Senior Focus

Senior Focus is a one-hour radio show that airs Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. and Sundays at 6:00 a.m. on 1250 WTMA-AM in Charleston, South Carolina as well as streaming live over WTMA.com.

Our experts are Dennis Christensen and Shelly All, local attorneys who specialize in elder law and estate planning. Shows cover issues and concerns on aging, legal matters affecting seniors, benefits, planning and community resources for seniors. John Quincy is the announcer.

Listeners are invited to call in during the show to ask questions and comment on the show¹s discussion topics. The call-in number is (843) 556-1250. Or you can email your questions anytime.

Listen to and/or download past Senior Focus programs here.

ABOUT OUR EXPERTS

DENNIS J. CHRISTENSEN, P.A.

Dennis has concentrated his practice on Elder Law, Estate Planning, and planning for individuals with disabilities since 1992. He understands that Estate Planning is more than the preparation of documents. With this philosophy, he has been helping his clients develop a plan in the event a family member becomes incapacitated as well as helping his clients ensure the proper distribution of their assets at death.

Dennis has extensive knowledge about Medicaid and law and has helped hundreds of clients figure out ways to keep themselves at home for as long as possible. He also develops plans to protect their assets and achieve Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care when staying at home is no longer possible. As a son of a parent with Alzheimer’s and as a founding member and president of the local Alzheimer’s Association for many years, he understands Alzheimer's and other disabling diseases and has helped hundreds of families deal with the many issues and problems, legal and otherwise, that they face.

Dennis has also worked extensively with clients who have disabilities or have children with disabilities. He knows how critically important maintaining public benefits (Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income [SSI]), are for the person and his or her family and has extensive knowledge and experience in making sure his clients’ eligibility is not jeopardized as a result of an inheritance from a parent or spouse or from a personal injury settlement. He helps the person with disabilities and his or her parents and family to develop plans to make sure the person with disabilities is taken care of in the event the parent or caregiver becomes unable to care for the person with disabilities. This is often achieved through the use of Special Needs Trusts.

Dennis also works with personal injury lawyers to help them settle a personal injury case of a person with disabilities to ensure that the person does not lose public benefit eligibility. This experience led Dennis to co-found the Special Needs Alliance, which is an invitation-only group of attorneys who practice in almost every state and who are dedicated to providing legal, financial, and counseling assistance to persons with disabilities.

Dennis graduated from Michigan State University in 1972 and Marquette University School of Law in 1976. His early legal practice focused on civil litigation and and real estate law.

Dennis has been a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) since 1993. He served on its Board of Directors for two terms and was honored as a Fellow of that organization. NAELA is a leading, national legal organization educating its members and advocating on behalf of our clients who are dealing with and planning for the problems encountered as we age, as well as clients who have disabilities and their families.

Dennis is also a past board member and Vice President of Palmetto Pathway Homes, which was a non-profit organization dedicated to clients with paranoid schizophrenia. He was also appointed by the Governor of South Carolina to the Governor's Commission of Advanced Directives.

Besides hosting Senior Focus, Dennis speaks to civic groups, church groups, and senior groups on a number of topics. He has spoken to professionals on such topics as Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid planning, special needs trusts, disability planning, veteran benefits and long term care planning.

He is married and has two children.

SHELLY K. ALL, P.A.

Shelly, a partner with the firm, began practicing law in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in the areas of real estate and probate. She began with the Dennis J. Christensen Law Firm in 2006 and mainly practices in the areas of Estate and Trust Administration, Guardianships and Conservatorships, and Estate Planning.

Shelly received her BS degree from the University of South Carolina and her JD from Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia. She is a member of the South Carolina Bar and American Bar Association. She is married and the mother of a beautiful son.

JOHN QUINCY, ANNOUNCER

Lexington, Kentucky-bred John Quincy adopted Charleston as his second hometown in 1981 when he moved there to continue his radio career as Afternoon DJ and Production Director at WSSX-FM (95SX).

In 1985, John became Program Director and PM Drive host at WXTC-FM (Lite Rock 96.9) where he remained for nearly 10 years. John also was a morning DJ at WBUB-FM (Bubba 107.5), plus worked as weekend and fill-in host at WXLY-FM (Oldies 102.5). Other Charleston radio gigs included Morning Show Producer at WNKT (Cat Country 107.5) and Afternoon Host/Assistant Program Director/Music Director of WSUY (Sunny 96.9). He joined the WTMA morning show as producer in October 2007. John is also WTMA's Program Director.

Along with his 30-plus years as a successful Charleston radio host, John has utilized his music programming and announcing skills as a Mobile DJ for hundreds of Low Country wedding receptions, private parties, and corporate events. He also has a strong interest in preserving Charleston radio history, running "tribute" Websites for WTMA, WCSC and WOKE.

John resides with his wife and their cats in Summerville.


 


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2014 Senior Focus Programs
Shows are in MP3 format.
They may be downloaded by right-clicking on each podcast's
link and selecting "Save Target As" or "Save Link As".

Senior Focus April 19, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • If I have a young child or adult child who may not be responsible with money, can I do anything so that money is not misspent?

  • Can trusts be attacked by creditors?

  • Can a nursing home kick a person out when their 100 days of Medicare runs out?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus April 5, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Is a living will the same document as the last will and testament?

  • Is a living will the same thing as a health care power of attorney?

  • Can I be personally liable if I sign a nursing home admission agreement?

  • Can I count on a Medicaid caseworker help me become eligible for medicaid?

  • If my disabled child is about to get an inheritance, is the anything I can do to keep him from losing his Medicaid or SSI?

  • What happens if I don't give my executor or personal representative the power to sell real estate?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus March 29, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Is it true that all real estate is protected from Medicaid?

  • If I have a LLC do I need to put it in my trust?

  • Do I need to keep records if I am trustee of a trust?

  • Is there any reason for my parents to not give me their real estate before they die?

  • If I own my residence so that is exempt from Medicaid, if I sell my house are the proceeds also protected from Medicaid?

  • What happens to my eligibility for VA benefits if I sell my house

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus March 22, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Why do you need to review your beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance policies or IRAs?

  • If I have a trust, can I make changes?

  • Do joint bank accounts count as an asset for Medicaid and VA eligibility?

  • What is the difference between a first party and a third party special needs trust?

  • Can you be too old to set up a special needs trust?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus March 15, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Aren't trusts more expensive than a will?

  • If I want to avoid probate, why can't I use joint tenancy instead of a trust?

  • Can I make a bequest in a will or a trust contingent upon satisfaction of a stated condition?

  • Can I disinherit a child?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus March 8, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Is there any news about the proposed changes in Aid & Attendance benefits?

  • How prevalent is financial abuse against seniors?

  • Are there different Medicaid programs and, if so, are the eligibility requirements different?

  • Can a person quality for Medicaid and Aid & Attendance

  • Do I have to pay taxes on any inheritance I may receive?

  • If my parent is dying, should I transfer property out of their name to avoid probate?

  • Does a trust do a better job in taking care of me than a power of attorney?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus March 1, 2014 Show

Attorney Shelly All answered these questions:

  • Will I still be able to make decisions for my disabled child when he turns 18?

  • Is it alright to name my disabled child as beneficiary on my IRA, 401(k) or life insurance?

  • Is it alright to name my minor child as a beneficiary on my retirement assets?

  • Should I consider using a trust instead of a will if I have a beneficiary who needs all or a portion of their inheritance within one year of my death, i.e., for a child or a person who is disabled?

  • When is guardianship and conservatorship necessary?

  • How is guardianship and conservatorship different from power of attorney?

  • If I have a joint account with my child, how can I make sure it is divided between all my children at my death?

  • If my mother has a will, will her estate have to go through probate?

  • What is probate?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus February 22, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Is there anything I can do if my father needs Medicaid but is over the limit?

  • I have heard that there is a two-year wait for a Medicaid nursing home bed. Is that true?

  • Can a premarital agreement be entered into only before I get married?

  • If I have someone other than my spouse in my house, will they be able to continue to live in the house after my death?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus February 8, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Do joint bank accounts count as an asset for Medicaid and VD eligibility?

  • If I have a trust, can I make changes?

  • Why do you need to review your beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance policies or IRAs?

  • Who can set up a special needs trust?

  • Is there any progress on the change in the veterans benefits law?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus February 1, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • I have heard there is a two year wait for a Medicaid nursing home bed. Is that true?

  • Is there anything I can do if my father needs Medicaid but is over the limit?

  • What is a special needs trust and can you be too old to set up one?

  • Plus discussion on the Texas woman was declared brain-dead after collapsing at her home. She was kept on life support for the sake of her 23-week-old fetus despite previously signing a directive making it clear that she would not want to be kept on life support.


Senior Focus January 25, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Is it true that all real estate is protected from Medicaid?

  • If I have a LLC do I need to put it in my trust?

  • Do I need to keep records if I am trustee of a trust?

  • Is there any reason for my parents to not give me their real estate before they die?

  • If I own my residence so that it is exempt from Medicaid, if I sell my house are the proceeds also protected from Medicaid?

  • What happens to my eligibility for VA benefits if I sell my house?

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus January 18, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • When is a person competent to sign a will or other legal documents?

  • Who determines if the person is competent?

  • Does the level of competency vary depending on the document to be signed?

  • Can a person diagnosed with Alzheimer's sign documents?

  • If a doctor says that a person is unable to manage their financial affairs, does that mean that they cannot sign a will or power of attorney?

  • Can a person who has moments of understanding still sign a document?

  • I've heard that a will or power of attorney can be thrown out if a person has signed a documents under under influence. What does that mean?


Senior Focus January 11, 2014 Show

Attorney Shelly All answered these questions:

  • Can I gift my assets to my children to qualify for Medicaid?

  • If my spouse goes into a nursing home and receives Medicaid, will I lose my house?

  • How reliable is the information I read on the Internet about Medicaid?

  • Why is the best way to protect my assets if I am no longer able to handle my affairs?

  • Is it a good idea to title my assets jointly with my child to protect them from Medicaid?

  • Will a living trust protect my assets from going to the nursing home in the event I need long term care?

  • What types of expenses will my personal representative be able to pay from my estate!

  • Plus questions from listeners


Senior Focus January 4, 2014 Show

Attorney Dennis Christensen answered these questions:

  • Do I still need a will if I have a trust?

  • Is is possible to disinherit a spouse?

  • Are there any recent changes in the law about the elective share?

  • What assets are subject to the elective share?

  • Is my home always protected from Medicaid during my life?

  • Plus questions from listeners

2013 Senior Focus Programs

2012 Senior Focus Programs

Christensen & Associates
260 W. Coleman Blvd, Suite D
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Tel: 843-971-1199
Fax: 843-971-0096
E-mail: dennis@scelderlaw.com
Website: www.scelderlaw.com

Senior Focus