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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Early Long-Term Care Planning on Your Terms

May 1, 2019

It's not uncommon for families to come to us with an interest in Medi-Cal planning for themselves or a loved one.

Sometimes it's early planning and others, unfortunately, are in crisis.

At any rate, the myth of elder law only being about Medi-Cal is one we fight on a daily basis.

That's why in honor of National Elder Law Month, we’re bringing awareness about what you and your loved ones could, and should, be doing.

After all, our main focus is to enhance the quality of life of our clients as they or their parents age and we only feel it’s right to educate everyone on all possibilities.

Chances are high that you and/or your loved ones will become disabled in the future, whether from stroke, dementia, accident, or plain frailty due to advanced age. In fact, 50% of people 65 and over will need care of some form for the remainder of their life.

An even more shocking statistic is that one in three Americans will face at least a 90-day disability before reaching age 65. And, depending upon age, 44% of us will face a disability lasting 4.7 years.

Planning to express your wishes regarding how you want to be cared during times of disability can save you (and your loved ones) time, money and headaches.

We’ll be the first to admit it. It's not an enjoyable experience to think or plan for you or your loved ones’ need for potential future care. But, not planning can put you in crisis mode should anything happen.

We've seen it too many times, and you may have even been in this position before.

The Main Pillars of Elder Law and Why You Need Them:

  1. Crisis protection (+ Medi-Cal eligibility)
    When a nursing home is needed immediately and an asset protection strategy must be put into place to protect and preserve assets.
  1. Disability planning
    A very important and often overlooked part of your estate plan. Allows you to delegate financial and healthcare management and decision-making to another in the event of disability or incapacity.  Disability planning can also include asset protection planning for long-term care.
  1. Estate planning
    A complete estate plan created while you are healthy that allows you to keep control of your assets while alive, name trusted individuals to help when you are disabled/incapacitated, and then give what you have, to whom you want, the way you want, all while avoiding the court system (i.e., conservatorship and death probate).
  2. Long-term care insurance evaluation
    Evaluate the quality and benefits of your current or proposed long-term care policy, by discerning the differences and alerting you when the policy does not provide you with the benefits that you expect
  3. Asset protection
    Protect your family from nursing home expenses, creditors and lawsuits that threaten financial security and predators such as divorce, remarriage, children or grandchildren with physical or emotional frailties, financial irresponsible or immature children, difficult in-laws, or business ventures.
  4. Probate
    A court-supervised process to wrap up your affairs and transfer assets upon death. It is time-consuming, expensive and public!
  5. Administration and management of trusts and estates
    Trustee assistance to avoid delays, extra taxes, and loss of asset protection.

We've found there's a lot of misinformation out there and unfortunately, people end up in crisis mode when a health disaster strikes due to lack of planning.

The plan you deploy is going to depend on your unique family situation and goals. Bringing in an experienced elder and estate planning lawyer to talk through the options available to you and your family will ensure you’re protected.

Don’t limit your options by waiting until a crisis has hit. Create peace of mind for you and your family today.

If you’re considering planning for yourself or a loved one, please call us at (916) 241-9661 or reply to this email to schedule an appointment.

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Heather was wonderful. She explained, in understandable terms, why it is important to establish an estate plan. I never realized what would happen, without a plan in place, and we could not bear the thought of our child in arms of absolute strangers while the court system sorted out his future.

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