If you have an aging family member, you may have been placed in the uncomfortable position of transitioning your loved one into nursing home care. This task can involve hours of online research, cost estimates, and confusion.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to get answers to the questions surrounding care for an aging loved one. Our life care planning services take a practical approach to difficult problems, allowing you and your loved one to make decisions with confidence and enjoy peace of mind.
Incorporating Life Care Planning Into Your Estate Plan
Elder law attorneys combine legal advice, senior advocacy, and financial planning to create specific guidelines for your future. At our law firm, we take a holistic approach that covers multiple aspects of estate planning, asset protection, and care coordination services to create a master plan for the rest of your loved one’s life.
A good life care plan will address your (or your loved one’s) current and future:
- Physical needs. We examine your loved one’s present health condition as well as any disabilities or illnesses that may worsen over time, determining the most likely future treatments and their costs. Once we estimate future needs, we create a full list of benefits or government resources that could help offset the costs of future care and help you apply for each qualified program.
- Living situation. One of the hardest questions to answer is whether your family member should age at home or at an alternative residence. If your loved one must enter a nursing home, we can help you choose an appropriate facility and determine the best way to pay for long-term care (including Medicaid or VA benefits), allowing your loved one’s assets to be passed down instead of spent on care. If your loved one lives at home, we can calculate the costs of home care assistance or safety modifications as well as establish who will inherit the house after the loved one’s passing.
- Mental health. It is best to perform life care planning while your loved one is still able to make decisions and understand their impact. An early start can allow loved ones to create advance healthcare directives, ensuring that their wishes are known and followed even if they become incapacitated.
- End-of-life wishes. Your loved one should designate a family member to serve as to healthcare proxy, financial power of attorney, and personal representative of his or her estate. These representatives will be guided by clear documentation, allowing them to achieve a loved one’s goals without guilt or hesitation.
- Financial wellness. Asset protection is an important part of estate planning, especially for seniors entering nursing home care. We can determine whether homes, real estate, or savings should be held in a trust to avoid being used toward long-term care costs.
- Beneficiaries. It is vital to monitor a loved one’s life care plan every few years to make sure all legal documents and designations are up to date. For instance, documents that are not made current after divorce or the birth of new children could cause inheritance disputes later on.
- Provisions for family members. A little planning ahead of time can help family members avoid probate and costly estate litigation after a loved one’s passing. This can allow property to pass directly to beneficiaries, establish guardianship and trusts for minor children and grandchildren, and ensure that a loved one is able to provide support to family members long after his or her death.
How We Can Help
At Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C., we have helped hundreds of families throughout New York City plan for futures that included ill-health, disability, and other sensitive issues. If you have questions about your future, fill out our quick contact form or call us to learn how we can help you with a custom-made estate plan.