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March 2017 Newsletter

Spring is in the air at Roth Elder Law! Although it's not officially here yet, I'm looking forward to the days that are a little less cold and not needing to shovel snow due to surprise storms. 

I'm also looking forward to the fun events coming up right here in Corning.  On March 11th, we have the biggest St. Patrick's Day event in New York state happening right here with the Hornell St. Patrick's Day Celebration followed quickly on the 17th with the March Maple Family Weekend where you and your kids can attend and take part in making maple syrup. At the office, we'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day (I know, it is named for me!) with corned beef and cabbage. I've included our secret recipe below for you to cook at home.

I hope to see you soon!
 
Sincerely,




Patrick

Whether you are following your passion, giving through your church or making charitable contributions to get a tax write off, supporting our charities are an important aspect of life.  

While there are naysayers who may call American’s greedy, America is an incredibly charitable-minded country. According to Fidelity Charitable reports, Americans have given over $300 billion to charities. The reports also share that over sixty million adults have donated not just their money but their time to charities and charitable causes. 

How many charities are there today? The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) reports that there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. The truth is, if you can think of it, chances are there is a charity for it! Charities give people the ability to give back, fund and support the causes they are passionate about whether it be through money, time or a combination of both. 

What is charitable planning? It is the way in which you will support the cause or charity that means something to you.  You can do this by making periodic, or annual gifts, throughout your lifetime. You can also look ahead to the future, to a time when you may not be able to make these gifts yourself but still want to be able to support the causes you care about. The latter contemplates charitable planning within your estate planning to make sure your charities are supported even in the event of your incapacity or death.

The first step in charitable planning is to choose a charity. You can narrow down options by deciding whether your gift will reflect what you are passionate about, causes that are close to your heart or supporting charities that bring awareness to issues that need it. Support for charities is not only about the dollar amount but also committing to give your time or donating things you no longer need. 

Donating money to charities will help the charities continue and give back to the communities they serve.  Charitable planning is an important component you should consider not only during your lifetime but also as an integral part of the legacy you will create in your estate plan. By including charitable planning in your estate plan, you create a meaningful example for your family and heirs to follow in their lifetimes as well.

 

One of the benefits of getting a little older is age may bring some extra free time. Many people take this free time to travel. As seniors want to enjoy some time abroad, however, they must be aware of what Medicare does and does not cover overseas. 

Medicare defines coverage in the United States as “the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa are considered part of the U.S.” Typically, Medicare does not cover things outside of the United States aside from a few limited exceptions. This main except possible is that coverage outside of the United States will only occur if a foreign hospital is the closest hospital able to treat the emergency. 

Before you travel, you must consider what kind of Medicare coverage you have and the details of it. While traditional Medicare may not be able to help you, some of the supplement Medigap insurances can cover certain types of treatment outside of the United States. For example, at the time of writing this article, the coverage provided in Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provides foreign travel emergency health care coverage within the first sixty days of your trip with a lifetime limit of $50,000. 

If you have supplement insurance like Medigap, you still want to be sure to speak to an insurance agent to get more detail about your plan and what will be covered. As of right now, no prescription drugs are covered outside of the United States through the Medicare drug plan.

What does this mean to you? Since Medicare will not cover most cases outside of the United States and its territories, you could possibly be responsible for paying 100% of the cost you incur for your medical care. If yours was a special case that could be covered through one of the Medicare exceptions, then you would pay 20% of the approved amount while also paying Part B deductibles. 
Since an emergency outside of the United States could be costly, you may consider looking into travel medical insurance in addition to your current policies. Although prices can vary depending on certain factors such as your age, your health and where you are traveling, according to Travel Insurance Review, basic medical travel plans can range from $40 - $80 per person, per trip. You may research yourself or go through a travel agent to find travel insurance that is right for you. When searching be sure that the travel insurance covers health cases and the gaps in your Medicare costs. 

Did you miss Part 1, Tips for Before You Travel This Year, or Part 2, Protecting Your Travel Investment, in our Travel Safe! series? Click on the links here to read them.

 

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We hope to see you at the upcoming community events where Patrick will be speaking:
 
Probate Process
Monday, March 6th at 1:00 pm (ET) at The Corning Library

Long Term Care
Wednesday, March 22nd at 1:00 pm (ET) at The Corning Library

Did you see Patrick on the news? NBC's Emily Burkhard attended Patrick's recent talk for the Cornell Co-Operative Extension and reported on the disturbing news that over half of all adult Americans don't have a will. You can read the entire article here where Patrick shared, "Obviously no one likes to think of their own death but it's very important. I will be honest with you, some of the toughest estates we've ever administered have been because of young people who didn't take the time to plan ahead."
 
Corned Beef  and Cabbage
 
Ingredients
 

1 3.4 pound corned beef brisket, trimmed for fat  
1 cup of dry white wine
32 ounces chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 chopped garlic cloves
Pepper and salt to taste
2 chopped onions
8 potatoes
2 heads of cabbage with the cores removed and cut into quarters
10 chopped carrots and celery  

In large pot, combine the first six ingredients on the stove. Cover and simmer for three hours or until the meat begins to fall apart when touched with a fork.

Remove from the pan and put on a plate. Cover to keep warm and cook all the remaining ingredients in the pan liquid, except the cabbage. Boil these ingredients for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. When the potatoes are finished, add cabbage and simmer until the cabbage is cooked but still green.

Add vegetables to the plate with the meat and serve. 

 
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