Category: Uncategorized

Changing Your Communication Strategy for Older Adults

Many of our clients are older adults.  They have lived long lives and are now retired.  As we grow in life our method of communication changes.  The way a mother communicates with her young child is very different then the way a father communicates with his teenage son.  Those methods of communication are different then a parent talking to an adult child about marriage or having children.   Effective communicators know that they need to change their method in order to communicate effectively with different audiences.   Since our industry focuses on older adults we are going to discuss communication methods with elderly loved ones.

Communication needs change as we grow up.  Young children need to be spoken to differently then adults.  Communication needs for elderly adults changes over time as well.  Sometimes we don’t even notice that we must begin changing our way of communicating with elderly loved ones.  The reasons we need to change is because our elderly loved ones now suffer from memory loss, slower comprehension time, psychological and aging factors.   They may also suffer from medical conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia.  These issues can quickly create communication barriers between an adult child and their elder parent.   An adult may continue to communicate with their aging parent the same way they used to without realizing the need for change.

Communicating with an elder loved one can be frustrating if you do not change your strategy.  They may feel as though you are not listening to them, or talking to them like they were a child.  This is condescending and can escalate to a person shouting in order to get their message across.  When tempers flare this could potentially lead to elder abuse depending on what happens.  On the opposite end, communication can completely stop as the divide increases.

There are some ways to avoid these situations.  Here are some useful tips to use when communicating with an elderly loved one.

  • Lower background noise, or move to a quieter location. Distractions can make communication harder.
  • Ease into conversations.  Talk about casual topics before more serious ones, think of it as a “warm up period.”
  • Discuss topics that are familiar. This way the elder loved one can participate and become engaged.
  • Stay focused. Avoid jumping around from topic to topic.  It can be confusing.
  • Avoid being verbose.  Use short sentences and ask short questions.
  • Allow time to respond and have patience when they reminisce.
  • Offer choices rather then opened questions when decisions need to be made.
  • Listen actively.  If something is unclear ask for clarification.

Communicating with an elderly loved one does not need be frustrating. These tips can help and extra patience goes a long way.  If you have any questions or want to talk to an attorney give our office a call 818.887.9401.

Winner Daily News Reader’s Choice Award

WE WON AGAIN!! Thanks to everyone who voted!

We are so excited to announce we have won another Daily News Reader’s Choice Award!

We are so proud to have won for “Best Living Trust.”
We couldn’t do this without all of our wonderful clients!!

This is our 8th year winning this great honor. Please contact us if you or a loved one needs help with their estate plan. If you need one, we can help you create one. If you have an estate plan and it needs updating, please let us know. We can help. 818.887.9401.

Information Regarding the IRS Stimulus Checks

We at Hornstein Law Offices want to help our clients, friends, and family in this stressful and very uncertain time. We understand some people will be getting their stimulus checks from the government via direct deposit. Those of you who have had direct deposit for your tax refunds in the past are already set up. But for those of you who are not set up for direct deposit but want to be, the IRS has released a website you can visit and safely enter your information.


Just a little information regarding these check for those who may have forgotten or were unclear.

Continue reading “Information Regarding the IRS Stimulus Checks”

Changed Due Dates and Working Remotely

CHANGED DATES FOR TAX RETURNS AND PAYMENTS

“CORRECTED” CHANGED DATES FOR TAX RETURNS AND PAYMENTS

Please note this correction to a prior announcement regarding changed dates for tax returns and payments.  Tax filings, extensions, 2019 tax payments, and first quarter 2020 estimated tax payments that had been due on April 15, have all been delayed to July 15 for both federal and California.  While California changed to July 15 the due dates for both the first and second quarter estimated tax payments for 2020, the IRS changed the date to July 15 only for the first quarter estimated payment for 2020.  The 2020 federal second quarter estimated payment remains due on June 15.  Indeed, for 2020 federal estimated tax payments, the 2nd quarter payment (due June 15) is now due before the 1st quarter payment (due July 15)! 

The link to the California due dates can be found here: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/news-releases/2020-3-state-postpones-tax-deadlines-until-july-15-due-to-the-covid-19-pandemic.html

The link to the federal due dates can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/faqs/estimated-tax/individuals/individuals-2

To confirm, the changed date to July 15 applies to

1) 2019 federal and California tax return filing

2) 2019 federal and California extension filing

3) payment of 2019 federal and California taxes

4) estimated payments for 2020 taxes for the first quarter only for federal, and for the first and second quarters for California.  

Note again that the federal due date for the second quarter estimated payment for 2020 taxes remains June 15. 

Tax filings, extensions, and payments that had been due on April 15, and even estimated payments that had been due on April 15 or June 15 have all been delayed to July 15 for both fed and Cal.  

To confirm, the changed date to July 15 applies to 1) tax return filing, 2) extension filing, 3) payment of 2019 taxes, and also 4) estimated payments for 2020 taxes.  For all those filings and payments to the IRS or the Franchise Tax Board that were due April 15 and June 15, they have all been extended to July 15.  

I have been asked if the extension also applies to payroll deposits to the Employment Development (EDD), and sales tax filings and payments to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has announced that employers statewide directly affected by COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for an extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. ( Emergency and Disaster Assistance for Employers, Statewide – March 2020, California Employment Development Department, 03/01/2020 .)

As for the CDTFA, the CDTFA has posted on its website an alert in which it advises that it has been able to make it easier for such taxpayers and feepayers to request relief from the imposition of interest and penalties. They can go through the CDTFA’s normal online process for requesting relief, they can send a letter (a link to the CDTFA’s office locations and addresses is provided), or they can call the CDTFA’s call center at 1 (800) 400-7115. ( Alert, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, 03/12/2020 .)

Things have been changing rapidly, so if there is anything that may apply to you, please check the websites of the various governmental agencies or contact our office. 

OFFICE IS WORKING REMOTELY

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, most of my office is working remotely.  We are taking precautions to keep our clients and our office safe during this unusual time.  My office has been handling office meetings via phone and Zoom video conference.  We are able to accommodate clients with urgent matters who must come to our office by having our clients in a separate conference room that is isolated from the rest of the office.  My office can communicate with our clients through the window to the conference room and via video conference from another office at our location.  The entrance to my office is Suite 203.  The entrance to the separate room is Suite 205.  The conference room has a separate entrance to accommodate urgent meetings that cannot be handled remotely.  The room, including door handles, chairs, etc… are cleaned after a clients leave the room. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.  If our office phone number is not answered, the call will be forwarded to another number that can be answered remotely.  If the forwarded call is not answered, please leave a message and your call will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member to return your call. 

Families are Evolving. Is Your Estate Plan?

Have you noticed that families are changing in this day and age? Traditional families are evolving and include more extended family and relatives. This newsletter talks about the changes of “traditional families” in our society and how they affect your estate plan. If you are interested in talking to an attorney, please give our office a call.

The laws relating to how estates are handled are designed with a very traditional nuclear family in mind – a husband, wife and biological children. That is not the traditional family anymore. Fewer than half of all U.S. households meet this traditional definition. That trend is likely to continue now that same sex marriage has been legalized nationwide. Also, divorce and remarriage remain very common. It is no longer about just the traditional versus non-traditional families.

A particularly serious issue to consider is the rapid advances in reproductive technology. How should children conceived with stored genetic material after the death of one or both genetic parents be treated in regards to inheritance?

Continue reading “Families are Evolving. Is Your Estate Plan?”

When Key Tax Documents Will Arrive

Employers must provide employees with a W-2 by Jan. 31.

Businesses that hire independent contractors will have to give them their 1099-MISC by that date.

Retirees should also pay attention to their mailboxes in January. That’s when the Social Security Administration sends beneficiaries an SSA-1099, which will detail what they received during the previous year.

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Tax season starts on Jan. 29. Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Certain refunds won’t be available until late February.
  • The IRS expects nearly 155 million individual tax returns for 2017.

For those of you who like to get your taxes done at the beginning of the season pay attention to your mail. All the documents and statements you will need to prepare your tax return are on the way.

Continue reading “Tax season starts on Jan. 29. Here’s What You Need to Know”