By incorporating an incapacity plan into your comprehensive estate plan you are able to use legal strategies and tools that collectively determine who will control your assets and make important decisions for you in the event you are ever incapacitated. It allows you to make crucial decisions now instead of a judge making them for you later or deciding who will make them for you. … [Read more...] about How does incapacity planning help?
The same problem could occur when it comes to control over your assets during a period of incapacity. In the absence of a plan that gives someone the legal right to control your assets, a court will likely be forced to appoint someone. That person may – or may not – be someone you would want taking over control of your assets. … [Read more...] about What about control of my assets if I become incapacitated?
This common misconception is precisely why many people fail to plan for incapacity. The reality is that even if you are married there is no guarantee that it will be your spouse making serious, even life or death, healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them because of incapacity. All too often more than one family member believes that he/she should be the one making those decisions and the right to make them ends up in a court battle – a battle that could result in a family feud … [Read more...] about Won’t my spouse/parent/sibling automatically be allowed to make decisions for me if I can’t make them?
The short answer is “yes.” In fact, if you are relatively young and healthy you probably need to be more worried about a period of incapacity than you do death. Up to about age 40 you are three times more likely to become incapacitated than you are to die. One in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before they reach retirement age. Because you undoubtedly care what happens to you and your assets if incapacity does strike, … [Read more...] about I’m fairly young and healthy. Do I really need to plan for incapacity?
The sad reality is that there are predators who intentionally prey on society’s most vulnerable, including the elderly. Then there are those who commit opportunistic elder abuse. In fact, experts tell us that about 75 percent of the time it is a family who is the perpetrator of elder abuse, particularly when that abuse is financial abuse. Conservative estimates also indicate that more than 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and more than 90 percent report that they or … [Read more...] about Do I need an elder law attorney if I suspect elder abuse?
Neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans will cover the costs associated with long-term care. Unless you have the resources to cover the high cost of nursing home care out of pocket and indefinitely, you will likely find yourself turning to Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) for help. To be eligible, however, you must contend with very low “countable resources” limits that can put your retirement nest egg at risk as well as a variety of other complex eligibility guidelines. … [Read more...] about Do I need an elder law attorney to help me with Medi-Cal planning?
Date from 2015 indicates that approximately 43.5 million caregivers provided unpaid care to an adult or child that year. Lost income and benefits over a caregiver's lifetime is estimated to be, on average, over $300,000. Caregivers face emotional stress, financial hardship, and often legal struggles as a result of the care they provide. Sometimes, help is available if you know where to look and how to qualify. An experienced elder law attorney may be able to help with things such as getting a … [Read more...] about As a caregiver or family member, why might I need an elder law attorney?
Watching a parent succumb to the natural aging process is not easy. Making the decision to seek guardianship (referred to as conservatorship in California) over a parent is ever more difficult; however, it may become necessary to prevent serious injury and/or victimization by those who prey on the elderly. An elder law attorney can help you pursue conservatorship to ensure that you have the legal authority required by law to properly care for an protect your parent. … [Read more...] about Do I need an elder law attorney to help me become my parent’s guardian?
Because an elder law attorney focuses more on the client demographics than the area of the law, there are numerous different legal issues an elder law attorney might be able to help you with, such as: Denial of SSI, SSDI, or other benefits Guardianship – petitioning for, or objecting to Housing discrimination Long-term care planning Estate planning Elder abuse Health insurance issues Preparing advance directives Retirement planning Nursing home abuse Medicaid … [Read more...] about What kind of legal problems or issues might an elder law attorney help me with?
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, or NAELA, was formed in the late 1980s as a way to better serve this growing segment of the population. Five years after the creation of NAELA, the National Elder Law Foundation was formed. The purpose of the non-profit NELF was to help improve the professional skills of attorneys who choose to focus on elder law. Toward that end, NELF then developed a national certification program for attorneys known as the Certified Elder Law Attorney, or CELA, … [Read more...] about Do elder law attorneys have special training?