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How an Elder Lawyer Can Save Aging Parents’ Finances

Times can be tough for baby boomers moving into retirement and their golden years, as well as their adult children. More and more, the latter are becoming caregivers and relied upon to support their parents financially.

Statistics show that more than 32 percent of adult offspring chipped in $5,000 or more of their own money to help out their parents last year. More than 75 percent, while selflessly helping out their folks, wonder if this will have a negative impact on their own financial situation.

All over the country, individuals have had their savings ripped apart by the lagging economy, tumbling home values and investments gone bad.  Also, do not forget the health care costs incurred by taking care of Mom and Dad. Those are climbing at a rate with which many folks cannot keep up.

“An experienced elder law firm can help preserve assets, connect with government benefits and resources and create a contingency plan to address possible changes,” said John Hale, a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm.

Obviously, doing the right thing in taking care of the folks is the main priority. But not understanding or being fully aware of the legal implications of certain moves could lead to lost Medicaid eligibility, negative tax consequences or sundry other legal and financial problems. An elder lawyer can help avoid these pitfalls, and consulting one should be the first step in helping parents.

This is a far better alternative to relying on well-meaning — but faulty — advice from financial advisors, accountants and others while putting together a game plan to care for aging parents.

Case in point: An elderly parent has an apartment constructed on his children’s property in order to be closer to them. It turns out the financial outlay to build the apartment could be considered a gift. That could lead to gift taxes and Medicaid eligibility being taken away. An experienced elder law attorney can be critical at the beginning stages of retirement and long-term care planning, and people are starting to understand this.

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Texas Olympic Volleyball Player Works to Heal Brain Injury

Stacy Sykora, from Ft. Worth, Texas, was a two-time All-American volleyball player at Texas A&M. She is also a member of the U.S. Olympic volleyball team. Last year, in a bus accident near Sao Paulo, Brazil, she sustained a brain injury when the vehicle carrying her Brazilian team overturned one rainy night.

She was taken to Hospital Sírio-Libanês, and treated in ICU for about one week for head trauma and bleeding in one side of her brain. For several days, she was placed in a medically-induced coma to allow her brain to rest. After the accident in Brazil, she returned to Southern California where she received neurological care, and to be with the Olympic team, where she was assisted by their medical staff and physical therapists.

During the last year she has worked hard to recover and has even rejoined the U.S. women’s Olympic volley ball team. She still has some issues with her vision and tracking balls, however, so it isn’t clear yet if she will play in the London Games, though she will attend.

She has played on the team in the previous three Olympic Games, but right now she says her full game capacity isn’t activated yet. Brain injuries can require a long time to heal completely. Actually, like all injuries, there is no guarantee they will heal entirely. She has been training up to six days a week in order to recover. Her coach has noted her resilience.

According to, about 5.3 million Americans live with brain injuries and the disabilities associated with them. Recovering from a brain injury can involve neurologists and psychiatrists, as well as occupational, speech, physical and language therapists. Also, of course, medical doctors, psychologists, family members and support groups can be of benefit.
Brain injuries can require a large range of support, and such requirements can be expensive, which is why it can help to have a knowledgeable brain injury attorney.

John Hale is a Waxahachie personal injury attorney and Ellis County personal injury lawyer helping injury victims near Dallas Texas. Learn more at

Hale Law Hailed as a Top Elder Law Firm by Newsweek

The Hale Law Firm has long prided itself on its excellent elder law, one of the most difficult aspects of the legal profession. Fewer than 5% of all estate planning attorneys practice in this field.

And The Hale Law Firm has been cited for being among the best of the best in the industry. The Hale Law Firm was named by Newsweek in its June 18 issue as one of the leading elder law attorneys in the country, joining 10 other elder firms in this prestigious honor.

One of the big reasons for The Hale Law Firm’s success in elder law is every one of the Hale team has been a caregiver to an elderly relative, so the firm understands this can be a trying time. At The Hale Law Firm, the motto is “Wise and Compassionate Counsel” is more than just a slogan, it’s what we’re known for.” That the firm has been cited for its work by a publication which has been nationally-known for decades proves the point loud and clear.

“We are very honored to be featured in Newsweek’s publication,” said John D. Hale of The Hale Law Firm, D.C. “Our elder law practice focuses primarily on developing and implementing asset protection plans for families struggling with chronic illness and disability.”
Hale added, “I think what makes us unique is our commitment to helping families on the implementation side of our services.

“Families are beginning to see the importance of developing a plan to address long-term care in their estate plans,” Hale said. “It really doesn’t matter how good your will or trust is if you pass away impoverished.

“Our goal is to protect our clients’ assets by accessing alternative payers for long-term care. In helping our clients avoid the unnecessary spend down of their estates, we are also finding that it is easier to find common ground among families members.”

John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit