If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man

If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man: This is one of a few figurines on the bookcase that is not a souvenir from my travels. It was actually a gift from my best friend Linda from her trip to Scotland several years ago. Linda and I have been friends for over 42 years. We met in a grocery store after 10 o’clock one Friday night with our husbands and very brand new first babies. We also had both newly moved onto the same street in the Blossom Valley of San Jose and, coincidentally, Linda’s husband was the new dentist my husband Tom and I had visited for the first time just that week. Over the years, Linda and I have stayed close although our families moved before long to different areas in the valley, me to Los Gatos and Linda first to the Almaden Valley and later to the Silver Creek area of San Jose.   We have shared many family vacations and all of the important family and personal events and achievements of our lives – both the joyous times and the hard times. She is someone to whom I can tell my deepest and most personal secrets and can count on to “be there” if I need her, as I am there for her. Linda, if you read this, I love you my friend.

If Our Walls Could Talk

Have you been to our office on Cox Avenue? Here is a photo of the large bookcase we have in our front lobby. As you can see, it is full of interesting and unique objects that Janis has been collecting over the years. In this series called “If Our Walls Could Talk”, we will share a picture of one of the objects and why it holds significance to Janis. We hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about Janis!

John Hancock’s Announcement Regarding LTC Insurance

John Hancock Life Insurance Co. has recently announced that it will be discontinuing the sales of Individual Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance. John Hancock was the third largest provider of traditional LTC insurance and is the latest in a long list of insurance companies dropping individual LTC policies from their offerings.

In a memo to its partners and producers, John Hancock states that “the distribution landscape for LTC insurance has shrunk significantly since the peak of the industry in 2002. Today, there are far fewer outlets through which individual LTC insurance is sold, impacting the growth potential of the product.” This and stagnant consumer demand, is ultimately what led to their decision.

There is merely just a handful of companies left who offer LTC insurance. Fortunately there are some asset-based hybrid policies coming available to help fund long-term care. If you would like more information about these types of policies, please contact our office at 408-402-6440 to make an appointment.


The law office of Carney Elder Law invites you to another free seminar in our Tuesday Seminar Series…

Planning for the Second Half of Life:
9 Things You Must Know

Presented by Janis A. Carney, Certified Elder Law Attorney

Highlights include:
• Paying for long-term care and how to avoid having your life savings wiped out by a nursing home spend-down and how to protect your spouse from being left impoverished
• How these economic and political times make it imperative that you plan ahead to protect yourself and your spouse
• The implications of the Affordable Care Act on your long-term care planning
• What estate planning documents are essential to protect yourself and your family

2 sessions available!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 2:30 PM & 6:00 PM
at the
Campbell Community Center, Mary Campbell Room (Q-84)
1 W Campbell Ave
Campbell, CA 95008

Seating is limited!
Please RSVP by Monday, August 17, 2015 by calling us at (408) 402-6440 or SIGN UP HERE


Carney, Sugai &Sudweeks is one of only a few law firms in Northern California to offer Elder Care Services to our clients.   We first learned the value of employing care coordinators in our law firm about four years ago when Janis Carney took a course offered by the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association (LCPLFA).  The message we got from that course was that, as elder law attorneys, we should be doing much more to protect the quality of care and the quality of life of the elders we serve.

Although we had strongly recommended to many clients over the years that they hire a geriatric care manager to help them manage their elder’s care, very few ever did.  So, the LCPLFA proposed model, which bundles our firm’s planning services into one package with care coordination services, appealed to us.  Unfortunately, we could not sell it to many of our clients due to the high investment required for it and the clients’ uncertainty about the value of the care coordination services.  So, after numerous attempts to find a system that worked, we finally came to the one we have been using successfully now for over a year.

We now offer Elder Care Services separately to clients on either a flat investment or a hourly fee basis.  Further, the flat investment is now offered for one, three, six or twelve month periods and includes up to a prescribed number of hours of services by the care coordinator during the contract period: 8 hours for 1 month, 20 hours for 3 months, 35 hours for 6 months and 60 hours for 12 months.  If the time expended in a particular case exceeds the set limit during the period, we charge the excess time at half of the care coordinator’s standard hourly rate.

Of course, the initial flat investment is also a good deal for the clients price-wise, as the investment for it is between 60 and 70% of the hourly fees.  Some clients prefer to hire us initially for care coordination services on the flat investment basis, while others hire us on the hourly basis and then, if the complexity of the situation warrants it and the expertise our care coordinator brings to the case becomes clear, they generally convert to a flat investment for one or three months.  By the end of that time, the crisis is usually resolved and either we are done or the clients commit to a 6 or 12 month contract to have the care coordinator keep an eye on the elder’s care and to be there to respond promptly anytime a problem arises.

The firm’s attorneys are available to advise the care coordinator on advocacy issues, especially with regard to violations of patient rights in facilities and insurance appeals, and the clients’ eligibility for public benefits to assist with the cost of care.  Then, if the attorney needs to become actively involved with a particular problem, the client is advised and, once the client approves, we bill hourly for the attorney’s time.  This system has worked well to help clients understand the limits, scope and value of our services under the flat investment.  Now many of our clients enjoy the peace of mind care coordination services provide to them.  They are happier and so are we.

If you would like to see a description of the care coordinator services we provide, just send us an email and we will get it to you.