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I meet with clients to help them understand options and solutions for their concerns with Medicaid, nursing home costs, planning, in-home care, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, plans to provide for children with disabilities, guardianship, probate, estate administration, and LLCs. I find it very helpful to assist people to put their legal questions and possible solutions in plain English. The time investment makes conversation and solution decisions easier for clients when they have a foundation of understand.
The best evaluation of my work is the “exhale” moment a client has when he, she, or they give the sigh of relief because they know a concern carried for an extended time is resolved.
I recently worked with several parents who previously could not find or understand what was necessary to provide support for their adult, disabled child who is receiving gov’t support programs after the parents’ passing without jeopardizing their Medicaid/SSI. Through meetings and information exchanged, I helped the parents with answers and options which they actually understood. I relieved the parents’ concerns of their child’s care after they can no longer provide care themselves.
Some people pigeonhole Elder Law as “Medicaid Planning.” While Medicaid Planning is a component, Elder Law is more.
In the larger sense, it often includes Guardianship, Special Needs Planning, Long-Term Care Planning, and associated Powers of Attorney.
Often times, a client engages an attorney in reaction to an issue with a spouse, parent, or other family member. However, pro-active Elder Law plans can alleviate challenges a person faces when an issue comes out of the blue, which causes an extended stay in a nursing home or rehab center.
A key elements of Elder Law plans are proper documents that appoint decision-makers. Two of those documents are a Financial (or Durable) Power of Attorney and the other is a Medical Power of Attorney. (See You’ve Got the Power with a Power of Attorney). Additionally, a proper plan assesses asset types, values, and how they are owned. Indiana allows certain assets to be protected from spend-down before Medicaid contributes to long-term care expenses. Spouses enjoy higher levels of protection with Spousal Impoverishment Protection rules.
Many people have heard stories of houses lost to the government or nursing homes taking all of person’s money. The Five-Year Look-back and gifting rules add more confusion. There are solutions that allow you to stay in charge and to control how to spend funds.
To learn more about things you can do to stay ahead of future challenges, meet with RG Skadberg, an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney with CCSK Law.