One of the most important things that an elder law attorney can help you with is planning ahead in case you experience a serious illness or injury. If you are badly hurt or you get very sick, life-altering medical decisions may need to be made at the very time when you cannot make them and are unable to speak up about your preferences.
If you want to make sure you are not subject to unwanted medical care in the event of an emergency, you should work with an elder law attorney to make use of advanced directives to express your preferences for care and to specify who should make care decisions when you cannot.
Nursing home planning is something elder law attorneys can work with you to complete. You should make a plan for a nursing home care because once a senior reaches the age of 65, there is a 70 percent chance he will require care in a nursing home. If no plans are in place and nursing home care becomes necessary, you or your family may have to scramble to find a place that has an open bed– and that place may not be the best place for you.
Researching homes before you need care, taking the time to visit them, and making a plan to pay for care is important to find a care facility that provides the highest quality of life. An elder law attorney assists you with understanding options for finding out about a nursing home’s reputation and past problems. An experienced attorney also helps you to make sure you can afford the nursing home care you require in a high quality home.
Knowing how many seniors rely on Medicaid is important because you may believe that Medicaid is not a program that you will ever take advantage of. The reality is, there are millions of seniors who get Medicaid benefits every single year. Most of the older people who are taking advantage of Medicaid benefits are claiming these benefits because they need help paying for the costs of nursing home care.
Neither a nursing home nor long term care will be covered by Medicare in most circumstances, as Medicare allows coverage only for a limited array of skilled medical services under specific conditions. If you don’t want to be forced to impoverish yourself to pay for nursing home care, you should talk with an experienced attorney about qualifying for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care at the time when it comes necessary for you.
Since making a Medicaid plan is important to qualifying for Medicaid to cover nursing home care, it is important to find a trusted Indianapolis Medicaid attorney who can advise you on getting covered. Medicaid is means-tested, which means seniors with a nest egg and other assets acquired during their life may not be able to qualify for coverage until they have spent their money and lost their chance to hand down their wealth to the next generation.
If you work with Medicaid attorneys at least five years before the time when you need to get Medicaid to cover you, you should be able to protect the bulk of your assets and ensure your wealth doesn’t prevent you from getting covered. Acting early is important because Medicaid looks at your transactions in the five years before you try to qualify for coverage and certain actions you take to protect your assets could cause you to be disqualified from coverage.
Many people are surprised to find that an elder law attorney helps them with financial planning, as well as legacy planning and end of life planning. Financial planning is vital to a secure retirement and, in particular, you will want to make a retirement plan as early as possible in your career.
Your retirement plan should include investing in accounts that give you tax breaks for retirement savings. An attorney can help you to explore your eligibility for IRAs, 401(k)s, and other types of tax-advantaged investment accounts.
Once you have seen all of the different ways an elder law attorney can help you to be prepared for your future, it is easy to see why you should take advantage of the services of a lawyer practicing in the field of elder law. Frank & Kraft is here to help with retirement planning, incapacity planning, legacy planning, asset protection and the other issues that matter to you.