Should Elder Planning Be Done With The Initial Estate Planning?
Not necessarily. For younger clients, we suggest getting a solid basic plan in place. Older clients and those with special circumstances may require this to be discussed when setting up their initial plans.
Why Is Long Term Care Planning So Critical? What Are We Hoping To Avoid If We Plan Correctly?
Long term care planning is critical to make sure that people receive the care they need when they can no longer decide for themselves. Pre-planning considers all the resources at hand and what may be needed in the future. Nursing home costs are enormous and many nursing homes are not attractive places. Most people want to avoid having to enter a nursing home. Proper planning tries to ensure that the person can maintain the greatest autonomy but in a safe and enjoyable environment. Most people wish to remain in their homes or go to an assisted living facility.
When a person cannot be maintained in these environments because they require “skilled nursing” assistance, a nursing home may be the only answer. Proper planning tries to balance their needs with their available resources. Sometimes it is important that their resources be available for family members. In these cases, proper planning can help to protect the person’s assets, that they have worked a lifetime to accumulate, from being gobbled up by the high cost of nursing home care.
What Exactly Is Medicare? What Are The Qualifying Factors?
I think that you may be talking about Medicaid… Many people confuse Medicare and Medicaid, but they are VERY different.
Medicare is a government program for general medical expenses, but this program offers very limited coverage for long-term care needs.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a government welfare program that pays for about 50% of the Nursing Home costs of Americans. Medicaid or “MassHealth” in Massachusetts, is a federal and state partnership that steps in to pay for medical and long-term care expenses when most of a person’s wealth has been depleted. To qualify, however, you need to be impoverished.
Each state has their own standards of qualification, but generally, you must qualify “clinically” and “financially”. The rules are very strict. Pre-planning offers the best protection, but even in a crisis some if not all of a person’s assets may be able to be protected. It is highly advised that before applying for Medicaid, the services of a qualified attorney be engaged to assist as there are pitfalls that can be very costly if things aren’t handled correctly.
What Are The Most Effective Medicaid Strategies?
Pre-planning with trusts can be very effective. Crisis planning can also be effective, but may not offer the same level of protection. Again, working with a qualified attorney who understands how to navigate the state law is the best way to protect one’s self and assets.
For more information on Elder Law Planning In Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 924-0300 today.
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