Long term care, elder abuse in a nursing home and the safety of aging parents are just a few of the issues that elder law attorneys deal with on a regular basis.
Elder law attorneys have a special place in the hearts of the families and individuals who they help. These attorneys focus on the needs of older and disabled adults, as reported in The (Fort Worth TX) Star-Telegram article, “Elder care attorneys can help with long-term care, Medicaid.” Their practices focus on Medicaid planning, guardianship (which often becomes very complex), veteran’s benefits and issues that that impact elderly and disabled individuals.
One thing that most seniors don’t plan for is long-term care. Many people are trying to pay for long-term nursing care. A focus of elder law is how an elderly person can pay for it. With this in mind, the majority of long-term care is paid for by Medicaid, so understanding how that program integrates with estate planning is important. For example, you wouldn’t want a bequest in someone’s estate planning to adversely impact your Medicaid planning. A family member may be ineligible for Medicaid if they inherit something.
Completing the Medicaid application can also be a challenge. It is best to seek the advice of an Elder Law Attorney prior to this application being filed. Elder law attorneys see many of their clients’ applications initially denied. It might be a mistake at Health and Human Services (HHS). People who apply on their own may be denied and won’t question it—or even realize that they can question it.
Some people worry that their parent will go broke before they need costly end-of-life care and they’re afraid that Medicaid patients received substandard care. However, they should receive the exact same care as a private pay or short-term disability in the nursing home. Even so, you should look at several facilities, speak with residents and staff, and observe the conditions before making a choice.
There is also a lot of bad information floating around about Medicaid eligibility. Some folks believe they won’t qualify. However, some assets, like a house and vehicles, are exempt when qualifying for Medicaid. This allows the community spouse — the one remaining at home — to continue to support themselves.
For more information on Medicaid and Estate Planning, visit my website or contact me for an appointment.
Reference: The (Fort Worth TX) Star-Telegram (October 14, 2016) “Elder care attorneys can help with long-term care, Medicaid”