HELPING THE ELDERLY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
When you get older, estate planning becomes vitally important, not only to preserve your assets but to plan for future events such as incapacity, nursing home admission and the need for long-term care. Since your children may play an important role in managing your affairs if you become incapacitated, elder law usually involves the entire family.
With proper estate planning, your family can avoid the difficult and public process of going to court to obtain a guardianship and conservatorship over a loved one. Our attorneys create powers of attorney and advance health care directives in which families can decide in advance who has the legal authority to manage a parent’s health care and personal affairs.
By placing assets in trusts, we can also provide for seamless management of those assets in the event of incapacity or death. Our firm also handles probate and estate administration matters for clients after the death of a spouse or parent.
People are living longer now thanks to improvements in health care. However, many of us will need assistance with long-term care during our later years. With nursing home costs in Georgia running $5,000 a month or more, an average estate can be wiped out in a few years.
Some Potential Strategies:
No one would want to see the assets they built up over a lifetime being exhausted to pay for nursing home costs. There are a number of ways to preserve a significant portion of your estate and still provide high-quality care for yourself or a family member. Some basic approaches that may be appropriate for your estate plan include:
- Purchasing long-term care insurance
- Creating trusts and transferring assets so that property is not owned by the person who needs nursing home care
- If the incapacitated person is a veteran, planning VA Aid and attendance benefits may provide help with home care to avoid nursing home admission
- Planning for Medicaid eligibility to pay for nursing home expenses
- Creating a special needs trust to supplement Medicaid
The sooner you begin planning, the more assets you can protect. Medicaid has a five-year look-back period when determining eligibility and can penalize applicants’ asset transfers in the five years prior to nursing home admission.
Many of our clients come to us in crisis situations when a family member is already admitted or needs to be admitted to a nursing home. Even though your options may be more limited in such a situation, there still may be something an experienced estate planning attorney can do to ensure protection of at least some of your assets from the cost of nursing home and long-term care.
We help families with asset protection and planning for the cost of nursing home and other long-term care needs. We proudly help families throughout Georgia prepare for the potential burdens of the future.
ELDER ABUSE & FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION
Elder abuse can take many forms. From physical harm to financial exploitation, the elderly and incapacitated need the level of protection that a seasoned estate planning attorney provides.
Guardians and conservators are selected for their trustworthiness. However, that bond of trust is broken when the caretaker uses undue influence to gain money and assets. Those susceptible to these tactics are often extremely ill or frail, becoming unusually dependent and bestowing a great deal of trust.
Without a rational explanation, an elderly or incapacitated family member chooses the caretaker as the beneficiary under a will or the agent in a Power of Attorney. Family members are caught off guard. They need immediate legal representation.
Contesting a will or claiming that the estate planning document is invalid is a complicated and sometimes lengthy process. However, a vulnerable loved one needs that type of protection.
Proactive planning can prevent future conflicts, disputes and instances of abuse. An advanced healthcare directive is an effective step towards that goal. A living trust reduces the chance of exploitation of an elderly family member. Immediate implementation of those estate planning tools can help prevent a loved one from being taken advantage of.
WHY CONSULT WITH US
At Pasley, Nuce, Mallory & Davis, LLC, we have dedicated attorneys with known elder law knowledge and experience to help with your unique needs with issues like:
- Long-term care and disability planning
- Planning for nursing home admission and Medicaid eligibility
- Special needs trusts
- Guardianship & Conservatorship
- Elder Abuse
- Becoming a Guardian
Contact us at any of our four locations for a free consultation to see how we can put our experience to work for you.