Legal Guide for Baby Boomers and Their Parents Released by ABA
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 12, 2006 – Baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – will begin to turn 65 in 2011. And while there are currently some 36.3 million people age 65 and over living in the United States, by 2030 there is projected to be approximately twice as many, 71.5 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What does this graying of America mean when it comes to Social Security, health care costs and consumer protections?
The “Legal Guide for Americans Over 50” – a joint project of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and the Standing Committee on Public Education – explains how to write wills, how to get the best service from Medicare and Medicaid, how to deal with the legal issues of caring for aging parents, and much more.
The views expressed in the book have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the ABA.
Despite the name, the Legal Guide for Americans Over 50 was designed for more than individuals who are of that age group – the information is also aimed at individuals who are caring for the elderly. The book provides definitions to legal terms in plain English, includes expert answers to common, practical questions with which many families grapple, and warns about potential pitfalls that can be avoided in the search for information about issues of concern for the elderly or those who care for them.
The recently released book addresses societal issues that have gained prominent media attention in recent years, such as grandparents’ rights, the reduction in corporate pension plans and reverse mortgages. In addition, the Legal Guide sheds light on recent legislative and regulatory changes, such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, disability law and changes in tax law.
“The Legal Guide for Americans Over 50 is a great resource for anyone approaching the time when they will face questions related to aging, retirement or caring for aging loved ones. The book provides critical tools that help to preserve one’s personal autonomy and dignity as we, and those close to us, age,” said ABA President Karen J. Mathis.
In the “Talking to a Lawyer” section, one question and answer addresses the question of whether a person needs to enroll in the new Medicare D drug benefit plan if that person already has retiree health insurance with a drug benefit. The “additional information” component of the book may point out key statistics to the reader, such as how likely an individual is to spend time in a nursing home, and how long that stay is statistically likely to be.
Charles Sabatino, director of the ABA Commission on Law and the Aging, reminded readers that the book does not give legal advice, but will “arm readers with knowledge about the options they have in moving ahead with making those difficult decisions that most all of us will face in the years to come.”
The book is available online at http://www.ababooks.org.