Elder Law is an extension and refinement of estate planning. Thirty years ago Elder Law did not really exist. People tended to have shorter life expectancies then and did not need much in the way of support. They tended to focus on inheritances and estate taxes and did not consider spending all of their funds on long term care. Today the 85+ population is the fastest growing in our country. For most people the question is not if they will need long term care; the question is what choices will they have for their long term care.
In addition to addressing general planning needs like wills, trusts and medical and financial powers of attorney, an Elder Law attorney can help you with the following important questions:
• What type of care options and other resources exist for your older loved one?;
• How to pay for the right care and plan for future care needs?;
• What is Medicaid and how does it apply to my situation? What about VA or other benefits?;
• How do we deal with the cognitive impairment of our loved one?;
• What legal documents should be in place and what provisions should they contain?;
• Is a Power of Attorney adequate or do we need a guardianship? What is the difference?;
• How do taxes come into play?;
• How do we tie all of this into our testamentary wishes?
Why does it matter to you? It matters to you because having a competent Elder Law attorney can significantly reduce the stress you experience as a caregiver of an older adult or disabled person OR as an older adult or disabled person yourself. An experienced Elder Law attorney help you enure the best possible care while maximizing the financial resources you have available.
Home care, personal care, adult day care, assisted living, skilled and intermediate nursing care, dementia care, continuing care retirement communities and hospice. Most do not understand all of the forms of care and how they interact. Determining which care level is appropriate for your loved one is very confusing with facilities providing different but often overlapping level of care. Some accept Medicare, some accept Medicaid, some accept neither or both.
The average monthly cost of caring for a resident in a Philadelphia area nursing home is $9,000-12,000.00 per month. That is neither the highest nor the lowest in the nation. It is, however, an amount that can quickly bankrupt a family and destroy the quality of life for the spouse who is still healthy. It can decimate whatever legacy you want to leave to your children, friends, family and the charitable beneficiaries of your choice.
Only a comprehensive elder care plan from an experienced elder care attorney can ensure the best care for your loved one while providing maximum options for preserving financial resources.
If you would like to create a plan or address an elder care crisis, please contact our office at (610) 940-0650 for a consultation. For more information, please visit us at www.slutskyelderlaw.com.