Legal Forum is timely
Oct 11, 2012 | 1008 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of today’s biggest challenges facing adult children is the short- and long-term care of their elderly parents, especially those whose working lives were spent in low- to moderate-paying jobs, and with the added expense of raising a family they have little savings to show for half-a-century of work.

As a result, many enjoy no nest eggs to see them through what is supposed to be their golden years.

Coupled with ridiculously increasing costs in health care, higher premiums for health insurance and less benefits, and the insistence of Washington, D.C., lawmakers to tamper — and to threaten its future — with Medicare, many elderly are plagued ironically with the same problems they faced as young adults launching lives of their own. They have little income, mounting needs and deepening debt.

Realizing the urgency of these frightening times for their helpless parents, some adult children — many of whom have financial woes of their own, some caused by low-paying jobs and unemployment — are looking at possible pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Although some are potential answers, they also carry grave risk and this is why the Bradley County Bar Association and the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library are bringing another Community Legal Forum to our community. It will be held Thursday, Oct. 25, in the library’s Community Room. The 90-minute panel discussion will get under way at 7 p.m.

The subject matter, which actually is being presented at the public’s request according to Cleveland attorney Jack Tapper, is two-fold. The issues to be discussed openly, objectively ... and frankly ... include:

1. “What You Need to Know About Saving Mama’s Home ... Warning: Don’t Transfer Until You Hear What We Have to Say; What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”; and

2. “Reverse Mortgages Explained: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

In today’s age of economic recovery locally, nationally and globally, both are relevant topics. Each most likely has been discussed more than once in many Cleveland and Bradley County households. A key issue is this discussion is often taking place without a full understanding of the process, and most importantly how a seemingly good idea can go catastrophically bad.

The second item, reverse mortgages, is an especially timely discussion because of the sudden influx of promotional marketing that points to the benefits to the elderly of this financing alternative. While we in no manner will claim to be fully abreast of the minute details of how a reverse mortgage works, we do know this. Anything relatively new on the financing market needs to be fully understood before it is seriously considered.

To their credit, the Bar Association not only is bringing two of its own into the discussion mix — Tapper and Cleveland attorney George McCoin — the president of a leading local mortgage company has been invited to serve as the third panelist. She is Kim Casteel, president of USA Mortgage Inc.

The trio will discuss in detail “... issues concerning the consequences of transferring deeds of homes of elderly parents to avoid loss due to long-term nursing home expenses, and what you really need to know about reverse mortgages, and the pros and cons of entering such transactions,” Tapper told our newspaper.

The Bradley County Bar Association and the public library have brought excellent topics into the open — at no expense to attendees — over the past couple of years with the Community Legal Forums. We commend them for their sense of hometown spirit. We hope these forums will continue as intended; that is, to support “equal access to justice for all citizens.”

We recommend area residents who have discussed either, or both, of these topics within their own households to make plans to attend. Seating is first come, first served, but it is recommended those planning to be there should contact the library at 423-472-2163, ext. 126, to confirm their attendance.

It is often said that knowledge is power.

To gain such understanding, one must take the first step. The upcoming Community Legal Forum is a gate to that path.