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Know Your Rights: Patient Transfers/Discharges

By Rick Law, elder law and estate planning attorney in Aurora, IL.  Rick and his attorney daughter Diana Law are partners at the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax law firm of Law ElderLaw. 

Although each state has its own rules regarding transfers and discharges, if the facility accepts Medicaid and/or Medicare, it is bound by the federal rules.

A nursing home may only transfer or discharge a patient under federal law if it is

  • necessary for the resident’s welfare and the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility;
  • appropriate because the resident’s health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;
  • the safety of individuals in the facility is endangered;
  • the health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered;
  • the resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility (or a resident who becomes eligible for Medicaid after admission to a facility, the facility may charge a resident only allowable charges under Medicaid); or
  • the facility ceases to operate.

Facilities must give notice to the resident and resident’s representative and the notice must provide the following:

  • the reasons for the transfer and discharge
  • the effective date of the transfer or discharge
  • where the resident will be transferred or discharged to
  • a statement informing the resident the he/she has the right to appeal the action to the state
  • the name, address, and telephone number for the state’s long-term care ombudsman

The facility is required to provide 30 days’ notice from the effective date of the transfer or discharge except for emergency situations.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney at the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax law firm of Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Nursing Home Residents Can Still Participate in Their Own Care!

By Rick Law, elder law attorney and managing partner at the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax Law firm of Law ElderLaw. LEL is a multi-generational law firm serving seniors and their families, and helping them prepare for changes to healthcare and retirement planning.

Nursing home residents are entitled to manage their personal finances and choose their health-care providers.

The nursing home must keep residents informed of any plan of care and any changes in that plan and must allow the residents to be an active participant in their own health-care plan. This includes allowing residents to refuse treatment. The fact that people are residents of a nursing home doesn’t mean they lose their rights.

Nursing homes must assess a resident’s needs every 12 months and create a health-care plan appropriate to the needs of the particular resident.  Although each state has its own rules regarding transfers and discharges, if the facility accepts Medicaid and/or Medicare, it is bound by the federal rules.

A friend of the family had early-onset Alzheimer’s, which means that he was affected by Alzheimer’s before the age of 65. He became incapacitated at the age of 46, and during the next six years until he died, he was moved from one nursing home to another 16 times.

Some Alzheimer’s sufferers exhibit rage, anger, and aggression.  This client was young and strong and a threat to nursing home staff.  If a client poses a threat to an employee or another resident, the nursing home doesn’t have to give a 30-day notice. Staff will call the family and say, “Come and get your loved one within the next 24 hours!”

This example clearly demonstrates why it is so important to find a facility that knows how to deal with residents with Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes the staff can actually minimize the rage by being more agreeable with the resident and by diverting their attention to something else.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney at the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax law firm of Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Alzheimer’s Disease and Home-Care

 

By Rick Law, elder law and estate planning attorney at the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Law Firm of Law ElderLaw in Aurora, IL.  

Finding a dependable, trustworthy, long-term caregiver is something that families often grapple with…  retaining a great caregiver is the other half of the struggle that families encounter when faced with disabilities and/or long-term diseases. The majority of the folks we encounter are impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease and the resulting progressive dementia. Alzheimer’s often causes people to lose their inhibitions and judgement, or what my mother calls our “thin veneer of civilization.”

Mike Rohan is the president of All-Trust Home Care, a firm that helps place professional caregivers in the home environment, as well as assisted living and nursing home situations.  He once shared with me that his company used to have a constant problem in staffing for Alzheimer’s clients; caregivers would often quit or demand reassignment after only a week or two.  He said, “People with AD can present challenging behaviors, such as screaming, repetitive questions, paranoia, non-cooperation, and even violent aggression.  Very few caregivers have been trained in how to deal positively with these challenges.”

In an effort to serve both his employees and the All-Trust clients, Mike decided to seek out a solution. He signed up for a program offered through the Alzheimer’s Association called the “Best Friends Approach to Dementia”, and attended the “Train the Trainer” classes for the best friends approach.  After completing the program, Mike began to teach his firm’s caregivers how to implement the Alzheimer’s care ideas included in the best friends approach.  The results have been nothing short of revolutionary.

It has worked out so well, that All-Trust has been offering training classes every Tuesday at their Hinsdale office, and every Thursday at their Deerfield office with some Saturday classes.  The classes are not only for their employees, client family members, but for members of the community as well. You can find out more about Mike and All-Trust Home Care at www.alltrusthomecare.com

Caregivers now have the tools that need to communicate effectively with their clients, despite the barriers of the clients’ dementia-related behaviors.  The quality of life for both the caregivers and care receivers has been remarkably improved.  In fact, Mike smiled broadly when he stated, “Before we implemented the best friends approach training, it was difficult to retain staff.  But now I cannot think of anyone who has quit.”

Similarly, at Law ElderLaw, we’ve added new seminars several times a month to serve the community at large. We address the issues important to you and your family, from estate, retirement and asset protection topics to navigating the ever changing and often uncertain landscape of aging, planning, and preparing. RSVP today for one of our complimentary upcoming seminars at lawelderlaw.com/events.

If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

 

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

By Rick Law, founder and managing partner of Law ElderLaw in Aurora, Illinois.  At LEL, we know that the world has changed. Thankfully, we can help; We make the complex easy to understand.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act lays out the rights of the residents.

Under the federal act, a nursing home facility is required to protect and promote the rights of each resident, including, but not limited to the following rights:

  1. The resident has the right to exercise rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States. This means the resident is free to make financial and medical decisions.
  2. The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising those rights.
  3. In the case of a resident adjudged incompetent under the laws of a state by a court of competent jurisdiction, the rights of the resident are exercised by the person appointed under state law to act on the resident’s behalf.
  4. In the case of a resident who has not been adjudged incompetent by the state court, any legal-surrogate designated in accordance with state law may exercise the resident’s rights to the extent provided by state law.

The act also states the following:

  1. The facility must inform the resident both orally and in writing in a language that the resident understands of the resident’s rights and all rules and regulations governing resident conduct and responsibilities during the stay in the facility.
  2. The resident or legal representative has the right upon an oral or written request to access all records pertaining to the resident, including current clinical records within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays); and after receipt of records for inspection, to purchase at a cost not to exceed the community standard photocopies of the records or any portions of them upon request and two working days advance notice to the facility.
  3. The resident has the right to be fully informed in language that the resident can understand of total health status, including but not limited to, medical condition.
  4. The resident has the right to refuse treatment, to refuse to participate in experimental research, and to formulate an advance directive.
  5. The facility also must inform residents that are entitled to Medicaid benefits, in writing, at the time of admission to the nursing facility or when the resident becomes eligible for Medicaid of the items and services that are included in nursing facility services under the state plan and for which the resident may not be charged; those other items and services that the facility offers and for which the resident may be charged, and the amount of charges for those services; and inform each resident when changes are made to the items and services specified above.

 

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

8 times named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine, Ric has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


What’s in a Name?

By Rick Law of the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax law firm at Law ElderLaw.  Rick, his attorney daughter Diana, and the rest of the team at LEL are located in Aurora, IL.

My, how time flies! It’s been almost a decade since my daughter and partner, attorney Diana Law, insisted that I come into the conference room to meet Gladys Kaminski…

A true sparkler, when Gladys enters a room, merriment walks in with her.  Upon our first meeting, we exchanged laugh-filled greetings, and then I asked Gladys why she wanted us to do her estate protection planning.

She quickly responded, “I don’t want to lose everything to long-term care expenses.  Even though I don’t have a lot, I want to make sure that my kids and grandkids can enjoy at least a part of it.”  She was working with Diana to prepare an Estate and Longevity Plan.  Her goal is to never be out of money or quality health care options as long as she lives.  One of the ways that we help clients achieve their goals is the use of very carefully designed trusts.

Most trusts take the name of the trustmaker—so ordinarily Gladys would have named her trust the “Gladys Kaminski Trust”—but she wanted to have it her way!  She wanted to call her new asset protection trust “The Happy Bottom Family Trust.”  Unusual, but legally a trust maker can choose any non-deceptive name for a trust.  I asked Gladys why she wanted a “Happy Bottom Trust.”  Giving me a wink, Gladys flashed a big smile and began her story.

“In 1941 I graduated from eighth grade.  I worked as a salesgirl at the dime store at 31st Street and Halsted in Chicago.  My boss, Mr. Fox, loved to tease me.  One day he came over to me and said loudly, “Gladaaas!  Gladaaaas!  Did you know your name translates as Happy Bottom?”  I laughed and laughed.  And I’ve been telling that story all my life.  Nobody remembers me when just I tell them my name is Gladys.  But everyone remembers me when I tell my name is Gladys and that means Happy Bottom.”

Now both Diana and I were laughing with her, and we agreed that The Happy Bottom Family Trust now made sense to us.  This trust is designed to protect a portion of her assets in the event she ever suffers unending long-term care costs.

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

8 times named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine, Rick has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Retirement Taxes. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

 


Do You Have Someone Who Will Advocate For You?

By Rick L. Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Attorneys at Law ElderLaw in west suburban Aurora, Illinois.

Older adults have often lamented of doctors and/or hospital staff who ignored the wishes of a loved one, and proceeded with pursuing life-prolonging care.  Even when they had insisted that their loved one did not want life-prolonging treatment, a doctor nevertheless ordered feeding tubes, ventilators, and other life-prolonging measures.  It is through my encounters with these individuals that I have discovered that these situations can and do happen.  Part of of my philosophy of end-of life planning is to help my clients to ensure that their wishes will be adhered to. 

I once taught a two-hour continuing education course about advance directives for an audience of hospital administrators, nurses, and social workers.  “Advance directives” are documents such as the Living Will, the Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR), and the Health Care Power of Attorney.  A primary goal for people who sign these forms is to avoid unwanted resuscitation and other “heroic measures” when there is no hope of recovery and returning to an enjoyable life.

Unfortunately, studies show a “lack of regard” for a patient’s preferences in life-sustaining treatment decisions by doctors and hospital staff.  This trend is quite frightening.  “Despite patients’ wishes, the indiscriminate use of technology and the lack of communication between patients and health care providers have been shown to result in unnecessary pain and suffering for patients.” (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) In addition, the study notes that the medical costs of prolonging a dying patient’s life via artificial ventilation and intensive care often range between $11,000 and $36,000.  

 

It has been demonstrated that 46% of dying patients received mechanical ventilation in the last three days of their lives.  Many of those individuals never wanted to be on a ventilator—yet they live on in a state of hopeless suffering because of their physician’s decisions.

What can you do to prevent this scenario from happening to you or someone that you love?

  • Create a written advance directive such as a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, and/or a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) in appropriate circumstances;
  • Insist that your advance directives are placed in all of your medical records and that your physician is well aware of the existence of such documents;
  • Have “the talk” with your family and doctor to make sure that everyone is very aware of your feelings regarding life-sustaining treatment in the event there is no hope of recovery. This will allow you to get all of your family members “on the same page”; and
  • Choose an “advocate” as your Health Care Power of Attorney and/or surrogate decision maker.  That advocate is someone who can look a medical professional in the eye and insist that your wishes be carried out.  I recommend that you look through your family and friends and choose someone who can insist that your desire regarding life-prolonging treatment be respected by the medical profession.

If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Attorney

8 times named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine, Rick has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate, Asset, and Retirement Taxes. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Putting Together the Pieces of the Aging Puzzle

 From Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyer Rick Law of the Multi-Generation law firm at Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, Illinois.

Due to the nature of typical elder law representation, it is particularly important that we spend time educating our clients and their families to understand the attorney-client relationship.  We have a duty to represent our client, and in doing so, put their minds at ease.  That way, we can ask the important questions when the time comes.

To be an elder law attorneys, it is a calling, rather than a calculated business decision.  Usually due to the frailty of someone we love… a parent, a spouse, a sibling… elder law has chosen us.

The fact, that the legal advice we provide may be the least complicated piece of the client’s aging puzzle is music to our ears.  My goal has always been to explain how we help, and what next steps we can take, in simple, understandable English…at least when possible.

Many times the client’s adult children have an agenda which conflicts with that of the senior. We strive to mediate those conflicts and seek our client’s best interests. We help clients and families put together the “aging puzzle” with its many ill-fitting pieces of frail health, caregiving needs, survivor care concerns, financial decisions, residential options, family relationships, insufficient assets, substitute decision-makers, cumbersome probate, end-of-life decisions, and more.

I’ve always hoped to make the planning experience “transformational” rather than “transactional.”  We strive to be more than dispute mediators, or standard document drafters.

As elder law attorneys, we empower lives for the better in a way. This often impacts whole families for years to come. We believe that we are providing important services for our clients our communities, and our country.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Transformation Over Transaction

By Estate Planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generational law firm at Law ElderLaw.  Estate, Asset & Retirement Tax Attorneys serving Kane, Kendall, and DuPage counties in Illinois.

One of the goals in our practice is to make the client’s experience “transformational” rather than “transactional.”  This means doing more than simple legal task fulfillment such as resolving a dispute, drafting a document, or closing a real estate deal.  As elder law attorneys, we empower lives for the better in a way which will impact whole families for years to come. We believe that we are providing important services our clients cannot get elsewhere.

Our clients rely upon us for more than traditional legal advice.  We help clients and families put together the “aging puzzle” with its many ill-fitting pieces of frail health, caregiving needs, survivor care concerns, financial decisions, residential options, family relationships, insufficient assets, substitute decision-makers, cumbersome probate, end-of-life decisions, and more.  In fact, the legal advice we provide may be the least complicated piece of the client’s aging puzzle.

When clients get information from other sources, whether it is the government, a care facility, their banker, or even another family member, the person giving the answers may be well-meaning, but it is not their job to put the senior-client’s interests first. The elder law attorney is the filtering advocate for the frail senior. Our code of legal responsibility demands that we place our client’s interests first.

The scope of our legal services is defined by the client’s overall circumstances. We work at the juncture of estate planning, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, financial planning, health care, family dynamics, tax law, and medicine.

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


The Cowboy Code

By Attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyers at Law ElderLaw.  Home of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in the Western Chicagoland suburb of Aurora, in Illinois.

I grew up (like most baby boomers) in the age of the TV Cowboy Hero. We were saturated with the “Code of the West” as the good guys of the cinematic Old West rode, roped, and fought their way into our hearts and minds.

The Good Guys wore white hats (with the exception of Hopalong Cassidy) and selflessly fought evil as they helped the poor, oppressed, innocent, and vulnerable.

It was always easy to recognize the Bad Guys…

They didn’t just rustle stock from the honest folk. As a clear allegory for our now adult lives, the bad guys often came in the form of bankers and businessmen… misusing their power and position to cheat good and hard-working citizens out of their homes, ranches, and livestock.

Like many idealistic law students, I carried that “cowboy code” inside me. I imagined using my legal skills to fight injustice and protect the innocent—just as my heroes had done.

But I soon found that real lawyering is seldom as glamorous and interesting as a TV show, so I spent the better part of my first 25 years becoming very efficient and effective at moving mountains of documents for clients, mostly real estate and tax documents. It was not the work of a hero, but it paid the bills.

Around 2000, due in large part to the aging issues of my parents, and my parents’ generation, I became a part of a small “tribe” of lawyers who practice elder law.  A combination of estate planning, taxation, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, elder abuse, and more, elder lawyers focus on assisting the frail and elderly to help achieve their goals of quality health care, while striving to avoid needless impoverishment.

As I mentioned, I have been touched by a loved one’s long-term illness or a disability, and because of this, I strive to help the ones who need help the most; the widow(er), the caregiver spouse/adult child, and the frail elderly.  That, to me, makes being an elder law attorney the modern equivalent of Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, or Hopalong Cassidy.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

 


Personal Care Contracts and Medicaid

By attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyers at Law ElderLaw in West suburban Aurora in Illinois.

Seniors suffering from dementia who wish to qualify for state-paid nursing home care are required to spend down until they only have $2,000 in countable assets (this number varies from state to state). The state Medicaid agency is going to examine all major financial transactions that occurred during the five years prior to Medicaid application. This is where the personal-care contract needs to be very precise in how it details the care being provided.

The state Medicaid agency will be looking to see if the caregiver agreement is being used to allow the parent to simply gift assets to children and still apply for long-term care on the state’s dime. State Medicaid agencies will generally look at two factors to determine whether a transfer of assets disqualifies the person receiving the care for Medicaid benefits:

  1. the fair market value of the transaction
  2. the intent behind the transaction

While that may sound simple enough, determining the prevailing price of eldercare services is not as easy as it sounds. Just about everyone, including hearing officers and judges, has a different opinion as to how to determine the prevailing price for caregivers.

In some states, it may be essential that the personal-care agreement be entered into prior to services being rendered. In other states, those reviewing the contract will be looking for specifics such as how long the services will last, how many hours per week, what standards of services are being provided, and what, if any, provisions provide for a refund.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles.  His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being lost to the expenses of long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!