Hyannis-Based Attorneys Providing Compassionate Elder Law Services in Cape Cod
Elder Law is a subspecialty of Estate Planning in which attorneys focus on helping clients make plans for retirement, long term care, incapacity planning, and other legal issues specifically for seniors and people with disabilities. Elder Law attorneys deal with the needs of older adults, handling estate and financial matters as well as day-to-day matters such as assisted living, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and life planning.
While estate planning is important so that your family will be taken care of after you die, many of us are living well into our retirement years. That means you also need a plan for the latter years of your life, when you might need to have the means to pay for assisted living or long-term care arrangements, and need to have peace of mind knowing you and your assets will be taken care of in case you become incapacitated. An Elder Law attorney can help you handle all important aspects related to aging, including legal issues related to seniors and disabled individuals.
How Can An Elder Law Attorney Help Me?
An Elder Law Attorney can provide services and guidance for a variety of aspects related to aging. From assisting with estate planning, wills, trusts, and asset protection to guiding clients through health care planning, long-term care planning, financial representation, guardianship, and assisted living, an Elder Law Attorney’s main focus is on the needs and challenges that come with aging.
The rising cost of long-term care at a nursing facility can quickly deplete your life savings without proper planning. For that reason, it is fundamental to plan ahead to not only protect and preserve your assets and wealth for the next generation, but also to ensure you can live your latter years in life comfortably without any unexpected financial burdens. A knowledgeable Elder Law Attorney can help you and guide you through all the steps you need to take in order to have such arrangements in place.
What is Long-Term Care Planning and Why Do I Need It?
Long-term care planning is essential for most people who anticipate living into their latter years and want to have the right provisions in place to live comfortably and receive the care they require without depleting their savings or affecting their ability to pass on wealth to their spouse or next generation when the time comes. Focusing on health care and finances, strategic plans for this phase of life can save you and your family many headaches.
For many, the main concern is having the means to pay for long-term care or nursing home care. This requires many decisions, such as opting for either in-home care or nursing home care and calculating the costs of amenities such as a private room in the nursing home of your choice versus other alternatives. While Medicare covers some health care costs for individuals 65 and older, it does not cover long term care, rehabilitation, or assisted living fees. In order to receive help, an individual must qualify for Medicaid, which might be a complex and hard-to-navigate process.
The most common problem is that many people don’t like to think about such aspects, and they end up waiting to make plans until much later. Early planning is key to ensure you will have the financial means to receive the care you prefer without draining your life savings. Consulting a professional is highly recommended if you are unsure of where to begin. An attorney with knowledge in the area of Elder Law can help you walk through every step needed to have a long-term care plan in place that will protect you, your assets, and your family.
What is Incapacity Planning?
Besides aging, another concern is becoming mentally incapacitated due to an injury or illness. In a situation which would render someone incapable of making financial decisions, having the proper plans and measures in place is fundamental in order to protect your finances and well-being. Without a comprehensive incapacity plan in place, a judge might end up appointing someone to take care of your financial matters and make all medical and personal decisions on your behalf. This often results in loss of time and money. In this situation, families may not regain control of the situation until you recover or pass away.
An Incapacity Plan usually includes a few foundational legal documents for managing finances. Those usually include a Financial Power of Attorney and a Revocable Living Trust. Such documents must be in place ahead of time while the individual is still mentally fit to sign documents and make decisions. You should also consider adding health-related documents such as a Living Will, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a HIPAA authorization.
At Boyd & Boyd, we have been helping families plan for the future for many generations, and have the knowledge to help you and your family understand your options and craft a complete long-term care plan that includes measures to protect your assets and ensure you receive the care you wish to receive when you age or become incapacitated.
Call us at (508) 775-7800 and request a free initial estate planning consultation to learn more. We are here to help.