America has a healthcare crisis. President Obama is now battling with Congress to deal with long term issues involving healthcare.

An area of healthcare that is very often overlooked deals with what happens to Americans when they can’t care for themselves.

The best way to maintain a senior is to keep them in their home under circumstances that they are comfortable with. Seniors live longer when they can stay in their home. If they need help beyond what relatives and friends can provide, home healthcare aides can assist them. As individuals age, sometimes their needs exceed those what can be provided for them in their home.

The needs of seniors are often met by assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Assisted living facilities are generally speaking private pay living arrangements. Seniors who do not have problematic medical needs and have the financial ability to sometimes choose to live in these facilities. The cost of assisted living facilities can be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 per month in the metropolitan New York area.

Seniors who have greater medical needs often go to rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes. Nursing homes can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 per month depending on the level of service the senior needs. How does a middle class person go to a nursing home without all of his assets utilized to pay for his or her care?

There is a program that under certain circumstances pay for long term rehabilitation and/or nursing home stays. This program is called Medicaid. The rules and circumstances involving Medicaid are complex and detailed. The most important rule for the public to understand is that there is a 5 year look back concerning the transfer of assets.

If you have assets and you wish to protect them for future generations, it is important that you see an attorney that handles estate work. Planning can be done to insure that if you do end up in a nursing home, all of your assets including your home, stocks, bonds, pensions, 401(k) and savings won’t be utilized to pay for long term nursing care. You cannot wait until you are very elderly and sick to use this type of estate planning. It must be done a minimum of 5 years prior to the need for nursing home or rehabilitation care.

Should you have questions, contact the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel. We can provide you with further information concerning Medicaid and estate planning. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Picture courtesy of levinperconti.

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More than 48,000 people die each year from illnesses and diseases picked up during hospital stays. Approximately 20% of the patients in hospitals who develop sepsis, a blood infection, following surgery die. Patients who develop sepsis stay approximately 1 ½ weeks longer in hospitals than their original planned hospital stay. It is estimated that 1.7 million infections related to health care procedures are diagnosed each year.

Most hospital stays are for fairly routine procedures. Should the patient develop pneumonia or sepsis as a bi-product of this hospital stay, these infections can be deadly.

Hospitals should make a greater effort to improve hygiene, cleanliness and take other effective measures to prevent unnecessary hospital caused infections.

Should you have a problem related to a hospital stay, feel free to contact the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel to discuss this matter at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot Schlissel, Esq.

Do you have assets? Do you own a house? Have you been married more than once? Do you have children from more than one relationship? Are you concerned about what happens after your death to your spouse and/or your children? Are you single? All of the above individuals need a Will.

Estate contests often develop between children from the first marriage and the second wife. Issues arise when a man or a woman has children from more than one relationship. Sometimes loved ones have financial difficulty and the possibility of receiving assets in an estate brings out the worst in them.

There is a simple way to avoid unnecessary expensive litigation that can last from months or years. Write a Will! A Will states who your loved ones are, what your assets are and who will receive your assets at the time of your death. No one looks forward to dying. The thought of writing a Will is often an issue that individuals seek to put off. However, a Will should be written when you are competent and healthy not right before your death.

Attorneys that handle Wills & Estates prepare Wills. They are generally speaking inexpensive documents to have prepared. They simplify your end of life issues and allow your assets to pass in an orderly manner. Wills cut down on financial disagreements developing among your heirs and loved ones.

If you die without a Will your assets pass to your loved ones through administration proceedings. These proceedings can be time consuming and tedious. More than one person can request to be the Administrator of your estate. This can lead to arguments, bad feelings and increased attorney’s fees.

If you have assets or loved ones, you need a Will! Have it written by an attorney before you are too sick and old to deal with it.

Should you have questions regarding drafting a Will, feel free to call the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel to discuss these issues at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Avatar, has recently become the most financially successful movie of all time. It’s new-age 3D cinematography makes the movie both moving and compelling.

The planet Pandora is simply beautiful. It has floating mountains and beautiful natural vegetation. The Na’vi are the 10 foot blue-skinned inhabitants of Pandora. They live off the land in a beautiful, natural existence. They kill only those animals necessary to supply themselves with food. A global corporation that is intent on mining valuable minerals from Pandora is prepared to destroy the Na’vi’s precious ecosystem to meet their greedy needs. The mining company has developed Avatars, which are part human, part Na’vi bodies. The employees of the mining company can interact with the natives through these beings.

An Avatar working as a spy for the mining company falls in love with a Na’Vi realizing the terrible plan of the mining company which he has been a central figure of will destroy the beautiful existence of the Na’vi’s. He turns against his own people. The movie has an anti-imperialism theme. The mining company resembles American corporations operating in third-world nations. The soldiers working for the mining company have many similarities to the United States Armed Forces. The actions of the mining company can be considered genocidal.

The movie ends on an uplifting note. Although a science fiction flick, it does give you something to think about.

Elliot Schlissel

Picture courtesy of Cool Blish.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger, III, the pilot of US Airways, Flight 1549, is known to most Americans by his nickname, “Sully”. Sully miraculously executed an emergency landing of a jet plane that took off from LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009. His heroic, expert flying technique and years of preparation allowed him to safely land his air bus A320 in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers on board were safely removed from the plane. This spectacular feat of pilotry did give him an enormous amount of publicity.

Sully is a charming true American hero. He talks about himself with genuine modesty. He credits his training and commitment to becoming the best pilot he can possibly be.

Sully has collaborated with Wall Street journal writer, Jeff Zaslow , to write his memoir entitled, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. This book recounts the details of the miraculous emergency landing. It also talks about Sully’s upbringing and various events in his life that shaped his character. These events enabled Sully to grow into a man capable of handling the challenge of safely landing a large air bus A320 airplane in the Hudson River with both engines knocked out by bird strikes.

Sully in his book states ” In so many areas of life you need to be a long term optimist, but a short term realist. Sully’s philosophy should act as an example to many of us when dealing with difficult situations. Sully is a true American hero and an excellent role model for many of us to follow.

Elliot Schlissel

Many Americans unfortunately find themselves having difficulty paying their mortgages. When a family falls behind on their mortgage payments, there are a number of ways to deal with the situation. Houses go into foreclosure for a variety of reasons. Loss of employment, divorce, injuries, illnesses and disabilities. In this situation, you have a number of options:

1. Mortgage Modification 

An application to your financial institution can be filed for a mortgage modification. This is a long and difficult process and unfortunately in many situations, the request for mortgage modification is denied. 

2. Forebearance Agreement 

Forbearance Agreements are agreements to allow you to catch up on your Mortgage while either freezing or modifying the mortgage payments. They are very similar to mortgage modification arrangements. 

3. Bankruptcy 

You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcies are Federal Proceedings whereas the foreclosure proceedings are initiated in state courts. The bankruptcy filing gives you an automatic stay (freezes) the foreclosure proceeding and allows you to enter into repayment plan thru the bankruptcy court concerning your debt. Deed in Lieu of

4. Foreclosure

 You can simply deed your house back to the financial institution. 

5. Sell Your House 

You can sell your house, pay off the mortgage and keep the balance of the proceeds from the sale. If your house is worth less than the amount of your mortgage, you have to initiate a short sale with the permission of your financial institution. 

6. Fight Back 

Experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorneys can help you in defending foreclosure proceedings. Due to the large volume of cases, currently pending in New York State Courts, it could be 12 to 24 months for the foreclosure to be completed. 

7. Foreclosure 

Does this mean the bank owns my house? 

Foreclosure is the start of a process whereby a financial institution that has a mortgage or equity loan on your home seeks court intervention to have the house either sold or have the deed put back in the name of the financial institution. It is a long and detailed process. The foreclosure Is the start of the process and not the end of the process. The end of the process is the point at which you lose your home. The best way to deal with this process is to hire competent, experienced, Foreclosure Defense Attorneys. 

Fighting foreclosures are difficult but they can be dealt with by experienced dedicated attorneys who understand the foreclosure process. Feel free to contact our office anytime for information or a free consultation regarding our mortgage modification, foreclosure, and bankruptcy services. We will help you decide which path is right for you and then we will help guide you through the entire process.

You can reach us 24/7 at 800-344-6431 or click here to e-mail us.

Picture courtesy of planohomesandland.com.

Sixty-five years ago, today, marked the beginning of the largest and bloodiest American battle in World War II.

After the tide had already begun to turn in the Allies’ favor, Hitler made one last, desperate attempt to break the American/British advance toward Berlin.

Hitler himself planned the attack for the Ardennes region of Belgium, which was relatively thinly guarded. The plan was to cut off the American and British troops from one another and then cut off the Allies’ only Atlantic supply port in Antwerp, Belgium.

Despite being outgunned by a concentration of the remaining German forces, U.S. troops there were able to slow the German advance,  that created the “bulge” in the battle lines, with a tenacious defense. In fact, just one 18 soldier platoon of the 394th Infantry regiment was able to stall a German Tank battalion for a full 20 hours before they were finally captured.

In all, 23,000 American soldiers were captured and 19,000 were killed in the month-long Battle of the Bulge, before the Allied forces finally beat back the German advance and won the battle. Just a few months later, American and British forces from one side, and Russian forces from the other side, rolled into Berlin.

We honor the lives and memories of all of those veterans who gave their lives in defense of liberty.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

800-344-6431