With age, many changes occur, some are planned while others arise from a sudden turn of events. Elder Law planning helps give you and your family peace of mind during both the planned and unplanned events that come with aging.
Whether your loved one’s circumstances change to include assisted living, skilled nursing for long term care, home care, guardianship, health care representative documents, Medicaid, or Medicare Elder Law planning can provide options to help make these transitions smooth.
Planning For Your Future Needs and Care
Elder Law focuses on the needs of the aging population. The purpose of elder law planning is to ensure there’s a plan in place to take care of your long-term needs: both physical and financial. Elder law planning is more than just the topics below. It combines many estate planning and special needs planning topics in a holistic view of your long-term goals.
accessing medical care
Medicaid planning helps you preserve as many assets as possible while still qualifying for Medicaid coverage.
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, “the world’s population is aging at a faster rate than ever before and people are living longer. Every day until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 and 7 out of 10 people will require long term care in their lifetime.”
Long term care is expensive. Many people end up paying for long term nursing home care until they deplete their life savings. Medicaid can help prevent this from happening.
Qualifying for Medicaid can be difficult and requires a very extensive and time-consuming application process.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must qualify for a specific program type and meet the rules for residency, income, and citizenship.
You do not have to wait 60 months to qualify for Medicaid. Eligibility is calculated on a case-by-case basis.
It is never too late to protect your assets even if you are already in a nursing home. In fact, you can qualify for Medicaid sooner if you are already in a nursing home than if you aren’t.
A nursing home or hospital that offers to file a Medicaid application for you has no obligation (and often can’t) advise you on how to protect your assets. Only a qualified Medicaid planning attorney will be looking out for your interests.
protecting your estate
Assets in a revocable living trust are not protected from creditors, predators, or long-term care costs.
Giving your assets away means losing control. It’s not safe even if you “trust” who you give it to. If that person divorces, goes bankrupt, or is sued, all of the money you transferred is at risk.
There are asset protection trusts that permit you to keep 100% control of your assets without the risk of losing them if long-term care is needed.
An asset protection plan will help ensure that your home, bank account, and other assets are protected from creditors in the event that you become involved in a lawsuit.
care if and when you need it
Long-Term Care Planning
Long-term care planning helps ensure you have the access you need to a variety of services to meet health or personal care needs over an extended period of time. While long-term care is often associated with nursing homes, most care is actually provided at home.
Consider long-term care insurance. An annual premium for a couple is usually less expensive than one month of nursing home care and with proper planning; it may also enable you to stay home if you become ill.
making health care choices
A Living Will (often called an advance directive) is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. It can also be referred to as a living will, health care directive, or a physician’s directive.
An advance directive details the type of care you want if you become incapacitated and death is imminent. Typically addressed in an advance directive are the following types of treatments:
- Life-prolonging care – life-prolonging care includes CPR, blood transfusions, use of a respirator, surgery, dialysis, and other life-prolonging treatments
- Food and Hydration – food and hydration refer to a intravenous and tube feeding and hydration while a patient is permanently comatose or near death. Without the patients consent a doctor cannot withhold food and hydration.
- Palliative Care (Comfort Care) – palliative care refers to a patient’s quality of life while dying naturally. Palliative care focuses on allowing the patient to pass as comfortable as possible.
Each of the above addressed areas work together to effectuate the best possible plan for the worst possible scenarios. For example, if you desire to forgo life-prolonging care as well as food and hydration but desire to have palliative care administered, your doctors will allow you to naturally pass as comfortable as possible.
Get Started Today
Figuring out what elder law planning needs to be done in your personal situation can be daunting. We’d love to help you navigate your situation. Contact us today to get started.