Spring planting tips and guidelines

submitted by Wendy Leck, owner, Leck’s Greenhouses and Nursery, Feasterville

As the weather begins to warm up, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of spring and the start of the planting season. Unfortunately, despite the tease of some warm days, the “frost-free date” for our area is May 15th. It is best to wait until after that date before planting into the ground.

If you need to get a jump on flowers, they need to be brought in at night. Most plants are grown in greenhouses where the temperature is an average of 65 degrees, therefore, drastic drops in outdoor temperatures can shock plants.

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Be careful if different people handle your finances and health care

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

It is not uncommon for seniors to name one person in their financial power of attorney (POA) to handle their finances if they become incapacitated and to name someone else in their health care POA to handle their health care decisions.

For instance, a senior might live with one child or be very close to him or her, and trust that child to make medical decisions – because the child is familiar with the senior’s day-to-day health issues.

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If you must do it, do it right!

submitted by Dr. Stephen Sell, Sell Chiropractic

Whether we’re raking leaves, spreading mulch or planting flowers, these and other backbreaking chores can not only cause pain, but injury as well. Here are some valuable tips to help keep your back healthy the next time you tackle those outdoor to-dos:

  • Keep the rake or shovel near your body to avoid injury. Extending it away from you and then pulling sharply inward could spell trouble for an older or vulnerable back.
  • Try not to twist your torso.

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Your IRA can affect your Medicaid eligibility

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

When you are planning for Medicaid coverage in a nursing home, it’s important to take any IRAs you own into account.

Medicaid applicants can keep only a small amount of resources (usually $2,400) in order to be eligible for benefits. Certain resources may be exempt from this rule. Whether your IRA is exempt often depends on whether it is in “payout status.”

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A Public Adjuster is on your side and can help you with your property claim

As income tax season arrives and you are deciding what to do with your return, are home repairs on the top of your list? Did you suffer damages due to high winds, such as missing siding or missing shingles?

Do you have roof problems from the ice and snow or leaks inside your home? Are you aware that storm damage to your property is usually a covered loss under your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

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Short term Medicaid annuities approved by court

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that short-term annuities are a viable Medicaid planning tool for nursing home residents attempting to protect a portion of their resources and qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Many people believe that in order to qualify for Medicaid in a nursing home, you must deplete all of your resources. This is not correct. Medicaid annuities permit you and or/ your spouse to protect a significant portion of your resources.

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How to deal with a deceased loved one’s debt collectors

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

The last thing anyone wants after a death in the family is a call from debt collectors. It’s important to know what a person’s creditors can (and cannot) legally do, and how to protect yourself and your family from improper or deceptive practices.

Generally, after a person dies, their estate is responsible for paying any debts they may have left. Sometimes a decedent leaves more debts than assets. When this occurs, the estate is insolvent.

If this occurs, the creditor is out of luck and the debt goes unpaid.

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How to prevent heat stroke for your pet

submitted by Julie Thorndyke, D.V.M.. Medical Director, VCA Neshaminy Animal Hospital

As the ”dog” days of summer roll in, know pets can suffer heat stroke quickly, even in 80-degree weather.

Heat stroke is a term for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. 103 F is considered abnormal, but body temperatures above 106 F (41 C) are critical. Without previous illness, high temperatures are often associated with exposure to excessive environmental heat.

The critical temperature when multiple organs fail and impending death occurs is around 107 to 109 F.

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Record retention recommendations

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

When downsizing or maintaining records, consider the following guidelines to manage your records:

Legal Documents: Estate Planning documents including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Living Wills should be kept permanently in a secure environment, such as a safe deposit box or fireproof box. Keep the most recent documents and destroy any previous versions to prevent any confusion and inform your loved ones of the location.

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