Who is your support system as you age?

For most people, it is their children but those who are childless are faced with creating their own support network to help them negotiate housing, social-service and health care options in addition to legal and financial considerations. One of the first steps is for “elder orphans” should take in creating their support system is to hire an elder law lawyer who can draw up documents that will protect them if they become incapacitated. For more advice about how to plan for your later years, follow our link to the NYT article. Single? No Kids? Don’t Fret: How to Plan Care Continue Reading

Simple Spousal Case

Elderly client’s wife was in hospital due to failure to thrive and was being discharged to rehabilitation.  Concerned that his limited finances would be depleted when he would have to private pay for his wife’s care in a nursing home, he sought our firm’s assistance.  By working diligently with him to structure his assets, we were able to get him and his wife eligible for MassHealth within three weeks.  Our client was able to retain the maximum amount allowed for a community spouse, while also converting an insurance policy and an annuity to a Medicaid compliant annuity to generate a Continue Reading

Testamentary Trust

Children came to the office because their father was in rehab with an upcoming discharge to the nursing home, and their mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  The children were concerned about getting their father the appropriate long term care, while also trying to protect mom so she could remain in the community until she would have to go to long term care.  Our office began preparing a MassHealth application and structuring their assets to protect them for the community spouse.  While in rehab, our client began failing and had to be rushed to the hospital.  When Continue Reading

Young Stroke Client

Our client was in her early 60’s and suffered a debilitating stroke, leaving her paralyzed on one side and residing in a nursing home.  Client was employed and thriving at the time of her stroke.  When it became apparent that recovery was going to be long with the possibility that she would be debilitated for the remainder of her life, we arranged for her to be moved to an assisted living facility that would provide a high level of care.  This was crucial for her mental health because the population in the nursing home was a much older, creating a Continue Reading

The Use of Immediate Annuities in Medicaid Planning for Married Couples

Immediate annuities can be a useful tool to protect the spouse of a nursing home resident who applies for Medicaid. These types of annuities allow the nursing home resident to spend down assets and give the spouse a guaranteed income. But immediate annuities may not work in every state, so be sure to check with your attorney. Medicaid is the primary source of payment for long-term care services in the United States. To qualify for Medicaid, a nursing home resident must become impoverished under Medicaid’s complicated asset rules. In most states, this means the applicant can have only $2,000 in Continue Reading

Short-Term Care Insurance: An Alternative to the Long-Term Care Variety

A little-known insurance option can be an answer for some people who might need care but are unable to buy long-term care insurance. Short-term care insurance provides coverage for nursing home or home care for one year or less. As long-term care premiums rise, short-term care insurance is gaining in popularity. This type of insurance is generally cheaper than its long-term care counterpart because it covers less time. Purchasers can choose the length of coverage they want, up to one year. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance a typical premium for a 65-year-old is $105 a month. Continue Reading

Out of state and with Alzheimer’s Disease

Daughter came to our office because mom was residing out of state and with Alzheimer’s Disease and struggling to remain in the community.  There was no one to care for her, manager her affairs, and she was failing.  We instructed the daughter to transplant her mom from out of state to Massachusetts and found a nursing home for the mom to reside in.  We then were able to spend down her assets to pay off debts, purchase an irrevocable burial contract, and pay for the initial month in the nursing home.  As the mom had real estate out of state, Continue Reading

Complex MassHealth Application

A mother created an irrevocable trust with the purpose of 5-year lookback/MassHealth planning.  Unfortunately, her health took a turn a year after the trust was created and she went into a nursing home.  By the time the son came to us for a MassHealth long-term care application, she had been private paying the nursing home for 2 years, and her assets, which included an inheritance from a recently deceased sibling, were quickly dwindling.  We quickly, but carefully, crafted a spenddown plan whereby the son and the other beneficiaries would unwind the irrevocable trust and create a single premium immediate annuity Continue Reading

Dispute Between Brothers Demonstrates Need to Plan for Long-Term Care

A recent New Jersey appeals court case demonstrates how important it is for families to come up with a long-term care plan before an emergency strikes. The case involves two brothers who got into a fight over whether to place their mother in a nursing home – a dispute that resulted in one brother filing a restraining order against the other R.G. was the primary caregiver for his parents and their agent under powers of attorney. After R.G.’s mother fell ill, R.G. wanted to place his mother in a nursing home. R.G.’s brother objected to this plan, but R.G. went Continue Reading

Costs of Some New Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Rise in Latest Survey

A couple who are both age 60 and who purchase new long-term care insurance coverage can expect to pay between 6 and 9 percent more compared to a year ago according to the 2017 Long Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group. But rates for single men and women remained fairly level or, in some instances, actually declined compared to 2016, reports the association. A married couple both age 60 would pay $2,200 a year combined for a total of $328,000 of long-term care insurance coverage. This represents a 9 Continue Reading