The Law Office of William C. Wombacher
309-674-8125 888-541-2088

Peoria Estate Planning. Probate And Elder Law Blog

Creating an Estate plan-Don't make these 3 mistakes!

Estate planning is one of the greatest acts of love you can ever accomplish for your family and for yourself. It's not about dying - it's about celebrating life. It's about thoughtfully addressing the challenges you may face later in life, so that your "golden years" can live up to that name. It's about realizing that some of the most important moments in the lives of your loved ones will take place after you're gone, and that you have the unique opportunity, if you choose to take it, to help make those moments the best they can possibly be.

Social Security Disability Claims Increase

Applications for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration soared by 21 percent, to 2.8 million, from 2008 to 2009, as the economy was faltering. Individuals with severe physical and/or mental impairments are often the last hired and first to be let go from jobs.About 8 million workers were receiving disability benefits in June, an increase of 12.6 percent since the recession began in 2007, according to SSA.
 Read about it the Washington Post. 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091306493.html?hpid=topnewsWilliam Wombacher
www.wombacherlaw.com

Elderly Patients May Face a Tough Time in the ER

A man sobbed in a New York emergency room. His elderly wife, who suffered from advanced dementia, had just had a breathing tube stuck down her throat. He knew she never would have wanted that. Now he had to decide whether to reverse the life-sustaining treatment that medics had begun.

Dr. Kei Ouchi, then a resident at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, had no idea what to say. The husband, who had cared for his wife for the past 10 years, knew her condition had declined so much that she wouldn't want a heroic rescue. But when Ouchi offered to take out the tube, the man cried more: "She's breathing. How can we stop that?"

Trial helps doctors tell Lewy body dementia from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center set out to develop a clinical profile for these patients. The study compared 21 patients with Lewy body dementia to 21 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 21 patients with Parkinson's disease.

"Many clinicians find it difficult to diagnose Lewy body dementia patients, often confusing them and misdiagnosing them as Alzheimer¹s disease or Parkinson¹s disease patients. Our study findings showed that the clinical profiles of Lewy body dementia patients can be differentiated from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients," said Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the division of cognitive neurology at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and principal investigator of the study. "Since treatments and prognosis differ between these conditions, it's important to correctly diagnose the patient from the start."

Get a little Gold in your knee or hip replacement

Titanium is the leading material for artificial knee and hip joints because it's strong, wear-resistant, and nontoxic, but adding gold might make implants even better.

Because titanium and gold by themselves are among the most biocompatible metals and are often used in medical implants, the team believed titanium-3-gold would be comparable. They were surprised.

Study shows Brand-Name Drugs’ High Copays Stick it to Medicare Part D Patients

A new study takes a fresh measure of generic drugs’ price advantages, revealing how much more Medicare Part D patients shelled out in co-payments for two popular brand-name drugs in 2013.
The result: 10.5 times more.
Copayments averaged $42 for both Crestor, a cholesterol medication, and Nexium, taken for acid reflux, according to researchers whose study was published in Health Affairs.
The consumers’ cost for generic therapeutic equivalents was $4, they said.
In 2013, the top 10 drugs in Part D, ranked by claims, were all generics, accounting for $4.1 billion in expenses. But ranked by total spending, the top 10 most expensive drugs were all brand names, representing $19.8 billion in spending, CMS said. Nexium was No. 1 — at $2.5 billion — and Crestor was No. 3 at $2.3 billion.
Had generic equivalents been prescribed in 2013 instead, the government, patients and insurance companies could have saved a combined $870 million for omeprazole in place of Nexium and $1.2 billion for atorvastatin instead of Crestor, researchers estimated. Dr. Nicole Gastala, the study’s lead author, said certain aspects of medical culture steer patients toward brand-name drugs.
Patients are frequently biased toward brand names by the power of advertising, and doctors’ interactions with pharmaceutical representatives have the same effect on them, said Gastala, who practices family medicine in Iowa and was a former visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
The cost of a drug is often unknown to both patients and doctors and physicians may have no idea how expensive a copay is.  When doctors prescribe a brand-name, patients rarely second-guess the choice, Gastala said.
Read about this at http://khn.org/news/study-brand-name-drugs-high-copays-soak-medicare-part-d-patients/  in an article written by Rachel Bluth at Kaiser Health news.

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   http://www.wombacherlaw.com

Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.
 

Myths about Mental Illness

As common as mental illness is, though, certain myths are surprisingly persistent and prejudice continues to be widespread. Here are common beliefs debunked.
 MYTH #1
You can “snap out of” mental health problems.
The facts: You can’t just magically think your way out of a mental illness, whether it’s mild or severe. This idea is pervasive — and damaging, because it creates unreasonable expectations for the person who is suffering from the illness, says Nelson Freimer, psychiatry professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.Some may regard mental illness as a personality or character flaw, but that simply isn’t the case. Researchers have found many factors that contribute to and influence whether someone will develop mental illness, including genetics, biochemical imbalances in the brain, childhood abuse and the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy.
MYTH #2
Mental health problems breed violence.
The facts: There’s a big disconnect between our perceptions and the evidence, says Jeffrey Swanson, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Duke University School of Medicine. It is hard to escape the headlines about mass shootings committed by someone with a history of mental illness, and polls show that a majority of people believe that the mentally ill are more likely to be violent.
But the truth is, the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, says Swanson. Although people with severe mental illness are up to three times more likely to be violent than those who are mentally healthy, they contribute to just a small part of violence in society, he says. And only about 3 percent to 5 percent of violent acts can be attributed to mental illness. In fact, researchers have found that people with mental illness are about 10 times more likely to be victimized by violence than the general population.
MYTH #3
You can’t recover from mental illness.
The facts: Many people do make it through mild or moderate episodes of mental illness and never experience them again. Others with more serious conditions are able to successfully control them and live the life they want, just like people with such chronic diseases as diabetes.
Recovery often depends on the type of mental illness, how old you are when diagnosed and other health conditions. The good news is that recovery rates are generally high: up to 50 percent for schizophrenia, 70 percent for panic disorder and 80 percent for bipolar disorder.
Recovery can feel different to different people, but it’s helpful to think of it as an ongoing process of regaining control over your life after a diagnosis, says 63-year-old Susan Noonan, a Boston physician and author who suffers from depression herself. Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean being the person you were before you got sick — that’s likely not realistic. “But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life,” says Noonan. “Living in recovery means being able to handle tough days, and it looks different for everyone.” The challenge lies in setting realistic expectations for what recovery means to you. “Mental illness changes how my life goes, but it doesn’t dictate. It’s not the decider,” says Noonan.
Read more about this at http://khn.org/news/busting-myths-about-mental-illness/  in an article written by Barbara Feder Ostrov at Kaiser health News.

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   http://www.wombacherlaw.com


Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Retirement plan participants should consult with an experienced attorney about completing beneficiary designation forms!

Retirement plan beneficiary designations are not governed by a will. For retirement plan participants changed circumstances can  affect those beneficiary designations. Those changed circumstances could be a divorce, remarriage, birth or death of a loved one,  or even a pre-nuptial agreement. Make sure that when you consider reviewing your will or trust you also look at the beneficiary designations you have made. They may be out of date. If you are the process of getting a divorce it is especially important to consider changing your will and beneficiary designations in case disaster would strike before the divorce is final.

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   http://www.wombacherlaw.com

Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.