You may think your estate plan is all set. You wrote a will or set up trusts years ago, your children are grown so you don’t have to worry about guardianships, and you’ve already distributed some of your most sentimental assets. However, have you thought about how you will pay for long-term care if you or your spouse should need it? How quickly will your money run out if you need to go into a nursing home? Elder Law is the area of estate planning that helps you make important decisions and protect your assets as you age. I am passionate about helping my clients plan for their long-term care. Whether you already have an estate plan or not, I would love to meet with you to discuss your options.
What You Need to Think About as You Get Older
It’s really never too soon to start thinking about how you want to be taken care of should you become unable to make important decisions. Far too many people find themselves without a plan and end up suffering the consequences. At Monteforte Law, P.C., we will walk you through the following options and help you find the best solution for:
- Paying for long-term care. If you have purchased a long-term care insurance policy, you may think you are all set. We will take a look at your policy—or discuss whether it would be worth it for you to purchase one now. Without insurance, you will have to pay for long-term care with whatever money you have. It may be possible to use certain trusts to protect your assets from nursing homes.
- Qualifying for Medicaid. If you haven’t qualified for Medicaid up until now, you probably think it’s not an option for paying for long-term care. However, with the right kind of planning, you may be able to protect your assets in trusts and have Medicaid—through MassHealth—pay your long-term care expenses. We will explain how this works and help you with the complicated Medicaid application process.
- Irrevocable trusts. If you transfer certain assets—such as your home—into an irrevocable living trust at least five years before you need long-term care, you can protect those assets from being seized by the nursing home, assisted living facility, or in-home care service. This tool—also known as a Medicaid trust—can be a powerful way to protect assets for a spouse or children.
- Durable power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that names a trusted person to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so. There are several options when it comes to powers of attorney, and we will help you design one that meets your specific needs.
- Healthcare proxy. Similar to a power of attorney, this is a document that gives another person the power to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated in some way. We believe everyone should have a healthcare proxy.
- Planning for a spouse. It is very likely that you and your spouse will have different healthcare needs at different times. Placing assets in a trust to protect them from long-term care costs does not help a spouse who is still living independently. This arrangement will require careful planning with our skilled elder law attorney.
Confused? Elder care planning is complicated—that’s for sure. But you can trust me to take the time necessary to understand your specific situation and develop a unique plan to meet your needs.
We Work Around Your Schedule
The last thing you want to spend time on is thinking about what could go wrong in the future—I get that! That’s why we offer our clients the ability to accomplish estate planning tasks through video chats, telephone conversations, online intake forms, email exchanges, and online bill payment. Of course, we also welcome clients in our convenient Wilmington office. Schedule your first appointment today!