Working with an Atlanta Elder Law Attorney to Determine Who Will Pay for Your Long-Term Care

Working with an Atlanta Elder Law Attorney to Determine Who Will Pay for Your Long-Term Care

Elder law attorneys in Atlanta

Many people approach estate planning attorneys in order to determine how their assets will be divided among survivors after their death.  Unfortunately, a huge number of them don’t take the high likelihood of long-term care into consideration.  Elder law attorneys in Atlanta see this situation come up time and again, and it is important to educate clients on the options they have available.

First of all, long-term care is a very likely scenario.  People are now living longer than they ever have before.  This can be a great thing, but it also means that the period of time in which we cannot fully care for ourselves may be longer, too.  More and more people find that they truly need some form of long-term care.  In some cases, this can be handled through an in-home healthcare worker rather than in a nursing home, but even that is expensive.

Nursing homes are a common solution when it comes to long-term care, and a good elder law attorney should help you plan for how to make this possibility happen.  It’s common for people to think that the government will simply pay for their needs or that a nursing home isn’t any more expensive than renting an apartment.  Both ideas are usually untrue.

So, how does one pay for long-term care?  Elder care attorneys typically see four approaches:

  1. Private Pay – Any care that is needed, from nursing homes to prescriptions drugs (including co-payments or full costs) are covered out of pocket.  Elder care services tend to be very expensive, and the costs associated with them are incredibly high.  It’s not unusual for assisted-living placements to cost upwards of $8,000 a month.  That means that “simple” basics that are required for day-to-day living come out to $96,000 a year.
  2. Medicare – Medicare is a health insurance program administered through the government.  Elder law attorneys work with this program a lot because one of the basic requirements is that you must be over 65 to receive benefits.  Many people are surprised to learn that Medicare does not typically cover long-term care.  So, even if you qualify for this program, it cannot be used to cover nursing home care or in-home healthcare professionals for more than about 100 days.
  3. Medicaid – Medicaid is used by those with great financial need, and you must apply and qualify for the benefits.  Many people are shocked when their elder law attorney explains that Medicaid is not actually available to everyone, and if you have much by way of assets (even a modest home or a few thousand dollars in the bank), you may not qualify at all.  If you hope to qualify for Medicaid, you must prepare several years in advance to protect your assets.
  4. Long-Term Care Insurance – This type of insurance can help to cover or offset the costs associated with long-term care, such as an in-home healthcare worker or nursing home care.  Policies can be somewhat confusing and expensive, so it’s highly recommended to work with an impartial elder law attorney when reviewing potential policies to ensure you understand them and are getting what you expect.

There are many issues to take into consideration when planning for your future, and long-term care is undoubtedly one of the most important.  Working with an elder care attorney in Atlanta means that you will understand the options that are available to you and how they apply according to state and federal law.

Atlanta Elder Lawyer Perspective: Legal Concerns for Caregivers

Atlanta Elder Lawyer Perspective: Legal Concerns for Caregivers

cobb county elder law

Elder lawyers in Atlanta work not just with our older clients, but also with their caregivers.  In many cases, this means adult children who have or will be given power of attorney, not to mention those who just step up to help when something is needed.  There are some legal issues which seem to arise caused by people who see the elderly as targets or victims, and often it is the caregiver who is left to pick up the pieces.  A good Atlanta elder lawyer may be able to help you prepare for, and hopefully avoid, these pitfalls.

Unscrupulous Siblings

Unfortunately, caregivers may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of confronting a sibling who is taking advantage of the elderly parent.  It seems the least responsible child can sometimes find ways to “freeload” off the parent: requesting money, gifts, and special favors which the parent cannot necessarily afford.

While it’s no fun, it may be necessary to step in and put a stop to this behavior.  This is much easier if the caregiver has a financial power of attorney in place.  Even then, it can be difficult to convince the parent that he or she needs to stop funding the sibling’s bad behavior.

Another concern in this area is a sibling or siblings can falsely accuse the caregiver of misconduct.  It could be because the sibling simply doesn’t understand the day-to-day responsibilities of taking care of the parents, or they may be jealous of the caregiver’s relationship with the parent.  Greed can also come into play, with the sibling wanting as much money as possible to be left in the parent’s estate for him or her to inherit.

Scam Artists

While unscrupulous siblings are certainly disheartening, the prevalence of strangers willing to take advantage of elderly people is absolutely infuriating.  From those who want to sell bogus or unnecessary insurance policies to those who will flat-out rob a person of their identity, caregivers need to be vigilant to keep their vulnerable loved ones protected.  Your Atlanta elder lawyer can keep you apprised of common scams which are going around the area and will offer useful advice for how to keep these con artists out of your family’s accounts.

Lovers

A different group of people who are willing to take advantage of elderly folks are those who will insinuate themselves into the parent’s life as a boyfriend or girlfriend.  In some cases, these individuals may be considerably younger—what are commonly referred to as “gold diggers.”  These people flatter the elderly person, providing him or her with attention and what appears to be love.  Instead, the “lover” is really interested in bleeding the elderly person’s bank account.  He or she may even be angling to be named in the will.

Working with an Atlanta elder lawyer may afford some options for protection against someone who is obviously using your parent for financial gain.  To learn what documents need to be in place to ensure your loved one’s finances stay protected and managed by someone the senior trusts, simply give our Atlanta area law firm a call at 770-425-6060 and ask to schedule a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session.