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How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Family Caregivers

Taking care of an older adult with health issues can be difficult for a family.  Taking care of an older adult with health issues often means navigating unfamiliar decision making.  It can be overwhelming, especially when the well-being of a loved one hangs in the balance. Families do not have to go it alone, however. An experienced, qualified elder law attorney can help a family sort through all the decisions that have to be made while also helping the family make the right decisions for their goals and their loved ones. 

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What is Memory Care?

Elderly woman working on a memory exercise puzzle

Caring for an adult who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult and stressful. It may come to a point where a person is no longer safe to live at home and may need to be placed into a long-term care facility. If this is the case, considering memory care may be one way to ensure a loved one is safe and receiving care tailored to their condition. 

Memory care, which can be a wing in a nursing home facility or a separate entity, is where patients who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can go to receive care based on their needs around those diseases. Specifically, memory care provides intensive services to patients with memory issues. 

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Is it Too Late to Protect My Assets if My Spouse is Already in a Nursing Home?

Going into nursing home care requires families to consider issues like the cost of care, how to protect assets, and what to do if one spouse is already in a nursing home. 

Having a spouse transition into a nursing home is stressful for everyone involved, including the spouse living at home. It involves difficult decisions and a lot of anxiety. Some of that anxiety is due to how complex financing the nursing home care can seem. For many spouses still living at home, the thought of losing all their assets comes to mind. Families should know that there are ways to cover the costs of a loved one being in a nursing home without draining assets. 

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What are the Responsibilities of a Personal Representative?

Senior woman meeting with an estate planning lawyer

Being chosen as the personal representative of a person’s will is both an honor and a responsibility. Along with the role comes certain duties. Before you accept those responsibilities and obligations, you should know exactly what you are taking on. Generally speaking, you will be distributing the deceased person’s property and arranging for payment of estate debts and expenses. Duties specific to this role include choosing the type of probate, filing the will for probate, setting up an account to pay bills, paying estate debts and taxes, maintaining the willed property, making/filing an inventory with the court, distributing assets, and more. The role of a personal representative is no small task, so people who have accepted this role often find it helpful to work closely with an attorney during the process. 

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How Your Stimulus Check Affects Medicaid Eligibility

economic stimulus check and cash in front of American flags

After the coronavirus pandemic hit America in March 2020, it prompted Congress to pass several bills meant to stabilize businesses and the economy. As part of those relief packages, the CARES Act provided many Americans with a stimulus check based on their incomes. For instance, those with an income under $75,000 per year received $1,200. People making over that amount received less on a sliding scale proportionate with their income. These payments were based on either an individual’s 2018 or 2019 taxes.  For those with a loved one in a nursing home or looking into long-term care, stimulus checks may have presented some worries about how they impact Medicaid eligibility. 

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Things to Consider When Choosing Power of Attorney

blank power of attorney document

As we age, planning for our estate and end-of-life care becomes an increasingly important way to ensure that your wishes are known, and you and your loved ones are prepared for the changes in your life. Planning may include considering the possibility of becoming incapacitated and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding our health or assets. One way to prepare for that possibility includes granting a trusted person powers of attorney. This is a powerful designation, and requires careful consideration. 

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Helpful Ways to Pay for Assisted Living

room in an assisted living facility

As we age, we may need to live in an assisted living care facility. It is often part of growing older, so it is important to understand the best ways to pay for assisted living and get the best deal possible. 

When it comes to assisted living, it is a good idea to choose a facility that best fits the resident’s current level of care, but can also accommodate any changes that happen over time. For instance, progressive diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s may require different types of care down the line. It may be better to choose an assisted living facility that can changes in need, as opposed to having to move into a second care facility. It is a good idea to have a transition plan in place to accommodate changes in health and the support necessary to receive the best care possible. 

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What are Some Common Estate Disputes?

court dispute

The death of a loved one is difficult in more ways than one. Aside from the grieving that comes with death, disputes over a person’s estate can sour relationships and lead to more stress on a family. Such disputes can cause the destruction of the loved one’s intended asset distribution plan. For this reason, careful, intentional estate planning is advised to ensure your assets are going where you intended them to go.

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Are an IRA or Life Insurance Part of Probate?

Jar labeled IRA filled with money

Figuring out which property does and does not go through probate when a person dies can be quite confusing, especially when the person had a lot of assets. While it makes sense that a person’s estate would go through the probate process, assuming there isn’t a trust set up, what happens to things like their IRAs or life insurance policies? Are they included in the probate process?

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What are Advanced Directives?

Senior Couple signing estate planning documents

As we grow older and start to think about what life will look like in the future, there are many decisions that need to be made, especially if we want to do the best we can for our families. Most people know about preparing a will, but what happens if you get sick? Who makes decisions for you? This can be handled using advance directives. 

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