Apr
22
2013
0

Start Walking for Your Health!

People are living longer and are enjoying healthier lives for longer periods of time. George Burns, who lived to be 100 said, “I’m going to stay in show business until I’m the last one left!” I see attorney friends at the courthouse who are over 80. When I talk to them, I discover that they have no intention of retiring. Mickey Mantle once said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” This is a funny line, but by exercising, we can expect to live long and productive lives.

 A report by the American College of Sports Medicine says that by the year 2030, there will be more than 70,000,000 people in this country who are over the age of 65. And, the fastest growing segment of the population will be people who are over age 85! But, we want to be healthy as we grow older.  

 Walking has been reported to be the easiest exercise to do, which also has the greatest benefits. According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, you can literally walk your way to fitness and good health. Several reports say that by merely walking 45 minutes per day, you can maintain a healthy weight, control blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthen your skeletal system and improve your coordination and balance. Walking also helps to elevate your mood.

 You can easily create a walking routine. My wife walks around the Lafayette reservoir with her friends two times a week. They don’t go around the reservoir once, but two times! I am trying to catch up with her with my walking routine, by walking to downtown Walnut Creek and back for lunch every day. If I stretch it, I can have a 45 minute round trip walk. I believe that in the future, I will be one of the attorneys at the court house who is over 80, and in great shape!

 At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, located in Walnut Creek, Ca, we talk about the Elder Care Journey with our clients, and in our workshops. Over the years, we have helped many families, and we can help you too with long-term care planning, asset protection plans, assistance with Medi-Cal and the VA, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney.

 Michael J. Young, Attorney at Law, is an estate planning attorney and Medi-Cal qualification attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. For additional information, please visit our website at  www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com Our address is at 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 Alamo, Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing home costs, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney. Senior Law Attorney. Walnut Creek Medi-Cal attorney. Mr. Young is certified by the VA and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Apr
09
2013
0

You Can Ask For Copies of Your Nursing Home Medical Records

If you are a resident of a nursing home, you have the right to access your medical records. You can request copies of your medical records, and the nursing home has two business days to give you a copy of your records. Your request should be made in writing. You will have to pay for the cost of the copies to the nursing home if asked, but you cannot be charged more than $.25 per page, or $.50 per page if the records are copied from microfilm. The nursing home can also ask you for a reasonable sum from you for clerical costs. You may also ask for copies of your financial records from the nursing home, with the same copy costs.

In addition, the persons you have designated in your HIPAA statement or in your health care power of attorney may request copies of your nursing home records for you. HIPAA stands for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.” You can also sign a release form allowing others the right to request your nursing home records on your behalf. The nursing home may want to delay the process of providing copies of the documents to you, but they must comply under the law, within two working days.

Most nursing homes are cooperative in this regard, but it seems that few people are aware that they may ask for their records. If you are the resident of a nursing home who is asking for your records, your authority is under a Federal Code, and if the request is made by your representative, it would be under a California State Code. The within information is not to be taken as legal advice, but only as general information. You should consult with your Elder Law Attorney or Medi-Cal attorney in Walnut Creek, CA for additional information.

Michael J. Young, Attorney at Law, is an estate planning attorney and Medi-Cal qualification attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. For additional information, please visit our website at  www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com Our address is at 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 Alamo, Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing home costs, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney. Senior Law Attorney. Walnut Creek Medi-Cal attorney. Mr. Young is certified by the VA and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Apr
08
2013
0

Medi-Cal Qualification and Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance: You can have any amount of term life insurance and still qualify for Medi-Cal to help pay for your nursing home costs.  For example, lets say that you have a $100,000 term life insurance policy that provides for a distribution of $100,000 to your wife when you die. You can apply for Medi-Cal and still be eligible with this policy. When you die, the $100,000 passes to your wife.

 Elder Law Planning Issue: However, there are planning issues to take into account regarding term life insurance policies. What happens if your wife becomes ill first, and she qualifies for Medi-Cal. If you die while your wife is on Medi-Cal, the distribution from your life insurance policy will pass to your wife and most likely make her ineligible for Medi-Cal. A remedy for this situation, which should be part of your Medi-Cal pre-planning with your elder law attorney, is to change the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy to another person, like a child. If you have lost mental capacity, this may not be possible unless you have special powers in your financial durable power of attorney to make beneficiary designation changes on your life insurance policies. You should not assume that just because you have a financial durable power of attorney, that it includes powers for your fiduciary to change the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Pre-planning with your elder law attorney will help you to determine this and to plan accordingly.

 Whole Life Insurance: You can qualify for Medi-Cal if you have a whole life insurance policy, provided that the face value, or cash in value of the policy, does not exceed $1,500. Any amounts over the $1,500 is counted toward the $2,000 cash reserve that you are allowed to keep under the Medi-Cal qualification regulations. As a result, if the cash value of your policy takes you over the $2,000 cash reserve, you will not be eligible for Medi-Cal unless you reduce the cash value of the policy and transfer or gift the excess amounts to your spouse or to another person. You should be able to do this through the life insurance company, provided that you have sufficient mental capacity to do so. If you do not have sufficient mental capacity, your fiduciary must rely on the powers in your durable financial power of attorney.  Unless your Medi-Cal qualification attorney has prepared your financial durable power of attorney, it will most likely not have gifting powers for asset protection and Medi-Cal qualification.

 Pre-planning With Your Elder Law Attorney: Pre-planning for your long term care and asset preservation should be accomplished as soon as possible, through your Medi-Cal qualification attorney. The language that is used for asset protection in the revocable living trust and financial durable powers of attorney is indeed different from regular estate planning documents. Your Medi-Cal qualification attorney can help you get your ducks in a row for qualification for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Pension benefit, and for preservation of your assets for your spouse and your loved ones.

Michael J. Young, your Medi-Cal qualification attorney in Walnut Creek, CA can help you get your ducks in a row for government benefits planning and for asset protection. You should accomplish your long term care planning as soon as possible, because if you lose your mental capacity, long term care planning and asset protection becomes much more difficult. You should not assume that the provisions in your existing revocable living trust and financial durable power of attorney will help you to qualify for Medi-Cal or the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit if you lose capacity.

Michael J. Young, Medi-Cal qualification attorney in Walnut Creek, CA is an elder law attorney, senior law attorney, Medi-Cal attorney and probate attorney. Mr. Young is certified by the VA and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). For additional information, please visit our website at  www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com Our address is at 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 Alamo, Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing home costs, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney. Senior Law Attorney. Walnut Creek Medi-Cal attorney.

Apr
01
2013
0

Now Is The Time To Plan For Incapacity

My mother, who was a WWII veteran and the mother of five wild boys and a composed girl, used to tell me that the only thing that she really feared in life was losing her mental capacity. When I was a younger attorney, and my parents were younger, I prepared their estate plan, which was the typical plan designed for what happens when you die. When my parents got older and began to suffer the maladies of older people, I prepared a new estate plan for them, with a focus on not so much what would happen when they died, but on what would happen if they did not die, became ill and needed help with their care. My parents were adamant about having a plan that left something, especially their home, to their six children.

Estate planning and planning for mental capacity issues is very different for the older client. As a baby boomer, and after having helped take care of my aging parents, and after counseling many older clients and their families, my perspective as an estate planning attorney has changed over the years, and is now geared toward setting up a plan for the care of my clients, and protection of their assets, as well as planning for when they die.

Incapacity involves the inability of someone to make decisions regarding their personal and financial affairs. For many of our clients, diseases such as Parkinson’s and  Alzheimer’s have lead to mental incapacity. For other clients, there has been an event causing a brain injury leading to mental capacity. Many of our clients have dementia with no disease related diagnosis. Our recommendation is that anyone who is a baby boomer or older, should have an updated estate plan with an emphasis on asset protection and government benefits planning. You should also plan on how you or your fiduciary can get your ducks in a row to be able to protect your assets, such as your home, and obtain Medi-Cal to pay for your nursing home care, and the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit to help pay the cost of in home care and assisted living facilities if needed.

You will need to decide who will be able to manage your financial affairs if you cannot. These individuals are usually trusted family members, but can also be friends. They can also be professional fiduciaries, who are licensed by California’s professional fiduciary bureau. You will also need to decide on who will make decisions for your regarding your health care, if you cannot do so. One issue to decide is whether you want to be on life support machines if you are in an irreversible condition and are only being kept alive by machines.

Michael J. Young, your elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA can help you design a plan to meet your needs as you get older. The plan will involve getting your ducks in a row for asset protection and government benefits planning. There are many options that your senior law attorney can help you with. Keep in mind that if you lose your mental capacity and what to protect assets by way of transferring your assets to your spouse or children, as is allowed under the regulations, you will not be able to do so if you have a traditional estate plan. In that case, we may have to go to court to amend your estate planning documents to provide for asset protection.

The information contained herein is not to be taken as legal advise, and you are advised to see your elder law attorney before attempting any planning or transfers of assets on your own. This article is written by elder law attorney Michael J. Young. Mr. Young, whose office is in Walnut Creek, CA is an elder law attorney, senior law attorney, Medi-Cal attorney and probate attorney whose office is in Walnut Creek, CA. Mr. Young is certified by the VA and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). For additional information, please visit our website at  www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com LawYoung1@Gmail.com Our address is at 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 Alamo, Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, Antioch, Clayton, etc. Mr. Young advises clients regarding Medi-Cal, Probates, Probates with Real Estate, Medi-Cal, nursing home costs, asset protection, the VA Aid and attendance pension benefit, and long term care planning. Mr. Young is an Elder Law Attorney and Probate Attorney with offices in Walnut Creek, CA. Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney, Walnut Creek Probate Attorney. Senior Law Attorney. Walnut Creek Medi-Cal attorney.

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