In today’s society, family members are often scattered throughout the country and even abroad. This phenomenon can cause much stress and worry when an elder family member who is not nearby now needs additional assistance in managing his or her affairs. The first step to long-distance caregiving is to understand your loved one's situation and needs. Schedule a visit with your relative or friend spanning several days to observe how they make decisions, solve problems and complete daily tasks, … [Read more...] about Caring For a Distant Elder Family Member
In every estate plan we prepare in our office, we include an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) and a form that authorizes disclosure of medical information to designated individuals you have appointed to positions in your estate plan. This latter form is done to comply with the so-called HIPAA law. An advance health care directive is a legal document you use to provide guidance about what types of treatments you may want to receive in case of a future, unknown medical emergency. It also … [Read more...] about What is a POLST and Do I Need One?
Qualified and experienced elder law attorneys help those, who need long term care, qualify to have the care paid by Medi-Cal benefits. For both Medi-Cal, you need to financially (and medically) qualify. Here are 12 ways in which elder law attorneys help people qualify for financial assistance, if they are not immediately eligible. Consult with a qualified and experienced elder law attorney whose practice includes Medi-Cal long term care benefits to determine which strategies are best for … [Read more...] about There are Many Ways to Qualify for Medi-Cal to Pay for Long Term Care
Many folks continue to be confused about the differences between Medi-Cal and Medicare. Both Medicare and Medi-Cal, which is California’s name for the Medi-Cal program, have their originals in federal law. They were originally enacted in 1965 under President Johnson’s Great Society programs. Both programs have evolved over the years. Medicare was focused on providing health care for the elderly while Medi-Cal was focused on providing health care for the poor. California’s Medi-Cal … [Read more...] about Deciphering Medicare Benefits vs Medi-Cal Benefits
Elder law attorneys vary in what they charge for Medi-Cal planning; a common fee is equivalent to the average cost of one month in a nursing home. However, it will typically vary depending on the complexity of the needed planning. Why should you pay thousands of dollars for Medi-Cal planning? The answer is simple: To save what you have. If you don’t bother with nursing home planning and you need care, you will continue to pay with your private funds until they run out. Once you’re broke, … [Read more...] about Should I Pay a Lawyer for Medi-Cal Planning?
Parents, grandparents and other family members seeking to assist other family members (often children and grandchildren) with the high cost of college education will commonly turn to Education Savings Accounts to put away money for this purpose. These accounts are often referred to as “529 accounts”, which is a reference to the section of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes these tax-advantaged accounts. When properly established, 529 accounts grow on a tax-deferred basis (like an … [Read more...] about NEW CALIFORNIA LAW HELPS PERSONS WHO ESTABLISHED EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS AND THEN NEED MEDI-CAL LONG TERM CARE ASSISTANCE
If you are concerned about long term care costs, you are not alone. According to the study Aging in Place in America, more people over the age of 65 are afraid of moving into a nursing home than are afraid of death. One of the problems with our fears is that so many of us choose to ignore them. Ignoring the possible need for nursing home care means that you miss out on the valuable chance to plan ahead. Not only does planning ahead let you shape what your nursing home experience might look … [Read more...] about A Primer on Medi-Cal Long Term Care Planning (Part 1 of 2)
Many people are confused about the differences between Medicare and Medi-Cal. While these programs may sound similar, they are in fact two distinct and different programs. Medicare is an entitlement program that is funded by the federal government. It does not depend on one’s assets or income. Benefits are earned by virtue of payments made into this program over one’s working lifetime. When one retires from the workforce at age 65 or so, or earlier due to a disability, Medicare coverage … [Read more...] about Confused about Medicare vs. Medi-Cal vs. Medicaid?
Last month we discussed generally how trust planning can be very useful in Medi-Cal Long Term Care planning. This month we’ll focus on specific types of trusts that can be useful in planning relating to Medi-Cal Long Term Care. They are: Medi-Cal Gifting Trust: This irrevocable trust is used to preserve clients' assets while still letting them qualify for Long Term Care Medi-Cal. With this trust, the person who creates the trust and puts his or her assets in the trust can't access the … [Read more...] about The Use of Trusts In Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Planning (Part II)
As many of our clients know, we regularly assist families facing daunting long term costs with planning aimed at obtaining available financial benefits from both the Veterans Administration and the Medi-Cal program. This planning is often very complicated but, nevertheless, extremely worthwhile for families struggling with these expenses. Valuable tools commonly used in our planning are various Medi-Cal Trusts. In this series of articles we’ll introduce you to these various trusts, and how … [Read more...] about The Use of Trusts In Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Planning (Part I)