What Is The Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning?

I practice Elder Law and represent the older client and their families. When clients come to see me, their concerns are not so much about what happens when they die, but more about ’What happens if they don’t die.’

Of course, they want to make sure that their assets pass to their family with a minimum of expenses and taxes. But the bigger and more complicated question is, “What happens if I don’t die?” As we know, Americans are living longer all the time. The infirmities of old age may require that we have in home care assistance, or go to an assisted living facility, board and care home or eventually a to a nursing home.  We are of course concerned about how we pay for these costs. A regular estate plan does not address these needs. An elder law attorney can prepare a long term care plan for you, and address these needs. He will also address the concern of passing assets to their family.

To put it another way, a regular estate plan insures that if you die, your assets will be passed on to your family the way you want. The operative word is “if”. A  regular estate plan will not help preserve assets so that hopefully there will be something left when you die to pass on to your family. As we know, the assets of the older client could be depleted by a nursing home stay or lengthy illness, which could leave their spouse or heirs with nothing.  

If you have sufficient assets to pay for long-term care or nursing home costs without running out of funds, then a regualr estate planning attorney may be all you need. However, if you cannot afford the cost of a lenghty nursing home stay, of around $90,000 per year or $180,000 per year for a couple, or more, then an elder law attorney would be able to help you.

For a real life example, Mary and Jim have about $300,000 in assets and a home worth around $500,000. Jim needs assistance and uses a wheelchair. Mary has been providing for his care, but recently has shown signs of forgetfulness and confusion. She has been diagnosed by her doctor as having early signs of dementia.   

An estate plan is of course important to Jim and Mary, but this won’t help them deal with the problems they are presently dealing with. They want to tackle the issue of how they will be able to afford the cost of nursing home care should either one or both of them need it. They want to establish how they will be taken care of should Mary’s dementia become more advanced. They want to find out if if they can stay in their home with assistance.

This couple needs a life plan, specific to them, to meet their needs for the future. Jim and Mary need to seek the advice of an elder law attorney.

Written Michael J. Young, 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. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, nursing homes, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is a Concord Elder Law Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA.

Written by mike in: Aid & Attendance Antioch,Alzheimer's Care Antioch,Alzheimer's Disease Antioch,Alzheimer's Medi-Cal,Antioch Attorney Senior,Antioch Elder Law Attorney,Antioch Nursing Home Attorney,Antioch Nursing Homes,Brentwood Attorney Senior,Brentwood CA Asset Protection Attorney,Brentwood Elder Law,Brentwood Elder Law Atorney,Brentwood Nursing Home Attorney,Brentwood Senior Law Attorney,Concord Medi-Cal Attorney,Concord Nursing Home Attorney,Concord VA Attorney,Contra Costa Elder Law,Contra Costa Nursing Home Attorney,Elder Abuse Antioch Attorney,Elder Law Attorney Contra Costa,Elder Law Attorney Walnut Creek,Estate Planning Attorney Antioch,Estate Planning Attorney Brentwood,Estate Planning Attorney Concord CA,Medi-Cal Attorney Brentwood,Medi-Cal Attorney Concord,Medi-Cal Attorney Pleasant Hill CA,Medi-Cal Planning Antioch,Medi-Cal Planning Concord,Medi-Cal eligibility Concord CA,Nursing Home Attorney Antioch,Nursing Home Attorney Antioch CA,Nursing Home Attorney Brentwood,Nursing Home Costs Antioch,Pay Nursing Home Care Concord,Pleasant Hill Elder Law Attorney,Pleasant Hill Senior Law Attorney,Qualification for VA Aid & Attendance,Senior Law Attorney Concord,VA Aid & Attendance Attorney Antioch,VA Aid and Attendance Concord CA,VA Attorney Antioch,VA Attorney Brentwood,VA Planning Attorney Concord,VA Qualification Concord,Walnut Creek Elder Law,Walnut Creek Medi-Cal Qualification,elder law attorney Pleasant Hill,parkinson's disease,senior law contra costa,senior law walnut creek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Medi-Cal Qualification

This is a brief list of exempt assets for Medi-Cal qualification. Your home is generally exempt, and you can take steps to protect your home from a Medi-Cal lien after your death. Your household goods and personal belongs are exempt. You can have an exemption for one car. Term life insurance policies are excluded, but you cannot have more than a total of $1500 cash value in the policies.  You can keep your IRAs and other “qualified accounts.” You can only have $2,000 of non qualified assets. 

This is a brief synopsis of exempt assets, and of course planning and applying for  Medi-Cal is much more complicated than is presented here. In addition, if you are a wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, you should consider planning and possibly applying for the VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit. Planning for the VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit should be coordinated with your planning for Medi-Cal benefits. Your elder law attorney, who is also certified by the VA, can help you with planning for both benefits. 

This blog is written by Michael J. Young, Elder Law Attorney, for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult an elder law, government benefits and asset protection attorney for your particular case, and before you proceed with any planning.

For additional information you can go to Mr. Young’s website at  www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com . You can send an e-mail to Mr. Young at mike@WalnutCreekElderLaw.com. His address is 1931 San Miguel Dr., Suite 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Phone: (925) 256-0298. Mr. Young has clients in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, including the cities of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Antioch, Bay Point, Alamo, Danville, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, nursing homes, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is a member of NAELA.

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com