A client’s child was discussing his mothers care needs and he brought up a very good point. He said, “You know, my mother who is needing care at home has many complaints, but they are a vital source of information on her condition, both physical and psychological. Tell everyone to look at the valuable information complaints provide. “
Every family that owns a home has special feelings on being able to stay there if one of the spouses becomes sick and needs long term care, and also has a desire to pass it on to their children. Medicaid has special rules that apply to the home that do not apply to other assets. To begin, the home is an exempt asset under Medicaid law as long as one spouse is living in it. In a typical husband and wife situation, the rules allow transfer of the home from a spouse needing care to the healthy one at the last minute. In short, even though the 5 year lookback period will show the transfer, there is no penalty and the healthy spouse can keep the home.
When mom or dad are in decline, physically or cognitively or both, families are faced with questions and choices on how best to care for them. Although circumstances vary from family to family, there are guidelines to help decision making. The goal is to be in the least restrictive living situation possible, but to be safe..
Probate is a word, like plague, that carries a bad connotation. Stories go around about cases taking years, or families fighting, or fees to the state. Here are some practical planning suggestions that may avoid probate, help ensure probate will not take a long time, might decrease family disputes, and reduce costs..
Benjamin Franklin had a quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” In life in general, preparation is a key to success, and no more so than when it involves the care to keep your elderly loved ones safe and in the best living situation possible. That preparation is all the more critical with the increased problems and restrictions brought on by our national health crisis..
When Your Estate Plan Needs Changing As you go through life you need to change your estate plan to account for the changes in your age, your wealth, your health, and your marital and family status. An unmarried young adult without a spouse or children or much money can get by with a power of attorney, living will and HIPAA form so that parents, or siblings or other trusted person can handle financial affairs and medical decisions if that young adult has an unlikely incapacitating illness. When that young person gets married and has children, a will and trust is advisable in case of the unlikely event of both spouses dying in an accident.