Oct
29
2009
0

What If You Die After Having Been On Medi-Cal?

If you die after having been on Medi-Cal, the State can pursue a claim against your estate for recoupment of the money they paid to the nursing home. But, if there are no assets in your estate when you die, there will be nothing for the State to recover. The State will not pursue a claim however while the surviving spouse is alive. There are also exemptions if there is a minor, blind or disabled child of the recipient, living at the time of the recipient’s death.

 It is a common misconception that the revocable living trust of the recipient provides protection against a State lien. California will pursue claims against assets in living trusts. They will also pursue claims against joint tenancy interests and tenants in common, for instance. The amount of the potential recovery is limited to the amount of the benefits paid by Medi-Cal, or the value of the recipient’s estate, whichever is less. If your home is encumbered by a mortgage, this will reduce the available equity the State could pursue.

 An elder law attorney who is familiar with the Medi-Cal rules and regulations, can help you qualify for Medi-Cal, and can help you legally arrange your assets so that they will not be susceptible to a lien after you die. This process will also allow you to preserve your assets for a longer period of time while you are live. Remember, that if you run out of money, you run out of options.

 By Michael J. Young, Elder Law Attorney.

 Mr. Young practices elder law in Contra Costa County, and his office is located at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste., 220, Walnut Creek CA 94596. (925)-256-0298. He advises clients in cities such as Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Alamo, Antioch and Brentwood. You may visit his website at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com.  Mr. Young helps clients qualify for Medi-Cal benefits to pay for nursing home costs. He also helps clients qualify for the V.A. Aid & Attendance pension benefit for wartime veterans to help pay for in-home care. Many of Mr. Young’s clients are Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons’s disease patients.

Oct
27
2009
0

Our Clients and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder, wherein certain nerve cells in the brain become impaired or die. These nerve cells, called “neurons” normally produce a chemical known as dopamine. This chemical allows for smooth, coordinated functions of the body’s muscles and movements.

When a high percentage of the brain cells which produce dopamine are impaired, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may appear. Symptoms may include tremors, changes in facial expression, imbalance, small handwriting and slowness of movement. In time, the symptoms may become worse. Mild tremors can become more severe. Body movements may also become slower, and mobility problems may become worse. The use of eating utensils, dressing, and performing various activities of daily living may become more difficult.

Parkinson’s disease, which is difficult to diagnose officially, affects both sexes in equal numbers, and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, social status or where you live. There are different rates of progression for the disease. We encourage our clients who have Parkinson’s disease and their familiy members to seek the help of support groups, to pursue ongoing medical care, and to learn adaptive techniques from medical professionals.

 Parkinson’s disease is the most common brain disorder, after Alzheimer’s disease, that we see with our clients. When symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear, as with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, we receive inquiries from individuals who may have the disease, or from their loved ones. They want know what should be done now regarding the establishment of a long term care plan for the person with the disease.

We help clients review and update their existing estate planning documents, to be sure the documents contain the requisite asset protection language. We then help the family plan for long term in-home care, which is the preference of most of our clients. We help the family plan for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, which can help pay for in home care, for veterans. We also help with planning for Medi-Cal benefits, which can pay for nursing home care.   

 If you or a loved one has symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, please feel free to call elder law attorney Michael J. Young, with offices in Walnut Creek, CA, at 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves clients principally in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. You can visit our web site at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Oct
27
2009
0

For Home Health Agencies: Important News on a US Government Program That Can Help Pay Your Clients’ In-Home Healthcare Costs

If you run a home health agency, you probably feel like you are wearing a hundred different hats, from finding the right employees,  to dealing with all of the issues they bring with them. Moreover, you are communicating with clients who are stressed out and who are wondering how they are going to be able to pay for your valuable services.

Did you know that there is a Federal program that can pay your clients directly, to help defray the cost of their in home healthcare.  This is the Veterans Administration Aid & Attendance benefit program that is available to veterans and to their surviving spouses. In order to qualify, clients who are veterans or who are surviving spouses of veterans, need to meet required income and asset limitations. These requirements can be legally and honestly met, through the help of an elder law attorney accredited in this area. 

For married couples, the benefit can be as much $1,949 per month or more, and for surviving spouses of a veteran, the benefit can be as much as $1,056 per month or more. 

The benefit to your clients is that this program provides an additional source of funds to them, to help pay the cost of in home care that you are providing to them.  Our clients all want to stay at home as long as possible, and we all know that it is better for all involved, if our clients can stay home longer.

If you’d like to learn more about how the VA Aid and Attendance program works, then I’d like to invite you to a workshop I will be hosting for home healthcare providers here at our offices. We will be sending additional information to you regarding upcoming programs. We are also available for in-service programs regarding this benefit. You may contact our offices for additional information, and feel fee to check our website at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com.

By Michael J. Young, Elder Law Attorney, with offices in Walnut Creek, and serving Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Oct
27
2009
0

Major Changes To the Medi-Cal Laws Pending

October 27, 2009

 Major Changes To the Medi-Cal Laws Pending

By: Michael J. Young

Elder Law Attorney

 

            Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) into law in California. The law has not yet taken effect, but when it does take effect, within the next several months, there will be major changes to Medi-Cal rules. These rules will affect elder law and long term care planning.

             One of the major changes will be an increase in the look-back period for gifting of assets from 30 months to 60 months. Under the current law, California uses the 30-month look back period, and the period of ineligibility for Medi-Cal begins at the month of the transfer. Under the DRA rules, the look-back period is increased to 60 months. Moreover, the period of ineligibility begins after the applicant has spent down or gifted their assets, and has applied for Medi-Cal. The period of ineligibility goes forward from that date.

             This is a significant and detrimental change.   As a result, we are encouraging clients, who will possibly be facing placement into a nursing home within the near future,  to do their long term care planning now, before the new gifting rules take effect.

             Michael J. Young is an elder law attorney in Walnut Creek California. You can visit his website at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Oct
26
2009
0

Common Myths about Medi-Cal

Common Myths about Medi-Cal:
 
Medicaid, which is called “Medi-Cal” in California, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri on July 30, 1965. This is part of President Johnson’s “Great Society.” It is a national program, which is administered by each state. The rules and regulations change constantly, and vary from state to state.  
 
There are many common misconceptions about Medi-Cal that we hear from our clients.
 
“Someone told me that…”

 
We often hear stories from our clients, about Medi-Cal, which they hear from their well meaning friends and family members. These stories are often inaccurate, and frighten people into thinking that they have to exhaust all of their assets, and sell their home, before becoming eligible for Medi-Cal.
 
As a result, they may have sold their home or transferred assets improperly, in hopes of immediately qualifying themselves for Medi-Cal. Unfortunately, they soon find out that these transfers may have been unnecessary, and that the transfers may have created many months of ineligibility for the Medi-Cal recipient.
 
It is usually not a good idea to sell the home, and there are ways to protect the home from a Medi-Cal lien. And, the home is exempt for Medi-Cal qualification. If you sell the home and generate cash, and make a big transfer of the cash, without doing it properly, you will create many months of ineligibility for Medi-Cal.  

 

 ”My Dad is in a nursing home now, so it is too late to do anything.”

 
Many family members do wait too long to contact an elder law attorney, but it is rarely too late to set up a good plan. In most cases, more assets can be preserved when the plan is set up early. 
 
If the recipient has lost mental capacity, things become more difficult for asset protection. If the revocable living trust and financial durable powers of attorney do not have the correct elder law and asset protection language, and the recipient has lost mental capacity, we may have to resort to court involvement to protect assets. This is expensive and time consuming.
 
As a result, you should seek the counsel of an elder law attorney at the first signs of memory loss. A diagnosis of ALS, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease or cancer, or if your loved one is being discharged from the hospital, and has been told that he will need help in caring for himself, should prompt you to see an elder law attorney.  
  
For additional information, please feel free to view our website at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com. You may also call us at 925-256-0298, or e-mail to lawyoung1@gmail.com  Michael J. Young is an elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. His practice emphasizes, elder law, long term care planning for the older client, estate planning, government benefits planning, Alzheimer Planning, VA Aid and Attendance and Medi-Cal qualification and applications.

 

Sincerely,
 
Michael J. Young
Elder Law Attorney
Law Offices of Michael J Young

Oct
26
2009
0

ELDER LAW SEMINAR :DON’T GO BROKE IN A NURSING HOME”

The Law Offices of Michael J. Young Present An Elder Law Seminar – “DON’T GO BROKE IN A NURSING HOME” – “How To Get Medi-Cal Coverage For Your Nursing Home Care … Without Selling Your Home or Leaving Your Family Without a Dime”

In the Workshop Learn How to get Medi-Cal coverage for your Nursing Home Care, Without Selling Your Home or Leaving Your Family Without a Dime. One of our biggest fears is having our life savings wiped out if we end up in a nursing home. Whether you or a family member is in a crisis or not, it is important that you understand what to do now to protect your hard-earned assets.

Also, learn about the Veterans Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit, for war time veterans. This V.A. program can help pay for in-home care, board and care costs, and costs for assisted living facilities.

At this workshop, here are some items we will discuss:
How to protect your home against a Medi-Cal lien.
How to avoid having your life savings wiped out by a nursing home spend down.

The asset protection language that most people do not have in their revocable living trusts and financial durable powers of attorney.

The Veterans Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit.
A glimpse at the new Medi-Cal rules under the Deficit Reduction Act, which is coming soon to California

Attendance at this workshop is free, but seating is limited. You can reserve your spot at the workshop by calling (925) 256-0298.

We will also be distributing our Alzheimer’s Legal Survival Guide, and our Nuts and Bolts Guide to Veterans Benefits.

Please check the website for seminar dates.

Oct
26
2009
0

HELP FROM THE SANDWICH GENERATION

October 26, 2009

 HELP FROM THE SANDWICH GENERATION

We receive many calls from adult children who are struggling with the task of caring for their aging parents. Perhaps their parents have been in and out of the hospital and various nursing homes. Their parents may be losing their mental capacity, and may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. They may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. They may also have taken several falls, and may have sufferedfrom broken hips, etc. Their parents need more and more attention and help.

Caring for an older loved one can be a difficult task. It is even more difficult when we also have to take care of our own children. We are  members of the “sandwich generation.” These sandwich generation members may feel guilty and stressed because, for the first time in their lives, they cannot do it all.

They want their parents to stay at home, for as long as possible, and would like to learn how to preserve and protect their parents’ assets for as long as possible. They would like to know how Medi-Cal benefits work to help pay for skilled nursing facilities, and how the Veterans Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit Program can help pay for in-home-care and the cost of assisted living facilities. 

An elder law attorney can help the family do long term care planning for their older loved ones. The attorney can tell you what steps to take right now if you are caring for your parents and your own children; When you should call in family or friends to help you care for your parents; When you should call in an outside expert like a Geriatric Care Manager.

I am an elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA and lecturer. As author of The Alzheimer’s Legal Survival Kit and The Consumer’s Guide to Hospice Care, as well as The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Veterans Benefits, I help families deal with these issues.

I am available for your call during office hours or you can arrange an interview by emailing us at lawyoung1@gmail.com. You can also contact us through our website at http://www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

I look forward to hearing from you so that we might help families in our area become better able to cope with all the stresses that being a “sandwich generation” caregiver leads to.

Michael J. Young

Attorney at Law

Oct
19
2009
0

Hospice Enhances the Qualify of Life For All Involved

Both of my parents were under hospice care when they passed away. My Mother’s final days were spent at my parents’ home in Santa Rosa, and my Dad’s final days were spent in a board and care home in Alamo. As many of you know, the  burdens of caring for a parent or other loved one, during the final stages of their lives, is extremely challenging for all involved.

My siblings and I did the very best we could to take care of our parents. For my Dad, there had been numerous trips for him to and from the emergency room during the last months of his life. My Dad would either become dehydrated, take a fall, or suffer from various infections. The paramedics would take my Dad to the emergency room, and after a stay in the hospital, and sometimes a stay in a nursing home, my brother and I would pick my Dad up and take him back to the board and care. Our Dad was 87, and was also suffering from congestive heart failure.

At one point, My Dad finally had had enough, pointed to my brother and I, and in a strong voice, said, “NO MORE HOSPITALS!” We called the doctor to discuss hospice, and we then called a hospice service. At that point, all of our lives literally changed for the better. All of a sudden, we had help from a nurse, a nutritionist, a social worker and a grief counselor. My siblings and myself were also relieved from the responsibility of havig to make medical decisions for our Dad.

We are Catholic, and several priests came by to give my Dad “last rights,” also called Viaticum. I remember asking a young Priest whether the effects of last rights was cumulative, given possible issues concerning purgatory, etc., in that my Father had received the sacrament on several occasions. I don’t think the young Priest appreciated my humor.

My office recommends the services of the various hospice organizations in the community on behalf of our clients and their families, at times, as part of our planning.

Patients and families who face a terminal illness may at first focus on the impending loss of life of their loved one. However, hospice programs encourage them to make the most of living and enjoying what may be the patient’s last months. Staying in the home lets patients reunite with friends and family members. It gives everyone a chance to reminisce and laugh together, despite the sadness, anger and pain that often accompany death. Hospice lets patients live until they die-enjoying life to its fullest potential.

Medicare pays a great deal of the services provided by Hospice. In order to be eligible, a patient must be covered under Medicare Part A and must also have certification from a physician that the patient’s life expectancy is six months or less, assuming the illness runs its normal course.  Please click on our web site below to review our “Consumer’s Guide to Hospice Care”


MICHAEL J. YOUNG
Attorney at Law
1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
925-256-0298
lawyoung1@gmail.com
www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com

Written by mike in: Hospice Care |

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