Tag: Elder Law Attorney

5 Ways You Need to Know that Elder Financial Abuse Can Impact an Aging Parent

Elder financial abuse is a growing concern as the senior population increases. Did you know it involves the unauthorized or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets? As more elders seek support and care, they can become increasingly vulnerable to financial exploitation from unscrupulous individuals, including strangers, caregivers, and even family members. This type of abuse not only depletes an elder’s financial resources but also undermines their emotional well-being and sense of security.

Understanding how financial abuse can occur is essential in protecting your aging parents, especially during June when the world focuses on this importance on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). After all, awareness is the first step towards prevention. By recognizing the signs and methods of financial exploitation, you can take proactive measures to safeguard your loved ones’ assets. In our blog right here, we will explore five common ways elder financial abuse can happen and offer practical tips on how to prevent it, ensuring that your parents remain financially secure and protected from harm.

  1. Unauthorized access to bank accounts. Perpetrators may gain access to an elder’s bank accounts through stolen checks, ATM cards, or by gaining online banking information. They might make unauthorized withdrawals or purchases, draining the elder’s funds.

 

  1. Identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses the elder’s personal information, such as Social Security number or credit card details, to open new accounts, apply for loans, or make purchases. This can severely damage the elder’s credit and financial stability.

 

  1. Investment fraud. Elders are often targeted by scammers who pitch fraudulent investment opportunities. These scams can take the form of fake stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investments that promise high returns but result in significant financial losses.

 

  1. Telemarketing and charity scams. Scammers often use telemarketing calls or fake charities to solicit money from elders. They might pretend to represent a legitimate organization or create an urgent, emotional appeal to convince the elder to send money.

 

  1. Exploiting cognitive impairments. Elders with cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Abusers may take advantage of their confusion or forgetfulness to steal money, forge signatures, or manipulate financial transactions.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Your goal is to protect those you love most and an experienced elder and estate planning attorney can help you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

7 Questions to Ask Your Elder Law Attorney

As we age, the legal and financial landscapes we must navigate become increasingly complex. Elder law is a specialized area of legal practice focusing on the needs of Older Americans and their families, dealing with everything from estate planning and financial management to long-term care planning and end of life challenges. Choosing to engage with an experienced elder law attorney can be pivotal in securing not only your assets but also your quality of life in later years.

Finding the right Florida elder law attorney for you involves knowing what questions to ask to ensure they understand your needs and can offer comprehensive solutions. These attorneys not only provide legal advice but also guide you through planning your long-term goals, managing your assets, and ensuring your wishes are upheld. With the right guidance you can prepare effectively for the future, avoiding common pitfalls and leveraging opportunities you may not have previously considered.

We know firsthand that navigating the complexities of elder law and estate planning can be challenging. Whether you are planning for your own future or helping an aging loved one, consulting with an elder law attorney can provide clarity and peace of mind. If you are wondering just where to start, let us share seven crucial questions to bring to your consultation as you begin thinking about the future.

  1. Do I need a durable power of attorney? A durable power of attorney is an essential part of your Florida estate planning. It allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Ask your attorney about the benefits of this planning tool and how it fits into your overall estate plan. When you plan forward you can ensure your financial affairs and long-term care decisions are in trusted hands.

 

  1. What is long-term care? Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long timeframe. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. Understanding what constitutes long-term care in Florida and how to plan forward is crucial in planning for the future.

 

  1. How early should I plan for long-term care? Discussing when to start planning for long-term care is vital. Early planning can significantly impact the quality of care you or your loved one receives and the financial burden that comes with it. Your Florida elder law attorney can help you understand the timelines and the best strategies for early and effective planning.

 

  1. Is Medicare going to pay for long-term care? Many people assume that Medicare will cover all their long-term care needs, but this is not always the case. Medicare’s coverage of long-term care is quite limited. Your Florida elder law attorney can explain what Medicare covers and help you plan for the expenses that Medicare does not cover.

 

  1. What is Medicaid? Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible elderly adults and people with disabilities. In the context of elder law, it is crucial to understand how Medicaid can help cover long-term care costs, which are often not covered by Medicare.

 

  1. How do I plan for Medicaid eligibility? Planning for Medicaid eligibility is a complex process that involves understanding asset and income limits. It is important to ask your Florida elder law attorney about Medicaid planning strategies, which can help protect your assets while ensuring you qualify for benefits when you need them.

 

  1. How do I age in place safely? Aging in place refers to staying in the comfort of your own home as you age, rather than moving to a senior living facility or nursing home. Discuss with your elder law attorney about how to create a comprehensive plan that includes legal, financial, and community resources to support aging in place.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Asking the right questions during your consultation with a Florida elder law attorney can help ensure that your legal, financial, and healthcare needs are all addressed effectively. With their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of elder law with confidence, ensuring a secure and dignified future for yourself or your loved ones.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Ways You Can Help an Elder Cope with Loss and Ensure They Are Protected

When helping an elder cope with loss, especially around emotionally charged times such as Valentine’s Day, it is crucial to approach with sensitivity, understanding, and practical support. The period around Valentine’s Day can magnify feelings of loneliness and grief for elders who have lost a spouse or loved ones, making it a particularly poignant time to offer support and compassion. 

We know you may have questions about how to help a loved one dealing with these challenges, especially around special holidays. Let us share several ways you can both help an elder cope with loss and protect them well into the future. 

  1. Acknowledge the grief. It is important to recognize the pain and the increased sense of loss that Valentine’s Day might bring. Encourage them to share memories and express their feelings. A listening ear and understanding are invaluable during these times.
  2. Create new traditions. While Valentine’s Day can bring up memories of past loved ones, it can also be an opportunity to create new traditions. This might involve celebrating friendships, attending community events, or volunteering, which can help bring a sense of purpose and connection.
  3. Engage professional support. Sometimes, coping with loss requires professional help. Encourage them to seek support groups or counseling, especially around challenging times like Valentine’s Day. It is important they know that there is no shame in seeking help.
  4. Stay connected. Isolation can worsen feelings of grief and loneliness. Regular visits, phone calls, or even teaching them to use technology to connect with family and friends can make a significant difference.
  5. Encourage physical activity. Gentle physical activities like walking can help improve mood and overall well-being. If possible, join them in these activities to keep them motivated and company.
  6. Mind their health. Ensure they are eating well, taking medications as prescribed, and attending regular check-ups. Grief can often lead to neglecting personal health, so it is important to monitor this closely.
  7. Review their Florida estate planning. It is critical for elders to have their Florida estate planning up to date, reflecting their current wishes. This includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and health care directives. The loss of a loved one can significantly alter their previous plans or bring to light the need for changes. Ensure they understand the importance of reviewing these documents regularly, especially after major life events like the loss of a spouse.
  8. Educate them about scams. Unfortunately, elders are often targets for scams, particularly those who have recently lost a spouse and might not be as vigilant. Educate them about common scams and remind them never to give out personal information.
  9. Memorialize the loved one. Encourage them to honor the memory of their lost loved one in a way that feels right to them. This could be through a donation to a charity, planting a tree, or any other meaningful gesture.
  10. Encourage them to plan early for long-term care. Lastly, recommend that they consult with a Florida estate planning and elder law firm to ensure their affairs are in order when it comes to long-term care. Especially if they are now single, there may be steps that need to be taken to ensure they will continue to thrive well into the future.  

During times of loss, especially around sentimental periods like Valentine’s Day, elders deserve compassion, presence, and practical support. By combining emotional support with the encouragement to keep estate plans, and even elder law plans, updated, you provide a holistic approach to helping them navigate their grief and ensuring their peace of mind.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

What Do You Need to Potentially Know About The Corporate Transparency Act?

Were you aware that the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)  went into effect on January 1, 2024? This Act represents a major change in the way reporting companies in the United States must disclose their beneficial ownership information. Because we are a Florida estate planning law firm, we know how important it is to both understand the implications of this Act and share this information with our clients, especially in regards to business succession, mergers, acquisitions, and the administration of estates.

To begin, it is crucial to understand that the CTA aims to keep in check illegal activities, for example, money laundering, tax evasion, and financing of terrorism. How will they do this?  By intensifying transparency in the ownership of legal entities. It mandates the disclosure of beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The following are key compliance dates to know and understand including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Existing Entities. For reporting companies in existence as of the effective date, January 1, 2024, the initial reporting deadline is within one year.
  • New Entities. Companies created or registered after the effective date must file their initial reports within 30 days of their creation or registration. 
  • Notably, FinCEN has proposed extending this initial filing deadline to 90 days for entities established in 2024.

Will there be information to be reported?  Yes, right now, we understand that the CTA requires the following information for each beneficial owner and company applicant:

  • Full legal name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Residential street address.
  • Unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from a government-issued identification document (e.g., US driver’s license, US or foreign passport).
  • An image of the document that shows the unique identifying number.

However, there will be more than just the initial reporting. It is important to note that reports must be updated within 30 days in the following scenarios:

  • Change in beneficial ownership (e.g., through sale, merger, acquisition).
  • Death of a beneficial owner.
  • Discovery of inaccuracies in previously filed information.

As Florida estate planning attorneys, the CTA has multiple implications including:

  • Considerations related to succession planning. In other words, when a business is part of a Florida estate plan, the change in ownership due to the death of a beneficial owner will necessitate a timely update under the CTA.
  • For clients involved in mergers or acquisitions, due diligence that ensures compliance with CTA reporting is vital.
  • The sensitive information required by the CTA may raise privacy concerns, necessitating discussions about data security and privacy measures.

As you can see, the Corporate Transparency Act introduces significant changes in reporting requirements for legal entities. Staying on top of these changes and guiding our Florida estate planning clients through compliance is essential for us at this time and we look forward to answering your questions. Understanding and preparing for the CTA’s implications will be crucial in ensuring that your estate and business planning strategies remain compliant and efficient.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Long-Term Care Planning in the New Year

As we embrace the New Year, it is a time for resolutions and planning. While most people focus on lifestyle changes, there is an equally important aspect that often gets overlooked and that is long-term care planning. For Florida seniors and their families, early planning for long-term care is not just prudent; it is essential. While we know this is not a topic anyone wants to discuss, it is critical and, unfortunately, delaying this crucial step can have significant consequences.

One of the main reasons why delays can be so damaging is the simple fact that it can be a challenge to find care in a crisis. Imagine facing a health crisis only to realize that the care you need is hard to find or not readily available. This scenario is far from rare among the elderly. When a sudden health issue arises, families often find themselves scrambling to arrange care, which can be both stressful and less than ideal. Pre-planning with your experienced Florida elder law attorney, however, can ensure that you have a well-thought-out care strategy in place, alleviating the rush and uncertainty that comes with last-minute decisions.

A key component that your experienced Florida elder law attorney will discuss with you is the necessity of comprehensive estate planning documents. This is something that needs attention before one loses the capacity to make decisions. For example, estate planning documents like a durable power of attorney, health care directives, and living wills are integral in ensuring that your wishes are respected and that someone you trust is making decisions on your behalf. These documents are not just pieces of paper; they are safeguards for your future self and peace of mind for your loved ones.

It is important to understand now that long-term care is not inexpensive. The daily and monthly costs can quickly deplete savings, leaving many seniors in financial distress. Early planning with your Florida elder law attorney allows you to explore different care options, understand their costs, and create a financial plan that can sustain these expenses. Further, planning early can also open doors to various public assistance programs like Medicaid, which can significantly ease the financial burden. However, qualifying for these programs often requires meeting specific criteria, which might involve structuring your finances in a certain way, well in advance.

There is no question that early planning for long-term care is not just about financial readiness; it is also about having choices. The sooner you start planning, the more options you have for quality care. You will have the time to research different long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, or home care services, understand their benefits and drawbacks, and make an informed decision. Additionally, early planning can often lead to better health outcomes, as you are more likely to receive the care that matches your needs and preferences.

Long-term care planning is an integral part of aging gracefully and with dignity. As we step into the New Year, let’s not delay this essential planning. Remember, it is not just about preparing for the unforeseen; it is about ensuring quality of life and peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. As an experienced Florida elder law firm, we can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate these complex decisions, ensuring that your long-term care plan is robust, comprehensive, and tailored to your unique situation. We want you to start this New Year with a resolution that truly matters – plan for your long-term care. It is a gift of security and comfort for your future self and your family. 

Now this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys

Ideas and Tips for Helping Florida Elders Find Long-Term Care Resources

Are you seeking ideas and tips for helping Florida elders find long-term care resources? But, are you discovering that researching long-term care for seniors during the holidays is difficult?  The holiday season is one that is full of festivities and family gatherings and these can accentuate the need for reliable, compassionate care for elderly family members. The task of locating appropriate care can be critical and complex, because the holiday season can impact the availability of services and caregivers. However, with careful planning and using various resources, families can navigate these challenges effectively.

Our goal is to help you as you research and explore the numerous resources and strategies available and identify suitable long-term care options for the seniors in your family. From understanding different types of care facilities to leveraging community resources and online tools, we will work with you and your family as you find the best possible care solution. We will also discuss the financial aspects of long-term care, providing insights into funding options such as savings, insurance, public programs like Medicaid, and the role of Florida elder law attorneys.

Despite the demands of the holiday season it should not be a barrier to securing quality care for seniors. In fact, with the right information and support, it can be an opportunity when families come together to make thoughtful, informed decisions about the long-term well-being of their elderly loved ones. To begin, the first step is to find the right support that can meet the individual needs of the senior. Consider these alternatives: 

  • Local Aging Agencies. Many communities have local agencies on aging, which can provide a wealth of resources for senior care. These agencies often have lists of vetted long-term care facilities and home care providers.
  • Online Directories and Websites. Websites like A Place for Mom, Caring.com, and the National Institute on Aging provide directories of long-term care facilities. They also offer resources and articles to help families make informed decisions.
  • Healthcare Providers. Discussing your needs with a healthcare provider can lead to recommendations for reputable local care facilities or home health agencies. They can also advise on the level of care needed.
  • Social Workers and Geriatric Care Managers. Professionals in these fields specialize in elder care and can help navigate the complex landscape of long-term care options. They offer personalized assistance and can help tailor care to specific needs.
  • Support Groups. Connecting with local or online support groups for caregivers can provide personal recommendations and insights based on others’ experiences.
  • The Role of the Florida Elder Law Attorney. Florida elder law attorneys specialize in legal issues affecting the elderly and can provide valuable advice on planning for long-term care costs. They can help in structuring assets and income to meet eligibility requirements for public assistance programs like Medicaid. While the difficulty may be to find the care you need, the second issue is determining how to pay for it. Financing long-term care requires a multifaceted approach which your attorney will be able to help you navigate.

We know and understand that finding long-term care for a senior during the holidays requires thorough research and careful consideration. By utilizing the resources available and seeking advice from professionals, most importantly from your Florida elder law attorney, you can ease the process and ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care during this special time of the year.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

What to Do If an Aging Parent is Suddenly in Need of Long-Term Care During the Holidays

The holiday season, traditionally a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration, can take an unexpected turn when faced with the reality that an aging parent requires long-term care. This revelation can cast a shadow over festive spirits, introducing a mix of concern, responsibility, and urgency. For many families, the holidays are already a bustling period, and the added dimension of a parent’s sudden health needs can be overwhelming. It’s a situation that calls for swift, yet thoughtful, action balancing the need for immediate care with the emotional nuances of the season.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your aging parent becomes the foremost priority, requiring a delicate blend of practical decision-making and empathetic support. We understand the challenges you are facing as you attempt to navigate these complex waters. We understand that amidst the holiday lights and celebrations, you are now tasked with making critical decisions about healthcare, living arrangements, and legal matters, decisions that can affect the entire family dynamic.

The first priority is to make sure your aging parent is safe. This might involve making immediate changes to their living environment to prevent falls or accidents, or arranging for a family member or professional caregiver to stay with them. It’s crucial to ensure that your aging parent feels as supported as possible during this transition. You can help ensure this happens with regular visits, engaging in conversations, and involving them in holiday activities as much as possible which can then provide emotional comfort and reduce feelings of isolation.

The next priority is to locate and review the estate plan of your parent, if one exists and if you have not done so already. Their estate plan will outline their wishes and identify who has been designated to make decisions on their behalf. Understanding these directives is essential for making informed decisions about their care. 

As you continue, you will want to evaluate the level of care your parent requires, both currently and in the foreseeable future so you know what you are facing . This might involve consulting with healthcare professionals to understand their medical needs, mobility issues, and any cognitive impairments. 

Once you have a clear understanding of the needs of your parent, you will want to consult an experienced elder law attorney. They can guide you in finding appropriate long-term care options and assist in navigating the financial aspects.  An elder law attorney can help you explore various care options, such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing homes, based on the specific needs of your parent. Bear in mind, your parent’s estate planning attorney may also be an elder law attorney. If they are not, they may be able to recommend someone who can help.

The elder law attorney you work with can also advise on financial strategies to cover the costs of care. This may include tapping into savings, exploring insurance options, understanding public programs like Medicaid, and considering any benefits your parent may be entitled to, such as veterans’ benefits.

We know dealing with a sudden need for long-term care for an aging parent during the holidays can be overwhelming. However, by taking methodical steps to ensure their safety, understanding their needs, and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence. Remember, the goal is not just to find care but to find compassionate care that respects the dignity and wishes of your loved one.

As you embark on this journey, remember that you are not alone. Many have navigated this path before, and there are ample resources and supportive communities to guide you. The holiday season, with its emphasis on family and togetherness, can be a meaningful backdrop as you step into this new role in your parent’s life, ensuring their later years are as comfortable and dignified as possible.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Key Items To Consider Before Choosing A Nursing Home

Do you have an aging loved one who may need a nursing home soon? Are you wondering how to even start selecting one? How do you decide on the best place for your loved one? Are you worried about locating a nursing home that will take the very best care of your loved one?

To begin, skilled nursing facilities, commonly called nursing homes, are residential care facilities that provide around-the-clock medical care and supervision to seniors. The seniors in these facilities need help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. We would like to go over key items that you should be aware of and for you to consider before you choose a nursing home:

  • Be aware that there are different levels of care: Nursing homes offer different levels of care, from short-term rehabilitation to long-term care for residents with chronic conditions.
  • It is vital that the staff is qualified: Nursing homes are staffed by trained healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants.
  • There are a wide variety of services available: Nursing homes provide a range of services, including medical care, medication management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social activities.
  • The cost of care should be planned in advance whenever possible: Nursing homes are expensive, and the cost varies depending on the level of care and location. Some nursing homes accept Medicare or Medicaid, while others are private pay.
  • The quality of care is very important, as well as, the quality of the overall facility and services: The quality of nursing homes can vary widely and it is important to research and visit facilities before making a decision.
  • It is important to know that there are state and federal regulations: Nursing homes are regulated by state and federal agencies, and must meet certain standards of care and safety.
  • Be aware that the residents do have rights: Residents of nursing homes have certain legal rights, including the right to privacy, dignity, and quality care.

When you review these key items you will be equipped with the knowledge to help make sure that the facility your loved one moves into knows and understands how to rightly protect aging seniors. Most importantly, when you visit your loved one you can observe whether the nursing home is caring properly for their aging and frail residents. With the health and well-being of vulnerable loved ones at stake, it is vital that you look out for bedsores and neglect when you visit.

Another key point is that if you suspect an aging loved one is suffering from neglect or bedsores in a nursing home, it is highly recommended that you speak with your Florida elder law attorney to do something about it. Do not wait. If you have any questions, do not wait to contact our law office to ask them.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Three Tips to Prevent Your Parents Losing a Lifetime of Savings to Long-Term Care

Have you been able to provide the necessary care on your own for your aging parents and now it is not enough anymore? Are you facing the difficult decision to place your aging parents into a nursing home? Are you concerned about the cost of nursing home care and trying to help your parents protect a lifetime of savings from being completely used up by the cost of care?

Because May is both National Elder Law Month and National Older Americans Month, this is an important time of year to ensure our aging loved ones have the support they need. Let us discuss three tips to prevent your aging parents from losing their life savings to a nursing home.

1. Early Planning. The most important thing your parents can do to preserve their life savings is to start planning for the future before those plans need to be put into effect. Meet now with a Florida qualified elder law attorney to engage in long-term care planning, this planning can be critical.

2. Know the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid. Your parents may be hoping that Medicare will help with nursing home costs, but they probably should not. Typically Medicare only covers 100 days of nursing home care. If your parents qualify for Medicaid, then the Florida Medicaid program will take over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough. Medicaid will cover nursing home costs for qualified individuals for as long as they need it. But there is a catch! Medicaid rules require your parents to spend down most of their life savings prior to qualifying for the program. Medicaid also has a look back period of 5 years. Medicaid will see what your parents held in assets, and what their income and expenses were during this time period.

3. Stay 5 Years Ahead in Planning. By working with a Florida qualified elder law attorney, she can help your parents plan around this 5-year “lookback” rule to protect the life savings of your parents. Your attorney may advise that the best way to do this may be to ensure that the assets of your parents are transferred out of their estate prior to the 60 months before they need nursing home care. Since the need for this care may be on the horizon, it may be best to start planning early. Your attorney can work with you to figure out the best approach.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Can You Afford a Nursing Home If Your Loved One Has Parkinson’s Disease?

Have you and your family recently learned that a loved one has received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease? Has your loved one learned that his or her ability to walk, bathe, and dress may become increasingly impaired? In addition, your loved one may face an increased risk of falls. In the future, as the Parkinson’s progresses you, your loved one and your family may be faced with the difficult decision of placing your loved one in a nursing home. With the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, the question will be how to afford the exorbitant cost of the nursing home.

As you, your loved one and your family determine how to pay for a nursing home, find out if your loved one is in possession of any type of benefits which may cover the cost of a nursing home. For example: a long-term care insurance policy, life insurance policies, which can be cashed out, or veteran’s benefits. If your loved one does have one or more of these benefits be sure to gather copies of all the supporting documents of these policies, which may include copies of insurance policies or proof of veteran’s benefits. Having this conversation now about nursing home coverage with your loved one and family can help guarantee you have the required proof of coverage should your loved one’s mental capacity decline.

An excellent next step may be to meet with a qualified Florida elder law attorney. In addition to determining the existence of benefits, you, your loved one and family can meet with an elder law attorney to find the most reliable ways of determining how to afford a nursing home when the time comes. An elder law attorney, who is experienced in the area of long-term care planning, can assist with the review of any benefits you believe may cover the cost of a nursing home. Be aware that Medicare does not cover the cost of long-term nursing home stays, but state Medicaid does. Because Medicaid eligibility is based upon your loved one’s assets, a qualified elder law attorney may assist in the drafting of planning documents, such as a trust, which may make your loved one Medicaid eligible. Medicaid planning is best conducted early in your loved one’s diagnosis because there are time limits on the transfer of assets which may affect Medicaid eligibility.

We are very aware that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can be very stressful to your loved one and family and we know there may be many other issues to navigate. By working with an estate planning and elder law attorney as soon as diagnosis is made may be the best strategy of helping to assure your loved one will be able to afford a nursing home, when the time comes. We know you and your family will want the peace of mind that your loved one will receive the care he or she deserves as the disease progresses, so that all of you can focus on sharing quality time in the present and in the future.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.