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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2007 / 28 Elul, 5767

Til poverty do us part

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, a reader wrote in about his 68-year-old wife. She had been the breadwinner in her household, and she suffered a stroke that left her unable to swallow or communicate. She was being tube fed. In her name are $100,000 in savings, the house and $230,000 in an IRA. The 70-year-old husband of 44 years is a diabetic with very little savings and no pension.


She did not sign a power of attorney, and he is unable to access the funds in her name to either pay the $7,000 per month it costs to maintain her in a nursing home or pay his expenses. When he filed a Medicaid application, he was told that, as a couple, they had too much money.


Because she hadn't signed a power of attorney, he was forced to bring guardianship and conservatorship actions in the probate court, but he wasn't allowed to make transfers to himself of the residence or bank accounts because two of their three children, who have been estranged for years, objected to anything coming out of their mother's name. He was placed on a budget and allowed to live in the home that he and she had occupied, but he did not have enough money to be able to continue living in the house.


After discussing how long-lost children can come out of the woodwork to add to the difficulties, we suggested that since inter-spousal transfers are allowed as a matter of public policy by Medicaid, not allowing transfers of the wife's assets to him might well be a denial of rights under the equal protection clauses of the United States and their state constitution.


And we suggested that, at a minimum, the residence should be transferred to him based upon Medicaid's minimum and maximum amounts of countable resources that can be set aside to the "spouse in the community."


In these types of situations, more and more seniors are turning to matrimonial actions, rather than probate court actions, as a better way to protect both spouses. While the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 addressed the concern of clergy and politicians who saw seniors divorcing so both did not become destitute, those who enacted the February 2006 DRA (Deficit Reform Act) did so with little foresight or idea of how this draconian act would affect the middle-class "American Family," to which politicians give lip service but no substantive solutions.


For more and more seniors, "'til death do us part" has morphed into separation and divorce when nursing home costs run from $5,000 a month to more than $12,000 monthly, depending on where you live. To allow all — or the vast majority — of family resources to be spent on nursing-home care takes away from the ability of the healthy spouse to live.


Regardless of your opinion on this topic, allowing community spouses to become dependent upon children or other family members is inappropriate. Yet, increasing divorce rates among our seniors is upon us. And in a large number of these actions, elderly citizens are facing the extensive costs of long-term care.


It is truly a sad commentary that some elderly couples today are forced to divorce in order to survive financially and continue their lives.


Those who chastised seniors for getting divorced under these circumstances are the same "experts" who now sit idly by and watch government waste proliferate. Indeed, seniors who get divorced in order to maintain themselves financially are maligned, while those who steal tens of millions of dollars from the Pentagon and go undetected for nearly a decade quickly become yesterday's news.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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