GKH elder law attorneys Marci Miller and Ann Martin will present to the Parkinson’s Disease Caregivers Support Group at Landis Homes on April 17, 2017. Attorneys Miller and Martin will review long-term care planning options and highlight eight Medicaid planning mistakes to avoid. The presentation will include analysis of familiar scenarios relevant to individuals and families considering nursing home care.
On April 3, 2017, Pennsylvania’s state treasury will launch the PA ABLE ( Achieving a Better Life Experience) Savings Program. Until now, Pennsylvanians who wanted to open an ABLE account had to do so in another state.
Under Pennsylvania’s new ABLE program, an individual with a disability which occurred before age 26, or the individual’s family members and friends, can deposit up to $14,000 per year into an ABLE account. The individual with a disability and other authorized individuals can then withdraw funds to spend on a variety of living expenses. Funds held in an ABLE account will not count as a resource for purposes of determining the disabled individual’s eligibility for Medical Assistance benefits. The first $100,000 in an ABLE account will not count as a resource for purposes of determining the disabled individual’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
If funds withdrawn from an ABLE account are used to pay qualified disability expenses, the individual with a disability will owe no taxes either on the withdrawn funds or any of the interest earned by the account. The list of qualified expenses is extensive and includes educational, housing, transportation, health, employment training and support, assistive technology, legal fees, and funeral and burial expenses. Significantly, funds withdrawn from an ABLE account which are used to pay housing expenses will not impact a disabled individual’s SSI benefits so long as such funds are used within the same calendar month they are withdrawn.
Healthier employees are happier employees. The GKH partners believe that when staff and attorneys make regular, vigorous activity part of their lifestyle, the result is healthier employees, fewer sick days, and a higher level of job satisfaction and productivity. They not only believe this, they actively participate themselves and provide financial incentives to staff to do the same.
March 20 marked the beginning of the 12-week Spring 2017 wellness program. Wellness at GKH is nothing new. Individuals still try to log a consistent level of activity per week, and receive a monetary bonus based on activity level achieved.
This year, however, the program received a makeover in the form of a team quest component. Four teams of six members each are competing to see how far around the world they can travel. Each minute of activity the team logs represents one mile along the route. By the first reporting date of March 27, most teams ended up somewhere between New Orleans and Acapulco. Very ambitious teams have the Panama Canal in their sights.
One of the teams, which values mutual encouragement and regular, judgement-free activity over competition, is taking a more leisurely journey together. The goal of the program is to have fun, make regular activity a habit, and enjoy some vicarious travel to exotic locales. Competition is optional, but always friendly.
Every year, Everence presents Stewardship University. A keynote speaker and a diverse line-up of courses invite participants to discover how to live a life of holistic stewardship. Once again this year, GKH is a Stewardship University sponsor, and GKH attorneys are well-represented among the presenters.
During the 11:00 a.m. session, attorneys Elvin Kraybill and Doug Smith will discuss how to create “win-win” giving strategies that benefit charities and individuals. This seminar will show how to navigate the many available options in a way that will maximize charitable gifts for both nonprofits and the people we care about.
At 1:30 p.m., attorneys Justin Bollinger and Ann Martin will present “Do-and-Don’t Legal Issues for Churches.” Doing good through financial and legal stewardship and proactive church governance can be a major part of a church’s witness to the world. Conversely, there are things churches should not be doing, in part because these things may result in a poor witness to a watching world. This seminar will help church leaders and congregants discern what legal issues should be addressed so that the church’s witness will not be compromised.
Click here for the complete list of workshops and descriptions.
This year’s Stewardship University is Saturday, April 8, at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road. The registration fee of $39.00 includes the worship session and keynote address, up to three courses, course materials, refreshments and lunch. A group discount of $5.00 is offered to those who register as part of a group of five or more people from the same church. In addition, those attending for the first time may claim a $5.00 discount by using the code NEWCOMER when registering online or by mail.
Attorneys Peter Kraybill and Jonna Stratton co-presented a seminar, “Legal Issues for Churches: From Employment and Taxes to Trademarks and Cemeteries,” on March 7 at the GKH main office. Attorneys Kraybill and Stratton provided a legal perspective on the question, How can churches be protective and proactive when engaging with the world?
The presentation was part of GKH’s 2017 seminar series. The seminars are the firm’s way of making available some general legal resources without charge. All seminars are open to the public, and include a light breakfast or lunch.