Las Vegas, NV — As 500 attorneys head here for the annual convention of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys , one attendee is bringing his new book for attorneys, hot off the press.
Jim “Zig” Zeigler Jr. says there was a need for a reverse mortgage primer for lawyers, “especially for lawyers who serve seniors and their families.” That was the genesis of “Rever$e Mortgage$: What Every Attorney Should Know.”
The 108-page book was released today (May 16, 2011) by on-line publisher Lulu.com. The book lists at $29.95, but Lulu.com is offering a 10% discount to $26.96 for purchases by June 30.
The book is available at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/reverse-mortgages-what-every-attorney-should-know/15696088
“Some lawyers have a negative attitude toward reverse mortgages and tend to recommend against them regardless of the situation of the specific client. Other lawyers have a generally positive attitude and are quick to make blanket recommendations in favor of reverses. Both approaches are not the best. A client-specific analysis is needed for reverse mortgage planning similar to estate, Medicaid or veterans benefit planning,” said Zeigler, an elder care activist and four-time author from Mobile, Alabama.
Zeigler got the idea for the book title from the 2009 book “Reverse Mortgages: What Every Financial Advisor Should Know” by Jonathan Neal . But he says that is as far as the similarities go.
“This book is for attorneys who work with seniors; the senior clients and families; and reverse mortgage professionals who would like to develop local attorneys as referral sources,” Zeigler said. “A majority of the book readers may be non-attorneys who want to know uses of reverse mortgages in senior planning.”
“While the nation’s one million lawyers are obvious prospects for this book, their 100 million homeowner clients over age 62 are also prospects, along with reverse mortgage consultants, CPAs, and you get the picture.”
Of the elder law attorneys gathering at Wynn Encore in Vegas May 19-21 for the continuing legal education and business of the elder law nation, 160 of them had requested an advance copy of the first rough draft of Zeigler’s book. They were solicited to make comments, suggestions and “glowing testimonials.” Suggestions by the attorneys were incorporated into the published edition.
Two seas of change in the reverse mortgage industry have prompted Zeigler to plan yearly updates of the book.
“Dynamic changes in reverse mortgage regulations and growing experience with using reverse mortgages in elder planning both indicate a need for updated editions of this book. I will re-write the book each November and December and will publish a new edition each January, starting January 2012. Readers of the current book may well be first in line each January to add the newer edition, as they will see the usefulness of ‘‹Å”reverse mortgage planning.'”
“”Reverse mortgage planning’ is a concept I developed in the book. A senior homeowner does not need just a reverse mortgage. He needs ‘‹Å”reverse mortgage planning.’ That planning cannot be done just by the reverse mortgage agent who sells the product to the senior. And it cannot be done by the HUD counselor. The conclusion of the book is that a senior contemplating a reverse mortgage needs TWO professionals ‘” the reverse mortgage agent and an attorney who knows what is in this book. I may be developing a new niche of legal practice, probably not as a stand-alone concentration, but as an add-on to estate planning or elder law.”
Zeigler first came to national attention among elder law attorneys when he filed the first legal challenge to the Medicaid-changing Deficit Reduction Act in February 2006 . He alleged that the DRA bill never became law because one version passed the U.S. Senate and a different version passed the House of Representatives. Then-President George W. Bush signed the senate version into law on February 8, 2006.
While those facts were admitted by justice department attorneys, they cited an 1890s precedent holding that a bill certified by the two houses as having passed cannot be challenged in the judiciary.
“We won the facts but got tossed on a strange 1890s precedent,” Zeigler says. Six other suits against the DRA were dismissed on the same grounds.
Zeigler styles himself an “elder care” lawyer, practicing statewide in Alabama. He works with families of seniors to develop plans for elder care, including veterans’ aid and attendance, Medicaid, life-long income planning and home care.
He was elected to the Alabama Public Service Commission and twice as delegate to Republican national conventions. He graduated from the University of Alabama where he was president of the student government association.
Zeigler is seeking a reverse mortgage entity to co-sponsor the book, his “semi-celebrity seminars”, and continuing legal education about reverse mortgages.
“There is power in a third-party recommendation. The attorney who wrote the book on reverse mortgage legal planning can develop local attorneys as referral sources for reverse mortgage professionals. When some reverse entity figures this out, I can negotiate to consult for reverse mortgage marketing,” he said.
Zeigler previously wrote three books: “The Mediation Kit: Tools to Solve Disputes” (John Wiley & Son, 1997); and two published by his current publisher Lulu.com ‘” elder care planning guide, “Don’t Let the Government take Grandma’s Home and Life Savings” (2007) and veterans’ pension guide, “Veterans Aid and Attendance Kit” (2010).
Zeigler can be reached at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com
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