Author Archives: Leena Lauger

The Need for Long-Term Care Planning

Aug 03,2015

Many people are under the impression that long-term care planning is not necessary or that it is only needed by those individuals approaching older age. The reality is that due to a disability or the aftermath of a sudden accident, people of all ages might sometimes find themselves in need of long-term care services. In fact, many leading long-term care insurance companies have had claims filed by individuals in their late 20’s after an unexpected medical incident or accident left them in need of serious care.  […] Continue reading

Beware of These Fraud Schemes Targeting Seniors

Jul 20,2015

Unfortunately, when it comes to fraud, there is a perfect storm targeting senior citizens. Many of the scammers who target this population are extremely crafty and have compelling stories and displays to make it look as if their operation is legitimate. Steering clear of these situations can be difficult; read on to learn more.  shutterstock_155217680

As a result of longer living and the risk of cognitive decline, there are challenges facing the elderly population when it comes to fraud schemes. One major concern has to do with financial abuse, which is frequently underreported. There is a large gray area associated with inheritance versus abuse, meaning that very few cases actually come to light involving such scenarios.

Many states have become active in putting forth “pause laws” that mandate waiting periods for financial transactions accomplished by anyone calling themselves an elder advisor. In addition, all states but New York require some kind of reporting of any potential abuse. The key to preventing these schemes, especially with regard to financial abuse, involves early communication with family members and the possible creation of a trust to generate an “invisible fence” around assets that can help cut down on outside access.

Benefits of Selecting an Elder Law Attorney

Jul 13,2015

As more baby boomers are crossing into the retirement divide each day, the need for an elder care lawyer is only growing. Older individuals have many different challenges to contend with, chief among them being healthcare and estate planning. shutterstock_265829186

Good counsel with experience in elder care will be beneficial in many different ways, including disability and social security issues, asset transfer, long-term care, and estate and trust work. Finding someone with experience in the field ensures that all your questions are answered properly and that you feel confident about the future.

Before hiring an elder care attorney, ask about qualifications: how long has the attorney been focused on elder law? Will your case be handled by the individual attorney or a team? Is the attorney interested in building a relationship with you to help address all of your elder law concerns now and down the road? These are critical questions that should be answered at the outset of your interaction with such an individual.

Finding the right match for you is a mix of experience and personality. Since you may need assistance with numerous elder law issues over the course of the coming years, make sure you find someone you can trust who has an opinion you value.

Fast Facts on Medicaid Recovery and the Affordable Healthcare Act

Jul 09,2015

As a result of a federal law that became active in 1993, states were required to recover long-term care expenses for those aged 55 and over after an individual passed away. Each state also had the option to go after all health expenses, too. There were exemptions made for estates that included a surviving spouse, a child under the age of 21, or a household with a blind/disabled child of any age.

These Medicaid Estate Recovery Programs vary from state to state in terms of their specific requirements and the vigor with which collection is pursued- this is why it’s important to consult with a specialist if you have more questions. shutterstock_291062819

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has three different impacts on these regulations, all of which potentially put higher numbers of estates under these guidelines. This includes the mandate that most Americans should obtain insurance, expanded Medicaid eligibility, and the elimination of asset evaluations to determine eligibility. Got questions? Reach out to us at

The Dangers of Social Isolation for Elders

Jul 06,2015

As children grow older and leave the home, as retirement takes away much of the interaction with work contacts, and as the possible loss of a spouse impacts an elderly individual, being alone becomes the norm. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous problem if you don’t plan ahead for how you can stay socially involved with friends, family, and your community. shutterstock_152237090

As baby boomers age, it becomes much more likely that both parents and even friends pass away, which can lead to feelings of extremely loneliness and even depression. When these major life events alter how often you’re interacting with others, it’s important to take steps to build a support structure. For many, this means getting involved in community organizations like a church.

There are many benefits to regular social interaction, including better self-confidence, happiness, and an improved overall outlook on life. Other family members can be a critical part of the support structure you build, but it can be very beneficial to establish regular habits with community organizations. Whether it’s getting together for fellowship or volunteering in some capacity, it can be very advantageous to find other friends and peers to network with. Building a routine that involves regular interaction with these kinds of groups can also help to combat loneliness.

When Will Medicaid Cover the Nursing Home?

Jun 22,2015

The costs of nursing home care are stifling at best and exorbitant at worst. Even a loved one who considers himself or herself to have a fair amount of savings might find it frustrating to realize how quickly that money can be spent after just one nursing home incident. shutterstock_288365435

Less than five percent of elderly individuals have long-term care insurance, a vital form of protection that can help mitigate against these rising costs. If an individual receives Social Security, he or she may be eligible for coverage under Medicaid. Without SS, income limits do apply. If you have too high of an income to be eligible for Medicaid at this time, you need to consult with an elder law specialist.

The reason for a consultation is that you need to carefully consider spending down your assets in order to qualify for government assistance. You need to take thoughtful action and evaluate how spending down could influence you and your family members. Remember that Medicaid has a five-year look back system to see if you have tried to give away too many of your assets. An attorney can help you understand when and how Medicaid can help you plan. It’s definitely beneficial to have Medicaid supporting you if you need care in the nursing home, but having someone counsel you has a high level of value, too. Contact us at

Elder Law Costs Compared: Assisted Living, Nursing Home, and In-Home Care

Jun 16,2015

The baby boomer generation is a big one, and the impact on health care services is reported widely throughout the news. According to US News and World Report, over the course of the next two decades, more than 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65 every single day. This statistic is causing more individuals to think about planning ahead for long-term care and the inevitable costs associated with it. Whether you’re nearing this category yourself or whether you’re helping a parent plan, it pays to be informed about care options. 18scG5olSFcN_T7nAvlyJR0UuPaAw6Op6b14U7fh3j8

Many people are not aware that in-home care can exceed the costs of assisted living-location is also a factor, especially if you or your loved one lives in the city. The costs in urban areas surpass non-urban areas by as much as 15 percent.

Bear in mind as well that quality and cost can also vary quite a bit between independent care and agency staff, although the latter usually fall under licensing and accreditation standards. The average costs for the various types of care nationwide are as follows:

  • In-home care: Monthly cost of $4500
  • Nursing home care: Monthly cost of $550-6200
  • Assisted living: Monthly cost of $3000

Many people are not informed about just how easy it is to spend though assets and leave a healthy spouse with the financial fallout. Protect yourself by planning ahead- contact our office today for more information. Contact us at

The Value of Protecting Your Assets Long Before A Nursing Home Stay

Jun 11,2015

A nursing home stay, even a brief one, can quickly deplete retirement savings. Even when you are in relatively good health, it’s a good idea to think about planning ahead for nursing home care in order to prevent sudden and surprising costs. This process is usually referred to as Medicaid planning. DGx9ikR2D8Oer1b8oF2BV7u6VvggRJW0MAFZ_OizYBk

Medicaid planning is very valuable, since the government agency determining eligibility looks back over the previous five years to determine whether you have attempted to transfer any assets. This is why planning when a potential event is not on the horizon is even better, because a sudden medical event can be crippling to a retired couple or widow/widower.

The sooner you contact an elder law professional to talk about your options, the better. The specifics of your planning will depend largely on your circumstances, but there are strategies you can employ in order to protect your estate in a meaningful way.  Scrutiny can be an issue for individuals or couples that appear to be wealthy, but taking some steps now to give away some assets or set up a plan to prepare over the course of several years may pay off in spades if you or your spouse ever need nursing home care.

There’s a lot of confusion over what Medicaid does and doesn’t allow- make sure you’ve received the most accurate information from your elder law professional. Send us a message today at