Long-Term Care Planning Month: 5 Reasons to Work with an Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney

Caring for an elderly parent can be a considerable challenge. As their health begins to decline– whether due to a medical condition or advanced years– the family will need to create some sort of long-term care plan to ensure the senior can access the care he or she needs without unnecessarily losing hard-earned assets.  The good news is that a Virginia elder law/estate planning attorney can help you use legal tools and resources that you may not be aware of to plan ahead for future concerns.  Here are five ways an experienced attorney can be of assistance:

  1. Creating Powers of Attorney. Having legal documents created such as a Financial Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Powers of Attorney will give the adult child authority to communicate with financial institutions and doctors if the parent needs assistance managing their affairs. An elder law and estate planning attorney will work with mom or dad to create documents that ensure their wishes are honored under all circumstances.
  2. Help Plan for the Costs of Long-Term Care. The cost of home care is increasing, and the truth is that not all care can or should be performed at home. Care related to aging is not generally covered by private insurance or Medicare and can cost in excess of $5,000 to $10,000 a month depending on the geographical area and sometimes more.  Your attorney will help you create a plan to ensure your family can afford care that’s needed.
  3. Plan for the Possibility of Medicaid. While Medicare does not cover long-term care costs, Medicaid often does. However, there are very strict income and asset limitations to qualify, and an elder law attorney may be able to help you reallocate assets in order to meet the state and federal government’s thresholds.
  4. Serve as an unbiased voice of reason. As people age, their perceptions of reality might shift; for example, they might struggle to decipher if their safety is at risk in their current living situation. When this is the case, the opinions of those closest to them can be pushed aside. An experienced elder law/estate planning attorney will be able to assess the situation in terms of living arrangements, and your parent’s health and well-being, and then offer advice to the senior as a neutral third party which is often a stress reliever for all parties involved.
  5. Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan. Your attorney might suggest creating a Trust or Will based Plan and choosing an Executor and/ or Trustee for their estate in combination with the previously discussed documents as well as many ancillary and important organizational documents.

If you are looking for guidance as you plan ahead for your senior years, please contact our office at 757 645-3176 or 866-603-5976 to schedule an appointment at one of our locations throughout Williamsburg, the Peninsula, and Southside in Virginia.