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The Honor Flight Network

By Rick Law of Law ElderLaw.  LEL is Aurora, Illinois’ Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax law firm.  The multi-generational law firm at Law ElderLaw serves seniors and their families in Chicagoland and the suburbs in Illinois.

The nonprofit Honor Flight Network, has the privilege of giving our veterans a special tribute for their service to our country. Honor Flight transports veterans, especially senior veterans or those with failing health, to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials.

The inaugural Honor Flight Tour took place in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. In August of 2005, an ever-expanding waiting list of veterans led to a transition to commercial airline carriers with the goal of accommodating as many veterans as possible.

The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain. Earl wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years. After retiring from the Air Force in 1998, Earl was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio. In May of 2004, the World War II Memorial was finally completed and dedicated in Washington, D.C. and quickly became the topic of discussion among his World War II veteran patients.

Earl repeatedly asked these veterans if they would ever travel out to visit THEIR memorial. Most felt that eventually, somehow, they would make it to D.C., perhaps with a family member or friend. As summer turned to fall and then winter, these same veterans returned to the clinic for their follow-up visits. Earl asked if they accomplished their dream of visiting the World War II Memorial. By now, for most of the veterans he asked, reality had settled in; it was clear to most that it simply wasn’t financially or physically possible for them to make the journey. Most of these senior heroes were in their 80’s and lacked the physical and mental wherewithal to complete a trip on their own. Families and friends also lacked the resources and time to complete the three- to four-day trip to the nation’s capital.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Honor Flight Network will continue do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help our heroes travel absolutely free.

Honor flights for Illinois veterans are flown multiple times a year.  There is an application process for both the veteran and the guardian.  You can contact them at through their website at www.honorflight.org or call 937-521-2400 to make arrangements for this very special event.

If the aging veteran you love could use some extra money to help pay for the cost of in-home, nursing home, or assisted living 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.

Sincerely,

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

8 times named #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, Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax Attorneys, a multi-generation law firm. 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 Respond-ability

By Rick Law of the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax Law Firm at Law ElderLaw.  Along with his daughter – Attorney Diana Law – Rick is a partner at the multi-generation law firm at Law ElderLaw in Western suburban Chicagoland, Illinois.  

We can choose how we respond to life’s circumstances…

This was the invaluable life lesson I learned when at 17 years old, my mentor Don L. Dise gave me the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.  How we think about things will then determine our actions and our reactions.  Our actions and reactions will change our circumstances for the better or for the worse.

The bottom line is that we have the power to change our lives by choosing to improve our thinking and responding.  We have a personal responsibility to choose our thoughts and our actions.

I was reminded of these tenants several years ago when I attended the “Peak Performance 101 Workshop” at the Van Tharp Institute in North Carolina.  The focus of the class was on personal responsibility and improving one’s responses to circumstances.  “Respond-ability” is Dr. Tharp’s phrase for better living through better thinking and response.  These are his “Rules for Being Human.”

  • You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period.
  • You will learn lessons.  You are enrolled in full-time informational school called life.  Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons.  You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  • There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial and error, of experimentation.  The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the life process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  • A lesson is repeated until learned.  A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  • Learning lessons does not end.  There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons.  If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  • “There” is no better than “here.”  When your “there” has become “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again, look better than “here.”
  • Other people are merely mirrors of you.  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  • What you make of your life is up to you.  You have all the tools and resources you need.  What you do with them is up to you.  The choice is yours.

I can’t help but feel that these “rules” are invaluable for our day-to-day dealings with each other.  Especially in a family situation where you’re dealing with a health or wealth crisis, the strains on your relationships can be immense.  Your respond-ability is your ability to adapt and react to the situation at hand.

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, 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!


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!


Planning to Protect

By Law ElderLaw’s Rick Law. The LEL team is comprised of Estate, Asset & Retirement Tax Planning attorneys in the Western Chicago suburb of Aurora in Illinois.

Planning ahead to protect your surviving spouse is one of the best things you can do to protect your loved ones.  The problem is, some people wait until it’s too late.  I’ve said it before, when you’re out of money, you’re out of options.

So what are some of the things you need to plan and protect against?

  • Loss of a Social Security Check
  • Possible loss of pension
  • Survivor’s taxes may be higher because
    • Single person tax brackets are compressed
    • The big 4 tax deductions are gone
      • Mortgage Interest
      • Dependent children
      • Charities
      • 401k & IRA deductions
  • Inflation

There could be a myriad of reasons why these items would affect you, but now is the time to protect your spouse’s future income with tax planning to increase the net spendable dollars.

In the end, it’s all about your family – your surviving spouse and your children.  At Law ElderLaw, we can help create trusts tailored specifically to each beneficiary.

This level of targeted planning can help protect your adult child’s inheritance from:

  • Divorce
  • Bankruptcy
  • Creditors
  • Predators
  • Inability to handle money
  • Poor decisions
  • Taxes
  • Eccentricities

But what about you?  An estate and asset protection plan also needs to protect you!  Are your assets at risk? Will you lose your house if long-term care is required?  Depending where you are on the elder care journey, our firm may be able to help you better navigate the twists and turns, and the pitfalls and roadblocks of planning to live.  That’s right, because we all know we’re going to die… but what if you live? What if a protracted illness sees you stuck in a care facility for an extended period of time? Will you have the resources to survive without leaving your spouse destitute? Will your children have an inheritance when you’re gone?

That’s where the experienced professionals at Law ElderLaw come in.  Our team is ready to help you plan and protect your future, for better or worse.

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, 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!


A Multi Generation Law Firm

 By  Attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax law firm of Law ElderLaw, home of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in Aurora, IL.

As a prospective client, it’s completely reasonable for you ask your attorney about their own succession plans.

I was born in 1950 and my life expectancy is about 14 more years.  When I was on vacation a few years back, one of my attorney acquaintances died suddenly of a heart attack. He was 61 and a sole practitioner… kind of leaves you to wonder;  was he ready for the unexpected? What’s happening with his client’s files?  Thankfully, Law ElderLaw is a multigeneration firm filled with talented and personable lawyers, not the least of which is my Daughter, Diana.

Whatever attorney you choose, they should take no offense if you ask, “How old are you?”; “How will you keep track of my secure files in the future?”; and “What is your succession plan if something happens to you?”  Every client deserves to know the answers to those questions.

Here at Law ElderLaw one of our goals is to run our law practice with modern, business-style systems designed to care for our clients every step of the way.  Our systems begin with sending our message to prospective clients and ends with our final information and electronic file storage.  But most importantly, at Law ElderLaw we provide services to our clients as a team.  Running a law practice today requires management of much more than just the legal work, and we take that seriously—for ourselves and for our clients.

Let me leave you with a story;

Lola finished signing her estate plan documents and looked up at me and sighed, “That is such a relief!  Every time we drive in bad weather, I worry about dying before we have provided for our granddaughters.”

She has a lovely Spanish accent, so those words were definitely music to this attorney’s ears.

But then with a note of concern, she looked directly at my face and asked, “How old are you?”  Her worry had just changed from completing her estate plan to worrying about whether or not I would outlive her.

She wanted to feel confident that I would be around to help provide guidance for her granddaughter’s trust. And rightfully so! “ I am 65,” I responded, “and the good news is that Law ElderLaw has a second generation built-in. I am the oldest at our firm, but we have many young, capable people here to hold your hand if something happens to me.”

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!


Our Mission at Law ElderLaw

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generation law firm Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL. 

Are you aware that a catastrophic illness could wipe out virtually all your financial resources?  What will happen to you if you outlive your money?  You can learn how to protect your life savings and your legacy during our free vision meeting.  Call our office at 800-310-3100 to ask for more information or set up an appointment.

At Law ElderLaw, our mission is to help seniors protect their assets from unnecessary taxes, legal expenses, and the devastating cost of catastrophic healthcare or long-lasting nursing home fees.  Our goal is to make sure your assets will last you a lifetime, and passed on to your loved ones in the most timely and cost-effective manner.

You may be surprised to find that elder law attorneys are of a different breed than other lawyers.

Not only are we familiar with professional resources for you and your loved ones, but we are also ready to provide you with many community resources to help meet your family’s needs.  Serving over 400 Illinois families every year, we have walked this difficult road before and we understand the delicate situations that surround end-of-life planning.

Come in and talk to us, we can help you along this path.

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 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!


Could Medicaid Help Pay for Your In-Home Care? Part 2

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL.  LEL is a multi-generation law firm.

In the last installment of my blog, you learned some of the basics of Medicaid in Illinois – and why you need to be informed about it even if you still have money!

The Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program helps seniors who might otherwise need nursing home care to remain at home by providing help that the senior may need.  This includes help within the home, as well as in the community.

This program allows qualifying seniors to keep their independence, while providing cost-effective alternatives to a nursing home.

Some of the benefits of the Community Care Program include:

  • In-Home Help is available to provide assistance with household tasks and personal care for older adults who are moderately impaired. It could be something as simple as uncapping medications and providing water, or even assisting with personal care, cleaning, doing laundry, preparing meals.  Help with more complex tasks is also included, such as meal planning, shopping and arranging transportation.
  • Emergency Home Response Service provides the senior with a signaling device for 24-hour emergency coverage.  That way, if help is needed (such as a fall or a fire), the senior can easily alert the authorities and get fast help.
  • Adult Day Services offer older adults the opportunity to interact with other people in a safe, supervised setting outside the home. Snacks and a noon meal are provided, and participants may enjoy everything from arts and crafts to card games. Counseling and physical therapy with trained professionals are also available in some centers. Adult day service centers can greatly help caregiving family members who may need a few hours to themselves, or who work outside the home during the day. In many adult day service centers funded by the Illinois Department on Aging, specialized programs are available for seniors with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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!


Disabled Child and the TLC Trust

By estate planning attorney Rick Law, founder of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw, a multi-generation law firm in the Western suburb of Aurora in Illinois.

My wife and I are empty-nesters.  We looked forward to reaching this point with excitement, and a little anxiety too.  Having raised four children, it’s time to move on to the more senior stages of downsizing and anticipating our retirement.

Not everyone becomes an empty-nester.  And although we sometimes joke about the occasional “failure-to-launch”, the child who still relies heavily on the parents due to their inability to establish a career, there’s another group of parents who will never know the joy of seeing their child be fully self-supporting.  

In my office it is not uncommon for me to sit across the table from an 83 year old parent who is still the primary caregiver for a child who is chronically disabled.  Those parents live in dread of the day that they will die and their children may survive them and face a future without the loving protection of a parent.

This is the first time in human history that parents face the possibility of having their chronically disabled children actually outlive them.  Prior to the introduction of antibiotics and many other great advances in health care, chronically disabled children routinely died at a young age.  But now, even parents who have lived to become the frail elderly themselves may have chronically disabled children who are themselves senior citizens, but who are still at home being cared for by their parents.  

In fact, sometimes when we assist families in bringing in a professional caregiver for the aged parents, those same caregivers are providing necessary services to the child with the disability, as well.  This raises new challenges for those parents and their children. This type of disability is really quite common.  “Developmental disabilities” are severe chronic conditions caused by mental and/or physical impairments.  Individuals affected by such challenges may be so profoundly impacted that they will never be able to function independently.  

So how can a parent be assured that a disabled child will be taken care of after the parent is gone?  Some attorneys will recommend that you leave everything to another, non-disabled child, to care for the disabled sibling.  This passing of the torch is unfair and in many ways ill-advised. Far better is the creation of a special needs trust specifically for the benefit of your disabled child.

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 has been 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!


Seniors in Love

“By Rick Law, estate planning attorney and senior advocate at the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in Western Chicagoland in Illinois.

Love and marriage is wonderful, but for senior citizens it raises very different issues than it does for the young and newly married.

One obvious issue is the fact that most seniors already have adult children, and many of those adult children are quite vocal in their concern about their mother or father becoming involved in a new love life.

Before mom or dad get married, many children want to make sure that their inheritance is protected.  To that end, many seniors use wills or trusts which direct that assets go to “my kids and grandkids,” or create pre-marriage-property-settlement agreements (pre-nuptial contracts) which require that the pending bride or groom give up any interest in their new spouse’s assets.

Despite these attempts to safeguard assets for the original families, there is another hidden danger to the family wealth whenever a senior chooses to wed. A trust or pre-nuptial agreement does not protect the assets of one spouse from being drained to pay for an ill spouse’s medical costs, including long-term care costs.

The “Common Law of England” required long ago that husbands and wives be legally responsible to pay for each others’ necessaries, and our own government adopted that requirement. Included in those “necessaries” are food, housing, and yes: healthcare. This includes the cost of care when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or any other long-term illness.

To protect themselves from this hidden drain on a lifetime of earnings, healthy vigorous seniors who are considering getting “hitched” must consider the wisdom of purchasing long-term care insurance and perhaps engaging an elder law attorney to assist them with longevity planning. All this must take place before your marriage, so that you have some idea of what your real risks are.

Elder law attorneys have many creative legal solutions that go beyond the traditional estate planner’s basic will and trust, which merely deal with the distribution of your assets at the time of your death, avoidance of probate, and minimization of estate taxes.

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 has been 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!


Escalation of Care Required

By Rick Law of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw.  Rick Law and daughter attorney Diana Law are the lead attorneys at the multi-generational law firm of Law ElderLaw. Serving seniors and their families through elder law services, estate planning, guardianship, probate, wills and trusts, and much more in Kane, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Cook counties in Illinois.

A client walks into a lawyer’s office and says, “I have been going over and taking care of my elderly mother for the past few months for a few hours a day. Now she’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and this is going to take up a lot more of my time and energy. I may need for her to move in with me and my husband, and I am going to need to start charging her. I want to set up a personal-care agreement for her.”

In this situation it is not too late to create a valid personal-care agreement even though care has already been provided for free, because at this point the client is saying that the care needs have intensified and it’s time for them to start being paid.

The key for Medicaid eligibility is that someone can never be compensated for care that was being provided gratuitously. In the Medicaid context, care provided without a properly drafted and medically justified personal-care agreement is presumptively gratuitous. For example, the parents lived with their son for two years and he did many things for them gratuitously, and then suddenly he says he wants to receive payment. He says that not only does he want to receive payment going forward, he wants to be compensated for all that previous care.

That will be a big issue for Medicaid eligibility for the affected loved one, because a retroactive payment will be viewed as a gift and could create a substantial period of ineligibility for the person needing Medicaid.

The reality is that a lot of times people incrementally get into these situations. So if you the individual seek out lawyers early in that process, your lawyer would probably want to have them set up a low-level personal-care agreement.

As the care increases, so would the amount that caregivers are being paid proportionally to the amount of hours they’re working over time. An elder law attorney will have ancillary documentation in place to validate the changes of care level needed.

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!