Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

From Elder Law Answers The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth's 2017 Cost of Care survey, which the insurer conducts annually. Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775, up 4.44 percent from 2016. The rise in prices is much larger than the 1.24 percent and ... Read More

Key Decisions in Setting Up a Special Needs Trust

From Elder Law Answers Simply defined, a trust is an agreement between two people -- a grantor who donates funds to the trust and a trustee who manages those funds according to the grantor's wishes, which are laid out in a trust document. The funds in the trust are typically used to assist a person or group, called the trust beneficiary. Although it may sound complicated, at heart a special needs trust is merely a ... Read More

Comparing Crisis and Long-Term Medicaid Planning

When you have an immediate or imminent need for long-term care, you likely need to establish eligibility for Medicaid quickly to avoid paying the full costs for those programs. This type of planning is often referred to as Medicaid crisis planning. Pre-planning for Medicaid, on the other hand, is a long-term process that you start long before you need to consider how you will pay for long-term care. It is a good ... Read More

College Students Need a Power of Attorney Too!

College students across the country are heading to their dorms or apartments to start another semester of studies. For many parents and students, this transition back to school may be filled with last minute to-do list items. This list rarely, if ever, includes a note to draft a power of attorney. However, it is an issue that both parents and students should consider. Most college-age students are legally ... Read More

Can the Beneficiary of a Special Needs Trust Change the Trustee?

From Elder Law Answers The beneficiary of a special needs trust can never control or access trust funds – that is the job of the trustee. A common fear among beneficiaries or their families is that the trustee may not do what’s in the beneficiary’s best interests and that, if this happens, the beneficiary may not be able to do anything about it. Choosing the right person to serve as trustee is one of the most ... Read More

Why You Should Use a Lawyer for Medicaid Planning

From Elder Law Answers Many seniors and their families don't use a lawyer to plan for long-term care or Medicaid, often because they're afraid of the cost. But an attorney can help you save money in the long run as well as make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one. Instead of taking steps based on what you've heard from others, doing nothing, or enlisting a non-lawyer referred by a nursing ... Read More

The 4 Benefits of Creating a Will with Legal Help vs. DIY

August is National Make a Will Month, which means you should be thinking about creating a will or updating your will. Unfortunately, many people turn to Do-it-Yourself, or DIY, wills with the help of questionable online resources and information. These solutions simply will not work in many cases, and it can be foolish and even dangerous to create a will by yourself. There are many benefits to using legal help to ... Read More

Planning for the Unthinkable: Long-Term Care Asset Protection Plans

As individuals age, they face new problems. What will happen to your family if you are suddenly unable to work or if you or your spouse suddenly become ill and have huge medical bills? Do you have a plan for the care you want should you no longer be able to communicate your wishes to others? If you are also concerned about your loved ones misusing their inheritance or being unable to utilize assets that you leave ... Read More

3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes Special Needs Families Make

There is no question that planning for a special needs child as part of your estate is unique. As such, you may overlook many aspects of your estate plan that will affect your special needs loved one. Below are some of the most common mistakes that you can make, and a few suggestions on how you can avoid them. You do not adequately fund the plan. One of the most important aspects of leaving your loved one ... Read More

Why You Need a Durable Power of Attorney

Imagine that tomorrow you suddenly become severely ill or incapacitated. Who would take care of your finances? How would they do it? If you don’t have a durable power of attorney, others -- even your spouse -- may not be able to conduct all your financial business on your behalf. A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing another person (an agent) or financial institution to step in on your behalf to ... Read More