If proper estate planning has not been done, an incapacitated adult will need to have a guardian appointed by the local probate court for anyone to begin assisting the individual with managing his or her affairs.
Asset Protection Planning
Whether the risk is taxes, probate, long term care, or a costly family dispute, a legal plan can help to minimize the risk that your assets are exposed to some of the most common ways one’s assets are depleted.
An attorney who practices exclusively in the area of elder law can provide you with a holistic and comprehensive legal plan that takes into account long term care risks, taxes, probate, estate planning, and family wishes.
Planning for when your gone is no fun, but a legal plan can set your mind at ease and provide certainty as to your wishes so as to prevent family disputes. Additionally, during life, certain legal documents, like a financial and health care power of attorney or a living will, can also prevent family disputes and ensure the person you want is helping manage your affairs.
Long Term Care Planning
The risks of long term care can cause anxiety for many families. A legal plan can ensure that there is a plan in place in case the worst happens. Long term care is expensive, but there are government programs available, like Medicaid and VA Aid & Attendance, that can help cover the cost of care.
The Medicaid program can be a lifesaver to families struggling to pay for long term care. However, it is an income and asset based program that requires knowledge of the rules and regulations in order to ensure you are protecting the maximum amount of assets the law allows.
Nursing Home Advocacy
While most facilities take very good care of your loved one and explain the process of admission and discharge, there can be times when knowing your rights and the benefits your entitled to, can be vitally important to the care your loved one receives.
When a loved one passes, it is important to discuss the formal and legal process by which assets are transferred to beneficiaries. While going to court is not always required, other legal documents might still need to be prepared in order to transfer assets to the appropriate person.
Special Needs Planning
Special Needs Planning is vitally important to help protect a loved one with special needs as well as those assets you might like to leave to them in a protected form, like a special needs trust. An elder law attorney can talk to you about the options available for protecting your loved one with special needs.
Veteran’s Administration Benefits (Aid & Attendance)
Learn how you or your loved one might qualify for a monthly cash payment from the VA that can help for nursing home care, assisted living, or home care. You or your spouse need only have served ninety (90) days of active duty with only one of those days being during a period of war, in order for you to meet the service part of the eligibility test for this program. However, an elder law attorney will need to review your financial affairs to let you know if you meet the other eligibility criteria for this benefit.