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The High Cost of Alzheimer’s

Feb 18,2015

 

Around the world, there are more than 15 million people caring for someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s. While many of these individuals are aware of the physical and emotional toll this can take on family members and other caregivers, the financial repercussions are also big. canstockphoto20536709

According to a survey by AgingCare.com, 25 percent of people providing care to someone with Alzheimer’s spend more than $4,000 monthly on that care. Among these caregivers, 40 percent give more than 30 hours each week in unpaid care services for their loved one. Among those with Alzheimer’s living at home, more than half were being cared for by a caregiver, a family member, or a combination of both. Nearly two-thirds of caregivers say that the afflicted loved one had no financial plans for their care before diagnosis.

Given the high costs of healthcare and long-term care, and the devastating realities of living with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to be aware of any and all planning opportunities. Whether you’re in the midst of a crisis or whether you want to plan ahead for a parent’s future or even your own, you need to be informed about your options. An elder law specialist can help walk you through the basis, whether your loved one needs help right away or whether you are concerned about the long-term future. Don’t hesitate to do your research and learn more today so that you can protect your future. Reach out to us at info@elderlawplanning.com to start your planning today.

Medicaid Qualification Mistakes: Spending Down Errors

Feb 11,2015

When your loved one is preparing to enter a nursing home, you may do some research on your own or even consult with a financial planner regarding spending down assets. In order to qualify for Medicaid, many older couples in this situation start figuring out the most appropriate way to spend down assets. If you skip over the details, however, you might end up making two of the most common mistakes in spending down, which are spending down exempt assets and continuing to spend down after the qualification point. shutterstock_196493090

Some items are exempted from being counted towards your asset amounts in Medicaid, but if you aren’t clear on the state laws governing this, you might make the mistake of liquidating those that would have been exempted anyways. Pulling funds from an exempted asset may be unnecessary and could jeopardize the couple’s future financially. Don’t spend down without knowing what’s exempt and non-exempt. Check with a professional to determine which of your assets are protected.

The second big mistake couples make is continuing to spend down their resources past the point of qualification. Don’t rely on information that comes from a source other than your elder law specialist- misinformation can be very misleading and costly. Determining qualification is a complex calculation that factors in shelter costs, assets, incomes, nursing home expenses, and other details. It should only be handled by an expert who can provide the best possible guidance regarding the qualification point. Don’t let the elder law complexities overwhelm you- schedule an appointment with an elder law specialist by contacting The Elder Law Center at Shah & Associates at 732-521-9455.

What is Medicaid Pre-Planning?

Feb 04,2015

There are two main approaches to Medicaid planning. The first is known as crisis planning, where an individual is facing the risk of losing all their assets by paying for care in a facility. The second refers to planning ahead of time and this is known as pre-planning.shutterstock_200762813 (1)

If you are healthy enough, one popular option is to select long term care insurance because of the flexibility that it provides. Even if you are not eligible for long term care insurance or find that it’s too expensive at your level of health, there are other options to help you protect your assets. In many cases, this advanced planning can help to save most, if not all, of the senior’s assets.

The good news is that there are multiple planning options available for you, but that they can be tailored to your family. The key is learning what tools are available for your family and talking to an estate planning attorney to determine what’s right for you. Having an experienced elder care attorney on your side can help you protect your assets against a possible long term care crisis.

While crisis planning can also be done, you will have enough on your mind in a crisis situation when facility care is needed. That’s why it’s best for everyone to evaluate their needs in advance and to plan ahead with regard to Medicaid. It’s never too early to start thinking about your health and your needs in the future- set up an appointment to walk through it with us at info@elderlawplanning.com.

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3 Steps for Baby Boomers Without a Plan

Feb 02,2015

While every mentally competent individual over the age of 18 should have an estate plan in place, it is especially important that Baby Boomers without a plan begin to put something together. A recent article offers several estate-planning strategies for baby boomers to begin planning:

1. Create a Will and Trust: No matter what type of estate planning scheme a person employs, he or she should incorporate a will into that scheme. Within a will, a person can designate a guardian for his or her minor children, as well as the distribution of personal items such as heirlooms and valuable items.

2. Designate a Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is a vital document for any estate plan, because it allows you to designate a person to handle your financial and legal affairs should you be involved in an accident.

3. Create a Health-Care Power of Attorney and Living Will: Just as a power of attorney allows an individual to designate the person who will handle his or her financial and legal affairs in the event of an accident or emergency, a health care power of attorney allows an individual to designate the person who will make medical decisions on his or her behalf.

 

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