Seniors face many legal and financial issues which must be addressed to deal with the consequences of aging. From making sure they can pay for a nursing home to ensuring their loved ones are provided for after they are gone, seniors have to be proactive in using legal tools to achieve a secure future. The issues affecting seniors, however, are not exclusive to the elderly. Everyone faces risks of illness, injury, incapacity, or death and everyone should have a plan in place.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can help you to come up with your plan. We provide assistance to people young and old throughout the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas. If you are ready to make sure your financial future is secure, your wishes will be respected in a medical emergency, and your family will be cared for no matter what happens to you, give us a call at (585) 546-1734.
Coping with Alzheimer’s
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (or is exhibiting symptoms, such as memory loss), the most common response is to worry. You will worry about getting the right care, how you’re going to pay for high medical or nursing costs, if you are going to lose your assets, how you or your loved one is going to handle the everyday caregiving problems that arise, and much more.
If your physician has recommended hospice for you or a family member, you likely have lots of questions concerning such things as how much it costs, how you enroll, and how you can pay for it. Oftentimes, planning for a loved one who has a terminal illness can be complicated and emotionally draining.
Guardianship & Conservatorship
If you become mentally or physically disabled, such that you are unable to manage your own affairs, the probate court will appoint someone to take control of all your assets and personal affairs. This process is called Living Probate and is often expensive, time-consuming, and humiliating.
Because the options available to pay for care are severely limited, Medicaid is the most popular option for most Americans. The need for nursing home care does not have to catch you off guard. Planning early is vital, if possible you should begin planning at least five years before you need to enter a nursing home. When you plan far in advance, you can work within Medicaid guidelines to create a plan that protects the majority or all of your assets from long-term care expenses. A well-informed attorney can help you to protect your family home, avoid penalties, and plan for the future you deserve.
The VA provides monthly aid to wartime veterans, as well as surviving spouses of deceased veterans who require personal assistance in their activities of daily living, but some people have been misinformed—told that they do not qualify for benefits because their income and/or assets exceed the allowed thresholds. Our office is dedicated to helping clients preserve their assets by guiding them through the maze of legal issues, then setting a plan in motion for obtaining these long-term care benefits.
Emergency Medicaid & Nursing Home Planning
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is often accompanied by an incredible amount of anxiety and stress. Whether the need for long-term care is brought on by a sudden accident or by a long-term, progressive illness, this is likely an unhappy time for both the person entering the nursing home, the caregiver and everyone else helping with the transition.
We can provide you with personalized assistance and answer general questions including:
- Who should get elder law help?
- How does Medicaid planning help prepare for the future?
- How can a Finger Lakes elder law attorney help?
Who Should Get Elder Law Help?
Elder law addresses issues that arise as you age, so you should seek elder law help as you move forward in the aging process. If you are getting older and begin thinking about end-of-life issues, about mortality, and about your legacy, you need to talk with a lawyer to address the issues that matter for your future.
Seniors, however, are not the only ones who can benefit from the services that elder law attorneys provide. Elder law attorneys offer assistance in building and protecting assets; in avoiding unwanted medical care; in maintaining autonomy in the event of incapacity; and in determining what happens after your death. A person could become sick or badly injured at any time and that individual and his family could face significant hardship if no advanced plans have been made.
The need to protect yourself, your wealth, and your loved ones is universal and spans all age groups. As a result, everyone should talk with an elder law attorney about retirement and financial planning; nursing home planning; asset protection; incapacity planning; and estate planning. Whether you want to ensure your young kids are cared for in the event of your untimely death or want to spare your family the pain of discontinuing care when you become severely hurt or terminally ill, you need to address the issues which matter to protecting your future. A Finger Lakes elder law attorney will help you to do that.
How Does Medicaid Planning Help Prepare for the Future?
Elder law attorneys provide many different services, including assistance with asset protection. A big part of protecting your assets involves making sure nursing home costs and medical bills do not cripple your finances or eat through your entire life savings. Often, the best way to do that is to engage in Medicaid planning.
Medicaid is usually the only source of insurance that pays for nursing home care, except in limited circumstances when skilled medical services are necessary. Medicaid can also provide you with low-cost or no-cost medical services when other insurers would require a higher co-pay or substantial co-insurance expenses. This means if you need nursing home care or have to get expensive medical treatment, Medicaid may be the best or only answer for your coverage.
Unfortunately, Medicaid is means-tested so you may be unable to qualify for coverage if you have acquired assets over the course of your life. Medicaid planning involves taking steps to protect the assets you have acquired and to get coverage for your care without needing to spend down your nest egg. The planning process can also be helpful in protecting assets from estate recovery, which can sometimes be triggered after your death if you received Medicaid benefits after aged 55 or while a full-time resident in a medical care setting.
How can a Finger Lakes Elder Law Attorney Help?
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide assistance with all aspects of Medicaid planning and with a wide variety of other elder law issues. Those in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas should give us a call as soon as possible at (585) 546-1734 so we can begin to put together a plan for your future that will keep you secure in case of incapacity and throughout the aging process. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help.