Thoughts from Jerry I've Been Named As Health Care Power of

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					                                                                                                           Third Quarter 2010

                                                                 Providing you peace of mind as we help pass your legacy to the next generation

      Volume 2 Issue 3
                                     Thoughts from Jerry                                   really don’t need to have dessert. That is

The Bell Law Firm P.A.
                                                                                           when Mike looked at me with his piercing

7007 College Blvd.
                                       Today was the first day of school at our
                                                                                           blue eyes, and told me …. Jerry if you want to

Suite 480
                                     house, and the range of emotions varied.
                                                                                           have dessert, then don’t miss the chance to
                                     You know the kids are growing up when

Overland Park, KS 66211
                                                                                           have dessert … order it and enjoy it while you
                                     they ask you to NOT visit their classroom

Phone (913) 345-2323
                                     on the first day. We finally got there with           can! His message was clear, and his live-for-
                                                                                           the-day attitude was reflective in his
                                     our youngest son, so we are officially old.
                                                                                           comments and his glare.
                                       I was in Chicago recently, and I did my
                                     best to put a dent in the pizza supply at               Now I’ve used that memory to justify many
                                     the fine Chicago pizza places. As I splurged          a dessert over the years in memory of Mike,
                                                                                           and a few pounds later I still remember the
                                     on pizza I tried to justify going out for pizza
Coming Events from                                                                         commitment in his voice. He knew his days
                                     one more time, and the story of my friend
                                                                                           were short, and he was living for the day. As
The Bell Law Firm, P.A.              Mike, from Atlanta, came back to me.

CE Courses Planned:
                                                                                           time goes by I’ve learned that proper planning
                                       Mike was a work friend who was leaving
                                                                                           can give us the peace of mind to live for the
                                     the office because his AIDs would no
Planning with Hybrid Families
                                                                                           day, and also help our loved ones live for the

(1 hour Ethics CE)
                                     longer let him continue. We were taking
                                                                                           day when we are gone. Whether we are

   Sept. 24 – KU Edwards Campus
                                     him out for a final lunch, and it was time
                                                                                           planning for our long-term care, our pending
   Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 – Target
                                     to order dessert. As I studied the dessert

                                                                                           marriage or our eventual death, these all help
                                     menu Mike asked me what I was having
                                     for dessert, and I gave my normal                     us, and others, to continue living for the day.

An Estate Tax Planning Update with
                                                                                           Try sprinkling some laughter in your day and

Applications for Farmers, Land &
                                     response of I’d like to have dessert, but I
                                                                                           then we are really living for today.

Business Owners (2 hours Life &
Health CE)                           I’ve Been Named As Health                               Another key step is to have a detailed
  Sept. 24 – KU Edwards Campus
  Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 – Target
                                                                                           discussion with the principal on end-of-life
                                     Care Power of Attorney. . .
                                                                                           medical decisions. The worst thing to do is to
                                     What Do I Do Now?                                     avoid this discussion. If you need an attorney

Proactive Medicaid and Veterans
                                                                                           or health care professional for the discussion,

Benefit Planning for Senior
                                       So Mom and Dad just named you as their              then get them involved. It is absolutely
Clients—Protecting Lifetime Assets
                                     health care power of attorney, what steps

from Escalating Long-Term Care
                                                                                           critical for you, as the health care agent, to
                                     should you be taking now? Do you really
Costs (3 hours Life and Health CE)
                                                                                           know what your loved one would want with

   Oct. 29 – KU Edwards Campus
                                     know what that means, or would you just               any end-of-life decisions. This is not always

   Nov. 3 and 5 – Target Insurance
                                     prefer to find out later in a crisis? If you          an easy discussion, but it is critical.
                                     have been named as a health care power of
                                     attorney, then NOW is the time to                       Here are a few simple questions you should
Inside This Issue
Thoughts from Jerry           1
                                     proactively prepare for your future duty.             discuss with the principal of the document:

I’ve Been Named As Health
                                       As a health care power of attorney,                       •    What are your perspectives on end-

Care Power of Attorney…
                                     you’ve been designated to make health                            of-life medical treatments?

What Do I Do Now?             1
                                     care decisions for your loved one (known                    •    Who are your primary doctors and

Recent Headlines              2
                                     as the principal) when they can’t make                           do they have a copy of this health

When Do You Need A
                                     them for themselves. A key first step is to                      care power of attorney document?

Prenuptial Agreement?         2
                                     be sure you have a copy of the power of

What’s New at the
                                     attorney document, and be sure the                          •    Do you have a Living Will showing

Bell Law Firm                 3
                                     principal’s key doctors have a copy of this                      your    intentions  for   medical

Laughter – It Can Be The
                                     document. This is not the document you                           treatment if you have a terminal
                                     want to have locked up in a safety deposit                       condition?

Best Medicine                 3
                                     box where it can’t be found. Copies of the

The Bell Law Firm             4
                                                                                                 •    Where do you keep your medical
                                     document are usually fine, so it isn’t critical
                                                                                                      records and how are they updated?
                                     that you have the original document.
 The Bell Law Firm P.A.                                  Third Quarter 2010                                                     Page 2

                                                               ****                                           th
                                                                                               In July two 45 anniversaries went
Recent Headlines                                A summary of the health care reform         largely unnoticed. On July 14, 1965,
                                              law will be posted on our website since       President Johnson signed the Older
  Health care benefits for Veterans of        there is not enough space in the              Americans Act. Sixteen days later he
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,             newsletter.    The summary will be            signed legislation creating Medicare and
including National Guard personnel and        posted at               Medicaid. Although often under attack,
reservists, were expanded when the                             ****                         these three programs continue to
President signed The Caregivers and             Looking for answers to questions            provide economic, health and social
Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act          regarding U.S. government benefits and        support for millions of Americans.
of 2010 on May 5.                             services? Try
  The law provides assistance to family       There are 134 pages of categories from
caregivers, expanded mental health            which to choose. We tried a few and
services, expansion of health care            thought the information and links were
services for women veterans, and more         helpful. We did not try the phone
support for homeless veterans.                number which is 1-800-333-4636.

When Do You Need A                             Reasons For A Prenuptial Agreement -            Prenuptial Planning Risks – So why are
Prenuptial Agreement?                          What are a few key reasons you might            prenups considered one of the more
                                               consider a prenuptial agreement?                litigious areas of the law?         The
Prenup is really not a dirty word.                                                             emotional state of the divorcing parties
Although prenups are often the source              •   To define joint property and            creates explosiveness with any dispute,
of marital humor, prenuptial agreements                protect     separate      property      so it is very important to follow a few
serve a very useful planning purpose.                  acquired before the marriage            key     guidelines   with     prenuptial
They are usually not found in romance                  and/or after the marriage (i.e.         planning.
novels, but they are increasingly                      inheritances).
                                                   •   To agree on terms of the                    1.   Plan Early – prenups should
common with couples of all ages. Baby-
                                                       marriage including earnings,                     be drafted months in advance
boomers are becoming more aware of
                                                       retirement, insurance, medical                   of a wedding. One of the
their shrinking financial assets and their
                                                       expenses, disability, taxes,                     common reasons prenups are
resulting planning gaps. Additionally, as
                                                       debts and many other items.                      not upheld is a party shows
hybrid families become the norm, the
                                                   •   To clearly define rights with a                  the agreement was done in
interest in prenups continues to grow.
                                                       divorce      including     spousal               haste or under duress or at
                                                       maintenance,        division    of               the last minute without
Prenup Use Grows - Approximately 30%
                                                       property, use of residence,                      proper understanding.
of all people who have been married
have also been divorced according to                   attorney fees and more.
2004 Census data. For baby-boomers,                •   To define rights upon the death
this number rises to about 40% who                     of a spouse including statutory
have been divorced.           Additionally,            rights, life insurance proceeds
seniors will remarry later in life or they             and/or joint property plans.
will co-habitate in an arrangement that            •   To agree on how to handle
could be considered a marital                          enforcement of the prenuptial
equivalent. So the use of prenuptial                   agreement including arbitration
agreements is growing. Nevertheless,                   plans, legal expenses and other
                                                                                                   2. Independent Attorneys – both
                                                                                                        parties should be represented
prenuptial agreements continue to be                   administration priorities.
                                                                                                        by their own attorney.
one of the more litigated areas of the
law, and the parties involved usually          Items Not Included in a Prenuptial
                                                                                                   3. Full and Fair Disclosure – both
have plenty of firepower to pursue             Agreement - There are two areas that
                                                                                                        parties must reveal all their
litigation when there are disagreements.       should not be included within a
                                                                                                        asset information and be
Prenuptial planning should be handled          prenuptial agreement. Generally the
                                                                                                        informed of their rights as part
carefully, and there are certainly risks.      court will not support terms for child
                                                                                                        of the agreement.           Any
                                               support or child custody within a
                                                                                                        evidence of hiding assets or
                                               prenuptial agreement.        Instead, the
                                                                                                        information from a spouse can
                                               court will make those decisions based
                                                                                                        create significant problems.
                                               upon the best interests of the child at
                                               the time of any divorce. Additionally, a        Prenuptial planning can be very
                                               prenup can’t contain anything that              effective, and when done properly it
                                               violates state law or public policy.            becomes an integral part of a family’s
                                                                                               overall estate and long-term care plan.
The Bell Law Firm P.A.                                 Third Quarter 2010                                               Page 3

What’s New at                                                                            leaders in these fields to share updates
                                                                                         and new planning ideas. Jerry invested
The Bell Law Firm                                                                        his time in sessions on new planning
                                                                                         techniques for elder clients, practical
Personal Financial Planning Workshop                                                     asset protection planning with Wyoming
for The Kansas Society of CPAs – Jerry                                                   LLCs and domestic asset protection
presented an Estate Tax Update to                                                        trusts, enhanced veterans benefits
attendees, and he shared the evolving                                                    planning, new business succession
changes with the 2010-11 tax laws. The                                                   planning services, creating value-
annual, day-long conference provides        Planning     for    the     Generations      oriented client maintenance programs
CPE credit for CPAs in multiple topic       Conference – Jerry attended this             and useful planning techniques for
areas, and CPAs attended from across        Chicago event in early August. This          physicians and high-net worth clients. In
the state. The estate tax laws continue     event is one of the nation’s premier         addition, he did not miss the
to create confusion and misinformation      symposiums for estate, elder law and         opportunity to partake in Chicago’s pizza
with clients, and Jerry is planning         financial professionals. The conference      options.    This annual conference is
additional fall education events for        is presented by WealthCounsel and            invaluable for staying abreast of new
advisors in this area.                      ElderCounsel, and it brings together         ideas and networking in our business.

                                            The mental benefits of laughter include:
Laughter – It Can Be The                         Adds zest to life                         Bring humor into your
Best Medicine                                    Eases anxiety and fear                     conversations.       Inquire
                                                 Relieves stress                            about funny things others
As the talk about our struggling                 Improves mood                              have recently experienced.
economy continues and the oil in the             Enhances resilience
                                                                                       One essential characteristic that
Gulf has spread its toxic tentacles over
                                            The social benefits of laughter include:   helps us laugh is not taking ourselves
pristine beaches and into marshes, we
                                                 Strengthens relationships            too seriously. Here are some ways
all feel the need to relieve our anxiety.
                                                 Attracts others to us                to lighten your life:
The good news is that not all stress-
relief medicine comes in a bottle with           Enhances teamwork
                                                                                               Laugh at yourself. Share
an expensive price tag. One such                 Helps defuse conflict
                                                                                                embarrassing moments.
“medicine” is laughter. The benefits of          Promotes group bonding
                                                                                               Laugh at situations rather
a good “belly laugh” have now been                                                              than bemoan them. Look
identified not only anecdotally but also    Now we know that laughter is good for
                                            our health. But laughter needs a                    for the humor in a bad
in scientific research.                                                                         situation.
                                            stimulus—a funny movie, a riotous
                                            play--or does it? Here are some helpful            Surround yourself with
Like exercise, laughter can reduce                                                              reminders to lighten up.
stress, improve our tolerance to pain,      tips on jumpstarting the idea of putting
                                            more humor in your life:                            Keep a toy on your desk or
and even alter blood pressure, heart                                                            in your car. Put up a funny
rate, muscle activity and stomach                                                               poster. Frame photos of
                                                 Smile. Smiling is the beginning
acidity. Dr. William Fry, an associate                                                          family and friends having a
                                                  of laughter. Like laughter, it’s
professor of clinical psychiatry at                                                             good time.
                                                  contagious. When you see
Stanford University, who has studied                                                           Keep things in perspective.
                                                  something         even     mildly
the effects of laughter for 30 years,                                                           Ask yourself if it is beyond
                                                  pleasing, practice smiling.
compares laughter to “inner jogging.”                                                           your control. Ask if its
                                                 Count your blessings. Literally
Dr. Fry claims that laughing 100 times a                                                        worth getting upset over.
                                                  make a list.        The act of
day is the equivalent of 10 minutes of                                                         Emulate children. They are
                                                  considering the good things in
rowing.                                                                                         the experts at playfulness!
                                                  your life will distance you from
                                                  negative thoughts that act as a
The physical benefits of laughter
                                                  barrier to laughter.
                                                 When you hear laughter,
      Boosts immunity
                                                  move toward it. Generally,
      Lowers stress hormones
                                                  people are very happy to share
      Decreases pain
                                                  something funny because it
      Relaxes muscles
                                                  gives them the chance to laugh
      Prevents heart disease
                                                 Spend time with fun, playful
The Bell Law Firm P.A               Third Quarter 2010                                      Page 4

                                      Services Available at The Bell Law Firm
                                           Asset Protection Planning

         Jerry Bell
                                           Trusts and Estate Planning

    Licensed to practice in
                                           Elder Law

     Kansas and Missouri
                                           Business Exit Planning
                                           Business Services and Formation
                                           Trust Administration and Probate
                                           Medicaid Asset Protection Planning
                                           Long-Term Care Planning
                                           Veterans Benefits (Accredited by the VA)
 The Bell Law Firm P.A.                    Special Needs
 7007 College Blvd.                        Prenuptial and Postnuptial Planning

                                           The Bell Law Firm Is a Member of
 Suite 480
 Overland Park, KS 66211
 Phone (913) 345-2323

    We look forward to
    seeing you soon and
    hearing from you at
                              WealthCounsel, LLC                       ElderCounsel, LLC

      (913) 345-2323
                              (              (
                                   The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)

                                                         Directions to our Office

                                           From I-435 and Metcalf Area, go South on Metcalf,
                                           pass through the 110th street stoplight, then at the
                                           second light (College Blvd.), turn left (East) on
                                           College Blvd. Take your first right off of College
                                           Blvd. into the Renaissance/Van Eyck Building or
                                           7007 College Blvd.

                                           The visitor parking is on both sides of the building
                                           and there is a large parking lot on the East side of
                                           the building. We are on the 4th floor in Suite 480.

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