Elder E-Letter: February 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day

carol in the front

Our team here at The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC loves its clients and the elder care community who serves them. Happy Valentines Day! May your day be filled with joy.

Thank you for making these adorable masks, Nena, and thank you, Jody Hilderbran (Carol’s lovely husband), for taking our picture.

Snoopy 1
Snoopy 2

Happy Birthday, Dear Carol!

Carol bday 2021
Carol bday cakes 2021

Carol got a lot of love on January 19th, her birthday. Her staff gave her chocolates, a beautiful glass ornament for her desk, and this fabulous Wonder Woman card (because she is our Wonder Woman).

Our talented marketing consultants from Toolbox Studios sent over a surprise box of delicious birthday treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

2021 birthday ornament

Our new building has walls!

Slowly but surely–our new building is coming to fruition. We should be in sometime this summer. We’ll let everyone know when the big move happens. Stay tuned!

It has walls carol picture

Way to go, Jody!

Jody COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic 2
Jody COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic 1

Check out our paralegal, Jody Hudspeth, volunteering at the Alamodome COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Clinic. Her job was registering vaccine recipients in the drive-through line for their second dose. If you are interested in volunteering to help with San Antonio’s vaccination effort, please sign up on the Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry.

Elder Law Askit Baskit: To Gift or Not to Gift?


By, Jody Hudspeth, Paralegal for The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC
One of the many hats I wear as a paralegal is answering phone calls and emails from concerned loved ones and caregivers. This column, “The Elder Law Askit Basket”, features some of the scenarios we hear on a frequent basis. If you have a question you’d like to see answered here, please email me at: jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com.

I am a healthy, divorced 80-year-old mother of two sons. My oldest son just called to tell me that he and his wife don’t have enough money to finish building their dream home. They want me to deduct $40,000.00 from their inheritance and give it to them now so they can finish. I have approximately $180,000.00 in the bank and a modest pension from Teacher Retirement System (TRS). I can afford to give them the money. I want them to have their dream home, but my other son asked me to run this by you first.

Should you give the son your money? I hate to answer a question with a question, but I have several for you because the answer to your question depends on many variables. First, how often does this son ask you for money? What if you gift this money to him and you end up needing it yourself? I am also curious as to how well your sons get along. What if you give your oldest son this money and there’s nothing left for your other son when you die—do you think this gift could cause a rift in their relationship?

I also want to know if you have long-term care insurance. I understand that you are healthy now, but people are afflicted by sudden illnesses, such as strokes and vascular dementia, every day. Long-term care facilities are expensive, and should you need to move into one, your nest egg would diminish quickly unless you have a solid long-term care insurance policy. You’d need Medicaid to help pay for your long-term care if you ran out of money. Medicaid has a five-year lookback period with strict rules on gifting. I have seen people’s generosity prevent them from getting the care they need.

I hope I’ve given you some good food for thought here. I suggest you sit down with Carol Bertsch to discuss your situation further. She can advise you on a plan that will both consider your goals and have your best interest at heart. Please contact us, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

Study on Care Relationships and Health at UT Health San Antonio

UT health

Do you help a spouse who is living with dementia? If so, please consider joining the Daily Study of Caregiving Relationships and Health.

Social relationships and connectedness are an important part of staying healthy. Spouses who provide help to a partner who is living with dementia often experience changes in their relationships and social connections that may affect their health. Researchers at the UT Health San Antonio Caring for the Caregiver program would like to know more about how social relationships and connectedness affect caregivers’ health. This information will help them to build programs to better support caregivers.

They are asking spouses of persons living with dementia to participate in daily survey study for 14 days. Each evening, caregivers will receive a survey in their email to complete that will ask about their relationships and health behaviors. Participants may earn up to $115.00 for completing all study activities.

Click here to learn more about this study and to find out if you are eligible to participate.

Coming Up

Spring 2021 – Hello, Professor Bertsch! Here’s Carol practicing her Zoom skills on her staff. She’s teaching Elder Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law this semester.

elder law class picture

February 10 – Carol presents Updating Your Advance Directives for COVID-19 at the Alamo Area Home Care Council monthly meeting.

February 17 – Carol presents Legal Issues Facing Elders at the Academy of Learning In Retirement.

February 18 – Carol presents Do Your Paperwork Now at OASIS.

February 18 & 19 – Carol attends continuing education: 17th Annual Changes and Trends Affecting Special Needs Trusts.

What’s Going on in Your World?


Do you have a topic or an elder law question you’d like us to cover in our newsletter? Please email your suggestions to jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com. All ideas are welcome.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns during this especially isolating time. Call if you have a question or just call us to say hello: (210)892-4555.