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.

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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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign? “Signs”  by Five Man Band This weekend I placed signs in my yard. Signs for the Walk to … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law

On The Longest Day, and in Alzheimer’s caregiving, many hands make lighter work.

In just two days from now, on June 20, 2016  Team Valkyrie will complete its second year of participating in The Longest Day, a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association. The Longest Day is an annual fundraising effort held on the … Continue reading

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A recent change in Family Care policies can make a BIG difference for married couples – read on…

On June 10, 2016, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services updated its Medicaid Eligibility Handbook (called the “MEH” for short, and that is a pretty good description of how it usually makes me feel to read it.) This update changes the … Continue reading

Posted in Elder Law, Medicaid, spousal impoverishment | Tagged ,