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Elder Law

What are the Responsibilities of My Elder Law Attorney?

An elder law attorney helps adults and their families navigate the often complicated financial and legal scenarios they face in connection to aging, failing health and the potential need for long-term care. Elder law attorneys, sometimes referred to as elder care attorneys, are trained to consider any physical and mental limitations older clients may experience, and tap into a network of professionals and resources to assist clients with changing circumstances. There are more than 40 million Americans over the age of 65 and the number of Americans in this age range is only increasing. Due to the increasing elder population,...

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How to Legally Protect Your Assets from the Costs of Long Term Care

Some older adults do not know and fully understand their options and their rights for long-term care (LTC), which is regularly defined as “ruinously expensive.” Those are the exact words that the New York State Court of Appeals used to describe the long-term care scenario in the United States. Many older Americans actively refuse to face the issue. Others rely on faith that they will not need long-term care as they age. Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that anyone turning 65 today has an almost 70% chance of needing long-term care services of some type...

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It’s Not Too Late to Implement an Elder Law Strategy

We've all heard the old saying, "Better late than never." We've also all seen life prove this particular old saying right – over and over. It's no less true when it comes to elder law planning. If you've been putting off your elder law planning because you fear it may be too late – don't waste another day. Planning late is better than never planning at all, but there's no time like the present. Be proactive. People who do no elder law planning at all often suffer severe financial consequences as a result. Putting elder law strategies in place today...

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Planning Techniques to Help Gain Medicaid Eligibility

For older Americans seeking assistance with the costs of long-term care through Medicaid, income and assets must fit within the established guidelines. One of the most basic of the Medicaid guidelines is that you must spend down your assets before qualifying for state or federal assistance. Strict Medicaid rules are in place to prevent people from getting around the rules. However, numerous strategies are used to circumvent the rules. 5 Common Strategies Used to Qualify for Medicaid Without Spending Down Assets:   Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust allows loves ones to receive the financial benefits of your assets. In the simplest...

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Elder Law: What to Do When You Need Long Term Care

Many older Americans are familiar with Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older that pays doctor and hospital bills, but Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For instance, Medicare does not cover long term custodial care for help many older Americans need with the necessary activities of day-to-day life: bathing, dressing, and eating. As many older people eventually need this type of care due to either physical or mental impairment, they (or their family) has to find a way to cover the potentially expensive costs. In some cases, covering the costs of this type of long-term elder care...

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Elder Law: Protection and Preservation of Assets

Did you know that long term care costs are the biggest threat to seniors’ financial security? Whether long term care is provided in the home or through an adult family home or other facilities like a nursing home or assisted living facility, long term care is expensive. It doesn’t take long for the costs of long term care to deplete a family’s finances when the costs associated with quality long term care often exceed $100,000 per year. If an individual or family is unable to cover the costs of long term care through private insurance or their own personal or family...

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Who Needs to Hire an Elder Law Attorney?

The complexities involved with elder law inspire many to postpone addressing the matter as long as possible. While elder law issues can be complicated, early planning can be pivotal for many individuals and families. Do You or Your Loved Ones Need the Services of an Elder Law Attorney? Working with a Qualified Elder Law Attorney Means Avoiding Costly Mistakes: Florida laws are precise. They dictate exactly what can and cannot be included in a will, a trust, an advance medical directive or financial power of attorney. Florida law also determines who can and cannot serve as a personal representative, health care...

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What Assets Can You Have While Retaining Medicaid Eligibility?

To qualify for long-term Medicaid, seniors must not have assets over a certain amount.. When one spouse of a married couple applies for Medicaid (long term care), all assets owned by both husband and wife will be taken into consideration for Medicaid eligibility calculations. Assets considered include bank accounts, stocks, savings, homes, property, etc. What Liquid Assets are Considered to Determine Medicaid Eligibility? When applying for Medicaid, expect all your liquid assets to be taken into consideration, including money in the bank, stocks, savings, etc. If a married individual is applying for Medicaid, it does not make a difference if assets...

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4 Common Medicaid Planning Mistakes

Most are aware that Medicare will cover a significant portion of their overall health-care costs as they grow older, but some are surprised that it is not free. It’s also not easy – managing the Medicaid application process is actually fairly complicated. 4 Common Medicaid Planning Mistakes: Procrastinating: Don’t wait too long to start planning ahead. Planning for Medicaid should be started long before benefits are actually needed to cover long term care costs. Individuals who wait too long often find that they have to exhaust a substantial portion of their assets in order to fulfill the program’s eligibility requirements...

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Elderly Guardianship Basics: How to Get Guardianship

In some situations, it becomes necessary for an adult to be appointed with a guardian. In this situation, the court appoints an individual to handle decisions for another adult who is no longer capable of safely making decisions on their own. In most cases, this situation becomes necessary when an older person/family member has an accident or suffers from an illness that causes mental deterioration like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you believe that a loved one or someone close to you is in need of a guardian appointed by the court, start by gathering all the relevant information. List out...

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