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The Latest on Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments
Seeing a loved one progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease can be disheartening. For several decades, extensive research has been conducted in the pharmaceutical field to find ways to prevent the disease, lessen the symptoms and now actually attack the disease process.

Seeing a loved one progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease can be disheartening. For several decades, extensive research has been conducted in the pharmaceutical field to find ways to prevent the disease, lessen the symptoms and now actually attack the disease process.

Only a handful of drugs are approved by the FDA to delay cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients. The drugs function in different ways while all focusing on the result of delaying symptoms of memory loss and cognitive decline. Most of the drugs are prescribed for those in the early stages as a way of saving their memory for as long as possible.

Now there are two new drugs on the horizon that attempt to attack the disease itself. Alzheon has moved into Phase 3 clinical trials. It is a small tablet and can be taken in the comfort of the patient’s home. It works by targeting specific toxins called oligomers. Oligomers build up in the brain, leading to the plaque formation that can be seen on the brain scans of Alzheimer’s patients. The hope is that by targeting these oligomers, the plaque will not form as quickly or densely, resulting in improved cognitive performance and sustained memory function.

The second promising drug, Aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm) received FDA approval on June 7, 2021. It also attacks the disease, but in a different approach from Alzheon’s oligomer targeting. Aduhelm reduces the level of amyloid proteins in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Amyloid proteins are toxic and considered to be the biomarker of the disease. Clinical trials have shown these proteins to decrease by taking the Aduhelm drug. What is not known yet, is the extent of reduction of amyloid proteins needed to alleviate the problematic symptoms of the disease. The FDA is requiring Biogen, the company that owns Aduhelm, to conduct more conclusive studies on the effectiveness of slowing the progress of the symptoms in addition to showing that it decreases the amyloid proteins.

Some other concerns about the newly approved Aduhelm drug are that it must be administered intravenously. Some of the clinical trials also revealed side effects of brain swelling or bleeding. More post-approval studies will be required to study these side effects. It is also extremely expensive. It will cost patients $56,000 per year which causes concerns for how it will be handled by Medicare’s Part B program. Medicare has not yet announced how it will cover the costs of the drug for its beneficiaries.

If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial to conduct more research on the drugs available that actually attack the disease and consult with your loved one’s medical care team. These drugs are not without risk and should be carefully considered. For more information on elder law issues such as long-term care planning and estate planning contact the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

July 14, 2021
Live Webinar July 20th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 20th at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 20th at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 20th at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

July 13, 2021
5 Coping Tips for Difficult Behavior Exhibited by Elderly Loved Ones
Providing the proper care and attention for our elderly loved ones can sometimes be met with some challenging behavior. Below are 5 common problems and tips for handling them:

Providing the proper care and attention for our elderly loved ones can sometimes be met with some challenging behavior. Below are 5 common problems and tips for handling them:

1. Excessively Needy and Demanding – Some seniors truly need 24-hour care and when this is the case, it is important to find a long-term care solution that meets those needs. Other times, the senior may start becoming more dependent over time and make increasingly frustrating demands on family caregivers. It is one thing to truly need assistance and another to make unnecessary demands on the time and attention of loved ones. Setting boundaries and sticking to them is crucial to avoid caregiver burnout. Having other distractions such as visitors and planned activities can also help. Some of the excessive demands stem simply from boredom. Finding ways to counteract the boredom may also alleviate some of neediness.

2. Extreme Financial Issues – Regardless of the amount of money your senior possesses, he or she may act in extreme manners that do not correlate with the actual net worth. For example, many seniors overspend and find themselves going into debt. Some take up gambling or fall victim to scams. In the other extreme, some seniors become so overly frugal, they refuse to pay for needed medications and healthy food. Keep in mind this issue is more about their ability to make decisions and remain independent than about the money itself. Mismanaging money may also be one of the first signs of dementia. To resolve this issue, you will likely need to bring in a third party to discuss the underlying issues. This may be a psychologist, geriatric specialist or even a financial advisor.

3. Paranoia, Delusions and Other Psychological Issues – Seniors can really frustrate caregivers when they start making false accusations or show constant anxiety about getting harmed by others. This behavior may be indications of paranoia, delusions or hallucinations. This is a warning sign of a more serious physical or mental condition. Validation is a good coping strategy because you should keep in mind that whatever the senior is seeing, hearing, or experiencing is very real to him or her. Try to make your loved one feel safe during the episodes and seek medical intervention quickly to determine the underlying issues.

4. Angry Outbursts– The pain and fatigue associated with aging can often exacerbate negative personality traits such as irritability and impatience. Minor moodiness can progress into angry outbursts and inappropriate behavior. Left unchecked the frustration can become so severe that it results in caregiver abuse. Start by attempting to explain to your loved one how the behavior makes you feel. The person may not have the self-awareness to realize how much the constant complaining and angry outbursts are affecting those around him or her. If that does not work, you may need to bring in neutral caregivers to provide you with some distance from the situation.

5. Poor Hygiene – There may be a variety of reasons why a senior loses interest in bathing, toothbrushing and wearing clean clothes. It may stem from depression, and if so, addressing the depression can often remedy the hygiene issues. It may also stem from modesty. The senior may not want to get undressed in front of others and finds that it takes more time and energy then can be mustered to do it alone very often. If this is the case, you may need to find a professional caregiver to assist that can help them learn to feel comfortable. Poor hygiene may also stem from forgetfulness, losing track of time or dulled senses. The first step is to determine the underlying reason why the senior is refusing proper hygiene maintenance. Do your best to address the issues and then develop a routine the senior finds tolerable.

At Stouffer Legal we understand the frustrations many caregivers feels as they do the best they can to provide proper care for senior loved ones. To ensure the best aging plan is in place, contact us to learn more about long-term care planning, retirement planning and estate planning for seniors. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

July 12, 2021
Webinar: Sunday, July 11th at 6pm-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 11th at 6pm

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 11th at 6pm

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 11th at 6pm

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

July 10, 2021
What Constitutes Executor Fraud?
After someone passes away, the probate court will appoint an executor (also referred to as a personal representative or estate administrator) to navigate probate. The executor is often named in the decedent’s will.

After someone passes away, the probate court will appoint an executor (also referred to as a personal representative or estate administrator) to navigate probate. The executor is often named in the decedent’s will. The executor is responsible for carrying out the decedent’s wishes in accordance with the terms of the will while also abiding by all of Maryland’s probate laws and procedures.

Unfortunately, some executors take advantage of the situation where they are managing money and commit executor fraud. Fraud occurs when they unlawfully take or misappropriate money, assets or receive some other type of illegal benefit. Some examples of how this may occur include:

- Withholding inheritances from rightful beneficiaries,

- Lying about or concealing estate assets,

- Failing to notify beneficiaries,

- Falsifying liabilities,

- Charging inflated fees, and/or

- Selling assets for less than market value.

During the probate process, Maryland laws require the executor to file inventories and accountings showing the estate’s assets, liabilities and all distributions made. Executors must also notify creditors and show all claims as being paid or satisfied in some manner appropriate. The probate court has the authority to order an accounting at any time during the process.

An executor can be sued for fraud. A probate litigation attorney can help a beneficiary sue the executor to expose the fraud and also attempt to recover damages. Anyone who suffers a loss because of the fraudulent activity has standing to initiate the lawsuit. The executor can also hire an experienced probate litigation attorney to mount a defense to the lawsuit. If the executor loses, he or she will be removed as the executor and face monetary damages as a result of the breach of fiduciary duty. Criminal charges may also be pursued.

If you suspect executor fraud, it may be difficult to uncover the fraudulent actions without the keen eye of an experienced probate attorney. The attorney will know how to analyze the inventories and accountings to spot potential issues. It may also take digital forensics experts to discover hidden financial assets.

Naming an executor to administer your estate when you are in the planning process requires selecting someone who is trustworthy and financially competent. For more information on avoiding the perils of executor fraud, uncovering potential executor fraud or defending yourself from accusations of fraud, contact the experienced probate attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or you can register for a webinar below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8475250447523686157

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2502310759976833547

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3569328520326426891

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8597191784494950923

July 9, 2021
Webinar: Saturday, July 10th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 10th at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 10th at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 10th at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

July 9, 2021
What to Include in a Letter of Instruction?
A letter of instruction can be a beneficial piece in estate planning. It is an informal document that will give your loved ones important information about personal and financial matters after your death.

A letter of instruction can be a beneficial piece in estate planning. It is an informal document that will give your loved ones important information about personal and financial matters after your death. Letters of instruction are not legally binding and do not replace your need for a will or a living trust, however it can be a nice complement to those documents. The informal nature allows you to create the letter on your own and change it whenever necessary. It is important to keep the letter up to date, as life circumstances change over time. Let’s look at some of the information that may be included in a letter of instruction.

1. Funeral and Burial Arrangements

The first thing you may want to include in your letter of intent is information about your funeral and burial arrangements. Be sure to include any plans you’ve already made, or what your wishes are as this can be very beneficial to grieving family members. Information about the type of funeral service you’d like, including who should officiate the service and special things to be included like music selections, can be a part of your letter of instruction. If you prefer to be cremated rather than buried, be sure to include that in your letter.

Another helpful inclusion would be a list of people you want to be contacted when you pass, and contact information if available. You may also include your wishes for donations to specific charities in your memory.

2. Financial Information

Information about your bank accounts, assets you hold title to, and other accounts can greatly help family members when trying to carry out the provisions of your estate plan. Be sure to include names and phone numbers of professionals who can help locate your accounts or who helped you plan. The location of other important documents should also be included with the letter of intent. These could include but are not limited to birth certificates, social security account information or statements, marriage license, divorce documents, and military paperwork. In addition, be sure to leave behind information related to mortgages and other debts.

3. Digital Information

These days, many of our accounts have transitioned to the digital world. Therefore, leaving behind information about your digital assets in your letter of intent becomes more important. This should include usernames and passwords for digital accounts, social media accounts, and the devices themselves. It is important not to leave family members guessing on this information.

4. Personal Items

Personal items can be a source of contention among family members when a loved one dies. A letter of intent can provide details about who will receive personal effects, including collections, important personal items, and other things that may not have monetary value, but do have sentimental value. In this section you can also include information about the care of the pets you may leave behind. This section of your letter may include personal statements about your wishes and hopes for the future and can address specific family members.

A letter of intent can be a very real source of peace and comfort to your family members in their time of grief. It can be difficult to think about getting started on a letter of this nature, as none of us like to think about our own death. However, if you consider the items to include and create a plan, a letter of intent can often write itself. Taking this step can alleviate much stress and many family squabbles about what you leave behind.

A letter of intent is an important piece of your overall estate plan and should be written with the help of an attorney to make sure the letter compliments and does not contradict your estate plan.

You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufflerlegal.com, or you can register for one of our upcoming webinars below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8475250447523686157

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2502310759976833547

July 8, 2021
Estate Planning Considerations for Transgender Individuals
Transitioning may be a personal and private matter; however, there are important legal implications to consider so that documents match up correctly. Your name and pronouns need to be consistent to prevent unnecessary legal hassles.

Transitioning may be a personal and private matter; however, there are important legal implications to consider so that documents match up correctly. Your name and pronouns need to be consistent to prevent unnecessary legal hassles.

For clarification, describing a person as transgender refers to someone whose gender identity (the internal sense of gender) does not match the biological sex listed at birth. This is opposed to someone described as cisgender, which is someone whose gender identity does match the biological sex identified at birth. It is also opposed to those who identify as non-binary which means they do not identify with any specific gender.

Estate planning attorneys representing transgender individuals should consider the information confidential except to the extent the transgender person chooses to disclose it. When a transgender person undergoes medical interventions, that is also a private matter, unless it is disclosed by the announcement of a new name and gender identity. When this occurs, a formal name change petition must be filed in the probate court. Parents of minor children can initiate this on the child’s behalf. Once the petition is approved by the court, several documents must be updated to reflect the correct name and pronouns.

Updating Your Maryland Birth Certificate

If you were born in Maryland, you can change both the name and the gender marker on your birth certificate, and your old name and/or gender will not be shown on your new birth certificate.

Name: To change your name on your birth certificate, you will need to submit a court order changing your name.

Gender Marker: To change your gender marker on your birth certificate, you will need to submit an application signed by you and a statement signed by a physician, psychologist, nurse or social worker to certify that you have undergone surgical, hormonal or other treatment for gender transition. No proof of surgery and no court order is needed to change the gender marker on your Maryland birth certificate.

Make Sure All Documents are Consistent

With your court ordered name change documents, you can update your driver’s license, passport, social security card, voter registration card and all financial documents.

Update Your Estate Planning Documents

Transgender individuals need to consider the following three issues when updating estate plans:

1. Consistency of Name and Pronouns

Making sure the correct legal name and appropriate pronouns are used throughout all estate planning documents prevents confusion in the future. Some transgender individuals will choose he/him or she/her pronouns but it is also becoming increasingly common to choose they/them. Using ‘they’ as a singular pronoun has evolved in the English language to avoid excessive repetition of she or he and providing a gender-neutral option. When drafting estate planning documents the attorney will need to clarify any pronoun references that can be confusing or ambiguous. Each time ‘they’ is used, the pronoun should clearly refer to the proper antecedent and if ‘they’ could refer to two or more antecedent nouns, the sentence should be reconstructed or a specific named used rather than a pronoun.

2. Selecting Appropriate Agents

Part of a comprehensive estate plan includes selecting a trusted individual to serve as a healthcare agent under a healthcare power of attorney and/or a financial agent under a general power of attorney. For many transgender individuals, there may be family members who do not respect their choices. Having agents that will carry out the principal’s wishes is imperative. Choosing the right agents is a big decision.

3. Making a List of Inappropriate Fiduciaries

Another consideration to keep in mind is making a list of family members who do not recognize and respect the gender identity wishes so that these individuals never end up serving as fiduciaries or guardians.

Selecting the right estate planning attorney can make a huge difference in protecting your interests and serving as your strongest advocate. For more information on estate planning that takes into account the unique circumstances around transitioning, contact the knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or you can register for an upcoming webinar below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598629849398368267

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8475250447523686157

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2502310759976833547

July 7, 2021
Live Webinar July 13th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 13th at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 13th at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for July 13th at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

July 6, 2021
Fighting Over Inherited Property? Learn How Maryland’s Sale in Lieu of Partition May Resolve the Conflict
When more than one beneficiary inherits the same piece of real estate, chances are that conflicts will arise. This may be when a parent leaves the family home to all his or her children or when a vacation home or investment property is left to multiple family members.

When more than one beneficiary inherits the same piece of real estate, chances are that conflicts will arise. This may be when a parent leaves the family home to all his or her children or when a vacation home or investment property is left to multiple family members. Each beneficiary likely has his or her own idea about how to use, benefit from or liquidate the property.

The first step towards resolving this conflict is to go to mediation. A mediator is more cost-effective and may be able to help all the co-owners find common ground. If that common ground is to sell the inherited property, then the parties have the option to sell it on the open market which typically yields greater proceeds than a sale through judicial process.

If mediation fails, the owner that wants to sell the property has some legal recourse available to make that happen. The process in Maryland is referred to as a sale in lieu of partition. Partition means to divide an item. “In lieu of” means rather than or instead of. A sale in lieu of partition means to sale the property rather than divide it.

A sale in lieu of partition occurs when one owner wants to sell and the other does not or when there is a disagreement between the owners as to how much one will pay to buy out the interests of the other. A sale in lieu of partition will incur expenses that will be shared by all the co-owners. It can also cause serious deterioration of the personal relationships between the owners. It should be used as a last resort to resolve ownership issues.

Once the co-owners determine they have arrived at an impasse, the owner hoping to sell can file a sale in lieu of partition with the court to force the sale of the property. A court will review the facts and determine whether to allow the sale to proceed. The court will then appoint a few commissioners to appraise the value of the property and sell it via a judicial auction. The court has the option to appoint a trustee and allow the property to be sold on the open market. Open market sales tend to bring a higher sale price than judicial auctions.

Once a buyer purchases the property, the commissioners and/or trustee is paid a fee, all other expenses incurred are paid and the remaining balance is split between the co-owners according to the interest they held in the property.

If you have inherited property and need assistance in resolving conflict with other co-owners, contact the experienced probate attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. They will help you brainstorm your options, facilitate negotiations with the other co-owners, and help you decide whether a sale in lieu of partition best fits your situation. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com or you can register for an upcoming webinar below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4530082880188569355

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598629849398368267

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8475250447523686157

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2502310759976833547

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598629849398368267

July 5, 2021
We can't wait to see you!
Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about.

Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to
Get Started on your New Estate Plan!
REGISTER FOR a WORKSHOP