8 oz cooked linguine • 1/4 cup parsley

DIRECTIONS

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano,

4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with

Be vigilant and remember that if someone calls you and demands personal information over the phone or asks you to wire money, there’s a very good chance it’s a scam.

stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil.

3. Add wine and lemon

shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Inspired by The New York Times

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mer’s DOING? area to keep an eye on, as your loved one may fall for obvious

BENEFITS EVERY VETERAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT Our veterans sacrifice so much for our country, but unfortunately, adjusting to civilian life after service can be a challenge. Trying to manage the paperwork and issues that arise from claiming benefits can put an enormous amount of stress on our veterans. Still, these veteran benefits should be taken advantage of fully, so if you or a loved one has served, here are some basic benefits to enroll in. Long-Term Care Long-term care can cost a fortune, especially for veterans who may have suffered physical and psychological wounds during their service. The Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) Aid and Attendance program provides assistance to qualified veterans to cover the cost of nursing homes and assisted living programs. Married veterans are eligible to receive about $26K a year to help cover long-term care costs. A surviving spouse is eligible for about $14K annually for their treatment. Housing Assistance The VA keeps a running list of homes that have fallen into foreclosure. On the VA’s website, veterans can search the listings and purchase homes at a discount with a VA loan. A VA loan is a mortgage loan exclusive to veterans that reduces interest rates and generates lower monthly payments.

scams, invest their money in questionable assets, or just freely give away their money. Difficulty Planning

Does one of your loved ones constantly cancel plans or just fail to show up entirely? If it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make plans within your family, this may be another symptom of Alzheimer’s. They may not remember planned events of any kind, and that may bleed into other routines, such as forgetting to pay bills. If you see any of these symptoms, reach out as soon as you can. We will work together to ensure they’re taken care of. Call anytime at 724.256.8850 or fill out our consultation form on TrinityElderLaw.com.

S U D O KU

Life Insurance Just like long-term care, veterans who have suffered injuries in service often struggle with finding life insurance. However, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program provides veterans with complete coverage (up to $400K) at a low-cost payment.

Tax Preparation The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers veterans

and their families free tax services. The tax accountants are IRS-certified and provide information on tax return preparation and can answer any tax-related questions. These are just some of the resources available to the veteran in your family. For more information and benefits, visit VA.gov.

Solution on Page 4

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340 N. Main St., Suite 103 Butler, PA 16001 724.256.8850 www.TrinityElderLaw.com

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I N S I D E This Issue

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Reliving Fond Memories

Don’t Let These Scammers Steal Your Money Easy Shrimp Scampi How Is Your Loved One Doing? Benefits Every Veteran Should Know About

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A Slippery Crime

STEALING MISS HELEN ‘OCEAN’S 3’ ATTEMPT A HIGH-STAKES HEIST

O n a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16-inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium.

The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal. “She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,” affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium. No Minor Crime While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them is a crime of theft, not kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who’s valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves. The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm-blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.

Fortunately, their fishy behavior didn’t go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely.

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