Elder law attorneys assist clients who are preparing for the eventualities of aging. Let’s look at three specific questions that you should ask your elder law attorney.
How Will I Pay for Long-Term Care?
The majority of elder Americans will need assistance with their day-to-day needs at some point in time. Residence in a nursing home or assisted living community is very expensive. In-home caregivers can be costly as well.
Medicare does not pay for assisted living expenses. As a result, many seniors ultimately rely on the Medicaid program to pay for long-term care. In fact, Medicaid pays for most of the long-term care that is received by seniors in the United States.
Because of the fact that Medicaid is a need-based program, you must keep your assets within certain limits if you want to qualify. This can involve measured divestitures. You have to take action well in advance of applying for the program, because you are penalized if you give away assets within five years of submitting your application.
You could also address long-term care costs through the purchase of long-term care insurance.
If I Become Incapacitated, Who Handles My Affairs?
You can decide who handles your affairs in the event of your incapacitation by executing a legally binding device called a durable power of attorney. With a durable power of attorney you name an agent or attorney-in-fact who can act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
If you do not take steps to name your own hand-picked decision-maker, the state could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to manage your affairs. The court appointed guardian may not be someone that you would have chosen yourself.
You can make sure that a representative of your own choosing is in place by executing a durable power of attorney.
Should I Be Concerned About Elder Financial Abuse?
Elder financial abuse is a big problem in the United States today. Billions of dollars are lost annually due to instances of elder financial abuse.
Senior citizens often rely on others for help, and unfortunately family members and other people close to the victims are sometimes the perpetrators. In addition to this type of abuse, there are also countless different types of scam artists and con men out there always looking for an easy mark.
It is possible to take steps to minimize your exposure to elder financial abuse. This is something that you should definitely discuss with an elder law attorney.
If you would like to prepare for the eventualities of aging we invite you to contact our firm to arrange for a free consultation. When you have the appropriate legal safeguards in place you can enjoy your golden years with peace of mind.
Parman & Easterday