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Posts Tagged ‘Estate Planning’

The costs of long-term care continue to rise.  The average cost of one month in a nursing home, according to the State of Michigan, is now at $6816 per month or almost $82,000 per year.  The hourly cost of home care is $20 or more per hour.  This is more than most people can afford.  A recent Harvard study noted that 69% of single individuals and 34% of married couples would use up their life’s savings after paying for a nursing home for less than a year.  In addition, these same individuals also cannot afford the high cost of long-term care insurance.

Therefore, getting funding to pay for the high cost of long term care is very important.  The government program that provides help in paying for the cost of long-term care is Medicaid.  Unfortunately, the government has very strict rules about assets that must be met before it will pay for these high costs.  The rules are very different depending upon whether the person is pre-planning or crisis planning. (more…)

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It is good news that those who served during wartime may be eligible for an “Aid and Attendance” pension to help pay for long-term care at home or in an adult-foster care or assisted living center.  This pension can pay between one thousand and two thousand dollars a month to help cover care costs.  That supplement has been a help to thousands who would not be able to stay out of a nursing home without it.

In addition, at Heritage Elder Law & Planning, PC, we have found that those who do qualify for the Veterans pension have a distinct advantage when it comes to long-term care overall.  This is true because in spite of heroic efforts, approximately seventy-five percent of those getting assisted living care will end up needing nursing home care at some point.  Therefore, planning for the nursing home is essential even for those who will qualify for the Veterans Aid & Attendance pension. (more…)

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In April, 2010 the new Michigan Trust Code became the law in Michigan.  Why the need for a new law regarding trusts.

First, Michigan has a comprehensive set of laws regarding wills that went into effect in 1998 (the “Estates and Protected Individuals Code” or “EPIC”).  However, trusts (especially the revocable living trusts) were becoming very common.  People like trust since they permit their owners to avoid probate, reduce taxes, create greater confidentiality, flexibility and reduce contestability.  Therefore, a similar comprehensive body of law was needed for the vast and burgeoning area of trusts. (more…)

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It is not uncommon to have family members provide care for their aging parents or relatives.  This is understandable when one considers that most people would be more comfortable with their own family than with a stranger providing assistance with their activities of daily living. In fact, according to a recent study, about 21% of the population provides such family care.  These generous persons provide an average of 21 hours per week over a period of 4.5 years.

One problem with this approach, however, is that family caregivers are often forced to cut back on their employment or even quit their jobs in order to provide for their parents.  Especially in a difficult economy this can create financial hardship for the caregiver and that person’s immediate family.  Hence, many persons ask if there are any government programs that will pay family caregivers to provide care for their loved ones. (more…)

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With all of the constant changes in the Medicaid laws, seniors and their families need to keep up-to-date to make sure their care needs are provided for.  In this post I hope to highlight some of the important recent changes:

1.   Estate Recovery – While the estate recovery law that permits the state to “take” the home was passed in September of 2007, the law is not currently being enforced.  However, the state is working with the federal government to find a version that will be approved by the federal government.  Apparently Lansing is working on some additional legislation.  When that passes and is approved it can be applied for care costs dating retroactively back to September of 2007. (more…)

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A recent case in Connecticut shows how the fallout from the new Deficit Reduction Act is hurting not only nursing homes and their residents, but the residents’ families as well.  In the case of Glastonbury Healthcare Center, Inc. v. Esposito, the nursing home successfully sued the adult son of a resident for over $100,000.  This has sent up a loud warning for those families who are tempted not to plan ahead for their long term care needs.  It also sends a warning to facilities that assume patients can handle the Medicaid process without professional help.

 

In the Esposito case the adult son, Carmine Esposito, signed an Admissions Agreement when his elderly mother entered the nursing home.  He signed it under the power of attorney from his mother.  He did not sign it personally as the Responsible Party.  Among other things, this document contained the provision that the Responsible Party agrees to “act promptly and expeditiously to establish and maintain eligibility for Medicaid assistance.”  (more…)

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In today’s day and age advances in medicine have permitted us to extend and preserve life more than ever before.  However, for most that means that there is a period of time — especially as we age — when we will live with a disability.  Thus, there needs to be a way of appointing someone to help us with legal and financial decisions when we are not able.  This is especially important when long-term care costs threaten to drain an estate that could be saved with the proper grant of authority.   

A “power of attorney” is the most common way of appointing someone to help with important legal and financial decisions.  It is a written document wherein one can appoint someone to handle some or all of their legal and financial affairs.  The document is based on agency law.  You (the one appointing) are called the “principal” and the one appointed is called the “agent”.   (more…)

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