Author Archives: Carol J. Wessels

About Carol J. Wessels

I am an Elder Law Attorney practicing in Wisconsin. I am the owner of Wessels Law Office LLC in Mequon, WI. I handle Medicaid, Long Term Care planning, special needs trusts, guardianship, advance directives, elder abuse and other related issues for elderly and disabled clients and their families. My Mother Velma lived with Alzheimer's for fifteen years until she died on Jan. 24, 2015, which has given me a personal perspective on elder law issues as well.

When the nursing home tells you Medicare is ending, know your rights!

I have the good fortune of spending the better part of this week in Fort Worth, Texas at a conference of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. It’s at these events where I learn new ideas, solidify my thinking … Continue reading

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Every Married Couple Needs to Understand what a “Snapshot” is and Why it Matters in Medicaid Planning

In Medicaid world, when I say “we need to get a snapshot,” I sometimes think my clients wonder where the camera is. Then, when we are done talking about this particular issue, I think we both feel as though it … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law, Medicaid, spousal impoverishment

What a will…won’t.

This article is about the basic misunderstanding most people have about wills. Here is how my average meeting starts when people schedule an appointment to talk about a will: Me: I understand that you would like to talk about your … Continue reading

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The most important estate planning documents that everyone over 18 needs (hint: not a will.)

I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients in my office who were very concerned because they “need a will drawn up.” There is nothing wrong with this. We help clients with wills, and trusts, and all … Continue reading

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What Does “Memory Care” Really Mean?

“We are looking at Shady Acres for Mom – it is a Memory Care facility.”  This is something usually said by a family member with a certain level of satisfaction. Now, in this story, Shady Acres is a fictional place, … Continue reading

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New VA Pension Rules Will Bring Changes in Planning for Veterans Needing Income for Care

A new rule has been published by the Veterans’ Administration that relates to veterans “pension” benefits. This rule makes sweeping changes to the eligibility rules for pension. It takes effect on  October 18, 2018. A copy of the rule can … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law

For the thousandth time: no, you do not need to sell your home to get Medicaid! Addressing this and other myths told by nursing home social workers and Medicaid caseworkers.

This week I met with a client and had a conversation that I have had at least a thousand times (or it felt that way). The client (we will call her Jean) was power of attorney for her mother, who … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law, Medicaid | Tagged , , ,

Wisconsin Caregivers’ Tax Credit Bill Would Help Families Caring for Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s and Disabilities. Make your voice heard and speak up in support!

A bill has been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature that would help families who struggle with the high costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other disabilities. The help would come in the form of a non-refundable … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law

Promissory notes are back!

In 2015, Wisconsin essentially outlawed “promissory notes” that had been in use for years as a Medicaid planning tool. The 2015 law created so many strings on the use of these notes that it was almost impossible to effectively use … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law

What do you and your doctors know about palliative and hospice care? Probably not enough, and that needs to change.

In March, I took a trip to Washington, D.C. with close to 1300 other people. The purpose of our trip was to take part in the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum, which is an event where participants are educated about important legislative … Continue reading

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