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Check Off Those 2016 New Year’s Resolutions: Age-appropriate legal documents (Part 2)

In part one, we met Jim and Sandy, now age 65, and reviewed their need for age-appropriate health care and decision-making documents. We left off with the question, “How can Jim and Sandy take steps to prevent losing everything in the event their health fails?”

The costs of long-term care can be staggering. Home health aides can cost, on average, $45,760 per year, based on care provided 44 hours per week. Nursing home care on average is nearly double that – $80,300 per year for a semi-private room.

What are our chances of needing long-term care? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, someone turning 65 today has a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services in their remaining years. This means Jim and Sandy should be considering how they will pay for that care in the event one or both of them are part of that 70%.

Jim and Sandy’s choices include: 1) paying out of their own pocket for care, 2) purchasing long-term care insurance, 3) qualifying for government assistance programs, or 4) any combination of the first 3.

By planning early, before there’s a health care crisis, Jim and Sandy can take advantage of all three options, yet protect their home and any other cash or assets they wish. This type of asset protection is done using a specially designed irrevocable trust. Only a portion of Jim and Sandy’s assets would be transferred to the irrevocable trust, with the remainder either remaining in Jim and Sandy’s name, or held in a revocable trust with special provisions for the surviving spouse.

By transferring assets to an irrevocable trust, those assets would not be counted in the future (in most cases, after 5 years) if Jim or Sandy needed to qualify for government assistance to help pay for their long-term care. If Jim or Sandy is a wartime Veteran, there are additional cash assistance programs available through the Veterans Administration that should be explored as another means to help pay for their care.

To round out the asset protection package, Jim and Sandy would also complete financial powers of attorney and health care advance directives along with living wills. They would also explore purchasing an appropriate long-term care policy in the event one of them needed care sooner than expected.

By planning early, Jim and Sandy have tools in place to protect their home and other assets should one or both of them need care in the future – and there is a 70% chance they will. Jim and Sandy have also lessened the emotional and financial stress placed on a family when a health care crisis does happen. They’ve taken care of the heavy lifting with regard to their assets, so their family can just focus on what really matters – making sure they have the best care possible.

If you want to protect your life savings from the rising cost of medical care, call Nelson Elder Care Law at (678) 250-9355 to learn more.

Hear From Our Clients
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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce