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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 Today Newsletter | Vol. 21 | October, 2007


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 years, and told her sons and me that we were “on our honor” to carry out her wishes. Not being given an alternative, and not even knowing what she was about to request, we all promised that we comply.

Her instructions, not unusual, were as follows:
1. She will stay in her home for as long as possible.
2. All efforts will be made to arrange in-home care for her.
3. A nursing home, or “re-hab” as she called it, would be a last resort.
4. Her cash will be managed and used for her long term care if needed.
5. Her home will be protected against mortgages and liens, because when she is gone, she wants
her sons to have the home “free and clear.”
6. Her sons will be in charge of her financial affairs and health care if she is incapacitated.
7. Her sons will visit her at least once a week, and one or the other of them will call her each day.
8. That I, as her attorney, will prepare the estate planning documents.

I explained about Medi-Cal for long term care, and that we could keep her home for her sons and that she could still be eligibile for Medi-Cal, all of which she seemed to know. She also agreed that her sons could receive title to her home early, to protect it from a Medi-Cal lien, as long as she could live in her home for the rest of her life. I said that we could do all of these things, but that her sons were on their own to call her and visit her. We all agreed to proceed.

The Wave: Mrs. Nickleby then told all of us that she was in the U.S. Navy as a Wave during WWII. With her sons rolling their eyes, she went on to explain that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she and her girl friend decided to join the Navy in order to: (1) Be a part of the war effort, and (2) To meet some cute Navy boys and Marines. She said that she and her friend had nice figures at that time, and that when they tried on their Navy uniforms, they did not like the way they fit. So what did they do but take their uniforms to a tailor and have them altered to “fit properly”. I asked her if that wasn’t against Navy regulations, and she said that it probably was, but that the Navy did not really know how to deal with the likes of her and her friend. I would bet that my client has been pretty much in charge of things her entire life.

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