Mar
21
2011
0

Where’s Your Cane Dad?

When my elderly father would come to visit me, I would ask, “Where’s your cane Dad?” He would say that he didn’t need it, and that he was trying to build up his strength. He needed to use his cane though, because he would hang onto me or my brother, or hang onto whatever was close to him, like a lampost, etc.  One evening on a weeknight at about 3:00 a.m., my father called me to tell me that he had fallen. It was bad, in that he cut his head, and we had to take him to the emergency room.  He was badly shaken, and it took a long time for him to recuperate.

Injuries from falls from older people is a real concern. Statistics show that once an older person has fallen, they are likely to fall again, unless precautions are taken. Injuries are the fifth leading cause of death among older people, and 80% of those injuries are the result of falling. For older women, falls can more often cause bone fractures because of osteoporosis.  My older clients remind me of my parents, and I encourage them to use their canes or walkers.

We often receive calls from the loved ones of older persons who have fallen.  Many times it is a wake up call to get things in order, such as wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. The concern for planning for long term care for the older client becomes more critical.

Written Michael J. Young, lawyoung1@gmail.com, elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com mike@WalnutCreekElderLaw.com. 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Clayton, etc.

Mar
14
2011
0

Don’t Wait Too Long To Update Trust & Fin. DPA

Most (perhaps 99%) of all revocable living trusts and financial durable powers of attorney are defective for asset protection and government benefits planning, when incapacity occurs.
 
For the older client, we become focused on how we will pay for in-home care,  board-and-care, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing home costs. We are concerned about how to make our assets last longer for our own care. We want to protect assets, and we would like to hopefully leave something to our loved ones.
 
We become concerned with how to qualify for and utilize Medi-Cal  and VA benefits for our care. 
 
The standard language in the revocable living trust and financial durable powers of attorney do not allow for asset protection, protection of the home from a Medi-Cal lien, transfers of assets between spouses (including the home), transfers to children or to other trusts for government benefits planning, if incapacity occurs.
 
Updating the revocable living trust and financial powers of attorney  before incapacity occurs is good planning. 

Written Michael J. Young, lawyoung1@gmail.com, elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com mike@WalnutCreekElderLaw.com. 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Clayton, etc.

Mar
07
2011
0

What Happens If You Don’t Die?

Most estate planning documents are prepared for what happens when we die. They are not prepared for what happens if we don’t die. With regard to the trust, if one spouse dies, for instance, everything goes to the other spouse. When the second spouse dies, everything goes to the children. During the lives of the spouses, all assets stay in the trust. If any gifting is allowed, it is not to exceed $13,000 per year per child. If there is no trust, the financial durable power of attorney will usually not provide for any gifting or asset protection.

But what if we want to do Medi-Cal or VA Aid & Attendance Benefit planning, and the makers of the trust or the makers of the financial durable powers of attorney have lost their mental capacities. For this planning, we at times will transfer assets, including the home,  from the ill spouse to the well spouse. We might also make transfers of various assets from parents to the children or to other loved ones.  The language to do this type of planning, 99% of the time, is not included in the typical estate planning documents. If the makers of the documents have lost their mental capacities, we cannot do this planning, and may have to go to court to reform the documents. As a result, long term care planning should include updating the estate planning documents to include government planning and asset protection language.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult an elder law attorney for your particular case, and before you proceed with any planning.

Written Michael J. Young, lawyoung1@gmail.com, elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com mike@WalnutCreekElderLaw.com. 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 925-256-0298. Mr. Young serves Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Clayton, etc.

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