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"How to get Medi-Cal coverage for your nursing home care... without selling your home or leaving your family without a dime... Surprising ways to pay for your assisted living and long term care costs."

Elder Law in Walnut Creek, CA – Newsletters

Written by Michael J. Young, Elder Law Attorney

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Estate Planning Newsletters

Estate Planning and Asset Protection for the Second Half of Life - Many of us are now approaching the second half of our lives and are considering the future financial wellbeing of ourselves, our families and our loved ones. We may have experienced caring for an elderly loved one, and perhaps have had to arrange for in home care... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal and the Home: Avoiding California's Recovery System - In 1993, the California legislature allowed the State Department of Health Services’ Recovery Unit to beef up its ability to recover Medi-Cal assets expended by the State for nursing home beneficiaries. The result has been that California has become one of the most aggressive States in this regard. Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Use of the Financial Durable Power of Attorney in Estate Planning - One of the most important legal documents comprising an estate plan is the Financial Durable Power of Attorney.(Financial DPA) This document, which can be signed by anyone age 18 or older, (the Principal) allows another person (the Agent) to handle all of the Principal’s financial..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

A Wonderful Gift to Parents of Baby Boomers - The “graying of America” is in full force. A “Baby Boomer”, of which I am one, turns 50 every 71/2 seconds. And, people are living longer than ever before. By the time adults reach the age of 85, one out of every two requires nursing home care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of.... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Protection of the Home Under the Deficit Reduction Act (D.R.A.) - On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed into legislation the 776 page Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 which includes Medicaid eligibility and nursing home coverage regulations we previously wrote about. The new legislation requires that the states bring their laws into conformance with..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

What Happens if We Don't Die? Mr. and Mrs. Wopsle. I recently met with a very nice couple who are in their mid eighties. I will call them Mr. and Mrs. Wopsle for convenience purposes. The Wopsles have four children and numerous grand children. The Wopsles..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

What Happens if We Don't Die? Vol. 2 Americans are living longer all the time. According to statistics, each generation lives longer than the previous generation. This could be the result of improved living conditions and advances in medicine. There is a theory of geriatrics that we are “made” to live to be around 135 years old..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

My Client "The Wave" Holding Court - Holding Court: My estate planning client, Mrs. Nickleby, (not her real name) who is 86 years old, came into my office with her two “boys” both in their 50’s. Mrs. Nickleby commenced holding court with her sons and myself. She was very specific about her requests and desires for her remaining..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Affairs What is a durable power of attorney for financial affairs? We have many inquiries in our office regarding durable powers of attorney, what they are, and how they work. Our financial durable power of attorney is entitled DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTY AND..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Why a Pre-Chrisis Family Meeting With Children and Their Older Parents is Critical When my parents became older and started to have health issues some years ago, my mother insisted that we have a family meeting. My parents lived in Oakmont, which is a retirement village close to Santa Rosa. My siblings and I dreaded this meeting, but we drove up from Walnut Creek and had a meeting with my parents in their den...... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Probate and Trust Administration Newsletters

Avoiding Probate in California - When an individual dies owning property solely in his or her name, without a beneficiary designation, a formal procedure ("probate") is usually required to determine to whom the property should pass. If there is a valid will, the property will pass according to its terms. If there is no will, the property will pass to..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

A Primer on Probate - In previous newsletters, we have indicated that through the use of revocable and irrevocable trusts, and other mechanisms, probates can be avoided. We have also explained how certain assets will not be subject to probate, if they are titled in a certain manner. For instance, using my usual example of the home, a husband and wife..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Funding Your Revocable Living Trust - We have discussed in a previous newsletter, the advantages of choosing a revocable living trust as the center piece of the estate plan, as opposed to relying merely upon a will and the probate process, or joint ownership of assets. Clients enjoy the cost savings involved with the administration of a revocable..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Can I Have a Trust for My Pet? Yes! Many of our clients are pet lovers who would like to leave something for their pets. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimated in a 2000 survey that there are 68 million dogs and 73 million cats..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

"My Son In Law is a Big Fat Dummy." Remedy: The Personal Asset Trust - In an interview with a new client some time ago, who was a widow, she told me that she had a son and a daughter, both grown, and both in their 30’s. When I asked my client if, when she died, she would like distributions to be made equally to her two children, she said yes..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Problems With Typical Revocable Living Trusts and Financial Durable powers of Attorney - And the New 70 Elder Law estate planning is different from regular estate planning. The typical revocable living trust and financial durable powers of attorney usually will not have the requisite language and powers required for asset protection and public benefits..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Long Term Care Provisions for the Revocable Living Trust and Financial Durable Powers of Attorney for Couples Facing an Diagnosis of Early Dementia - We often receive calls from one spouse, or from a child when one of their parents has had a stroke or has received a diagnosis of a dementia condition such as early Alzheimer’s. Both husband and..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

The Revocable Living Trust - Preparing for Incapacity We receive a lot of questions about the Revocable Living Trust, (RLT) including, “I have a will, so why would I want a trust?” A will provides for the distribution of your assets to your children, etc., but it only goes into effect after you die. The will is then probated through a court proceeding in the Superior..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Probates Involving the Home - A PROBATE is a Court procedure that facilitates distribution of assets to beneficiaries at the time of one’s death. Probates are complex and require that numerous forms be completed and regulations are followed before the Court...... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal Planning and Qualification Newsletters

The New, More Difficult Medi-Cal Qualification Rules Will Be Here Soon - The Medi-Cal qualification rules for nursing home care are about to change, and not for the better. If you have not updated your estate planning documents to include asset protection and government benefits planning language, you should definitely consider doing so now. In addition..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Will You Be Able to Keep Your Real Property and Still Qualify for Medi-Cal? - Your Home As An Exempt Asset: One of the most frequently asked Medi-Cal questions we receive is whether the Medi-Cal applicant will be able to keep his/her home and still qualify for Medi-Cal. As a general rule, a Medi-Cal applicant’s home is not considered a countable..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Debunking Medi-Cal Myths - Medicaid was considered a complicated program when President Lyndon B. Johnson first signed it into law at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, over thirty years ago, as part of the President’s War on Poverty. The program has grown increasingly complex each year since its enactment. Although Medicaid is a..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Pending Changes in Medicaid Transfer Rules - On December 19, 2005, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a new budget bill containing provisions regarding Medicaid eligibility and nursing home coverage. Most importantly, the bill includes onerous restrictions regarding the transfer of assets. The bill was sent to..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal and the Personal Residence Protection Trust - In our May 2006 Newsletter, we discussed the fact that whereas the home may be exempt for Medi-Cal eligibility purposes, it may not be exempt from estate recovery by the State of California after the.....Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal and the Home - Avoiding California's Recovery System: Part Deux - This topic was the subject of our May 2006 newsletter, and has been discussed in brief in other newsletters. We receive more calls on this topic than on any other..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Exemption of the Home for Medi-Cal Qualification - The home remains exempt for qualification for Medi-Cal as long as certain conditions are met. Meeting one or more of these conditions is generally easy to do. For Medi-Cal qualification, there must be..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal and the Deficit Reduction Act - And - Rosie the Riveter - Medi-Cal and the Deficit Reduction Act: The President signed the federal Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) on February 8, 2006. Under this new act, the Medicaid rules were changed dramatically, and not to the benefit of our older clients. The States are required to adopt certain portions of the new..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Medi-Cal Rules Are Complicated And: Please Don't Drive! - The Medi-Cal rules are complicated, but can be of great benefit to the family with a loved one who is in need of nursing home care. It seems that many of our clients already know some basics of Medi-Cal, like the fact that a single person can qualify once their assets..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Don't Sell the Home! And a Funny Story - Don’t Sell The Home!: We continue to receive calls from people who tell us they have been told that they must sell their homes in order to qualify for Medi-Cal. Nothing can be further from the truth. Even under the Deficit Reduction Act which President Bush signed into legislation on February 8, 2006, the home remains exempt, or not counted for qualification under Medi-Cal. However, under the..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

The Difference Between Medicaid and Medi-Cal - Medicare is a health insurance program run by the Federal government. The costs of the program are paid out of Social Security deductions. Persons over age 65 who have made Social Security contributions are entitled to benefits ..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Veteran's Benefits Newsletters (VA Benefits)

A VA Benefit for Long Term Care Pt. 1 - And to be 85 Again Are you a veteran? The Veterans Administration can be an excellent potential source of funds for long-term care (either at home or in an assisted living facility). Veteran’s benefits are available for a non-service connected disability. Most VA benefits and pensions are based on a disability..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

A VA Benefit for Long Term Care Pt. 2 - And Back to Work After the War VA Aid & Attendance: In the March, 2008 ELT, we mentioned the pension program called “Aid and Attendance,” available for individuals who are disabled due to the issues of old age, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and other physical disabilities..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

VA Benefits May Cover the Cost of an Assisted Living Facility or In Home CareAs we discussed in previous Elder Law Today newsletters, the Veteran’s Administration provides a wonderful pension benefit for those individuals who served at least one day during a period of wartime and are now disabled due to non-service connected reasons... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Hospice Care and Elder Care Newsletters

Hospice Care: Benefit for Those With Life Limiting Illnesses Hospice care is a team-oriented approach to medical care, designed to enhance the quality of life as it nears its end. It is designed to aid in pain management and to offer emotional and spiritual support through palliative therapy, education and counseling. It is tailored to meet the needs..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

How to Save $72,000 in One Year in Nursing Home Costs - And the First U.S. Marine on Guadalcanal $200 PER DAY. The cost of skilled nursing care is expensive. $200 per day for a skilled nursing facility is on the low side, with $240 per day being more the average. At $200 per day, the cost for a 30 day month would be $6,000. For 12 months, the cost..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

'Tis the Season for Stress' - Special Challenges Once again the Holiday Season is upon us. ’Tis the season’ for mixed blessings. Along with the joys of the season come the stressors. This year you wonder how you will manage to get everything done. Your “to-do” list, as always, seems never ending with shopping, baking and decorating. This year..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Selecting a Nursing Facility The decision to move a family member or a loved one into a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you can make. Perhaps the move is being made because the family member can no longer care for him or herself...... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Parkinson's Disease Newsletters

Some Information About Parkinson's Disease Parkinson’s Disease. It has affected all kinds of people. Pope John Paul II. Michael J. Fox. Even Hitler. But you don’t need to be advanced in age or even genetically predisposed to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. It’s not inher¬ited. And it’s not just confined to seniors. But most people tend to suffer in isolation due to the embarrassment it causes. ..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

Finding Peace of Mind for the Parkinson's Family Parkinson's Disease (or “PD”) is a chronic neurological condition, named in 1817 by Dr. James Parkinson, a London physician. PD is a progressive disease which affects the brain and lessens production of a chemical known as “dopamine.” This disease is not inherited and is not necessarily related to advanced age. ..... Click Here to read entire newsletter.

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