Our Estate Planning and Elder Law FAQs
How do I set up a trust? Does a will have to be notarized to be enforceable? Is my mother eligible for Medi-Cal? Who should I name as a guardian to my children in my will? In our FAQs, we offer answers to the most commonly-asked questions about wills, trusts, probate, and other estate planning topics.
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What Can We Do To Plan For Our Parents Or Loved Elder's Care -- Legally, Financially, & Care Coordination\Patient Advocacy?
How do we maximize an elder loved one’s total well-being? That's the issue. So that would mean services in addition to legal\financial planning, right? How about care coordination and patient advocacy? How about helping the family figure out what their loved one's needs are in a comprehensive way and how to obtain whatever may be required? We call this Life Care Planning that assists families facing tough issues with loved elders. Life Care Planning is a unique, cutting-edge service that our law firm offers. We know that the decision to move a family member or a loved one into a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions family members face. Family members face this when their loved elder can no longer care for herself or himself, suffers from a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia or has experienced a stroke or heart attack.
There are two types of long-term care planning situations we face that require very different approaches: “proactive planning” versus “crisis planning”. So if I have a family coming in about their loved one who is in the hospital and are about to be transferred to a skilled nursing facility -- that is crisis planning. Only the first 20 days are fully covered by Medicare and the remaining 80 days of coverage requires a co-payment of $167.50 per day (2019). If it's unclear how long your loved one will need long-term care, then the family must consider Medi-Cal. And we don’t have much time to get them qualified. In these circumstances, I may be able to save 50% of the elder’s assets, which would be a good result. But if given the opportunity to do proactive planning – that is, more lead-time, I may have been able to save most or all of the assets.
An example of proactive planning would be where an elder was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia and the family comes to see me. Now we may have four or five years before they ever require a nursing home. That gives us sufficient time, in most cases, to protect all or most of the estate. So that’s the difference.
In addition to saving more assets with proactive planning -- our multidisciplinary team will provide welcome relief from worries before, during and after an elderly loved one's transition to a nursing home. This means that the elder will get the right care sooner, preserve their independence for as long as possible and age with dignity.
The family can experience freedom from the burdens of caregiving, get guidance with every legal, healthcare, and long-term care decision, gain confidence from having a plan for ongoing care as the elder's condition progresses, and relief that you have an advocate on your side.
We know that the emotional, physical and financial strains of providing for an elder's care can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Our Life Care Plan is the solution. It’s a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to meet your elderly, disabled or chronically-ill loved one’s medical, long-term care, legal and emotional needs during a long-term illness or incapacity. It's important for the family to pause, take a deep breath and know that that there are a lot of things we can do. Through Life Care Planning, we can help families who are overwhelmed by all the decisions they have to make when a loved one is suffering from a progressive disease or condition.
Maybe they need some in-home care or a care service worker to come in and do some shifts, or maybe they will need assisted living - so everything is planned out in advance. We call that our Life Care Plan. Each case has different challenges. But it’s important for the family to pause, take a deep breath and understand that there are a lot of things we can do. Through Life Care Planning, we can help families who are overwhelmed by all the decisions they have to make when they have a loved one who is suffering from some sort of a progressive disease or condition.
As for the legal\financial planning, we can reduce or even eliminate nursing home bills, protect life savings and provide financial security, increase the amount of income the healthy spouse gets to keep and protect the children’s inheritance.