In Naples, Florida, a semi-private room in an assisted living facility costs approximately $8,220.00 per month. When a family talks to an elder law professional about caring for an elderly family member, the costs of assisted living can become a focal part of the conversation. Considerations should be made for paying for assisted living. Whether someone in the family has been given guardianship of an elderly family member or not. (more…)
A will is a dynamic legal document that needs to accurately reflect your life and your wishes. As life moves on, things change and that means that your will should change to. If you do not have a will, then you should get one immediately. If you do have a will, then there are many reasons why you should spend time with your estate planning professional updating your will and making necessary changes. (more…)
Medicaid has many rules when it comes to qualifying for nursing home coverage. An elder law professional can help to explain the different guidelines Medicaid has created that determine eligibility for nursing home care. If you have been named in a guardianship arrangement for an elderly loved one, then you need to become familiar with these rules and check to see if your loved one qualifies for coverage. But there is also a Medicaid penalty called the “look-back” penalty that can have a serious financial effect on your family. (more…)
Social Security benefits were set up to make sure that every American has some kind of retirement income to look forward to. While it is true that the amount Social Security pays is not enough to live off of as a sole source of income, it can be an income to hold you over until your investments mature or to supplement your other retirement accounts. (more…)
According to the Florida Health Care Association, the average yearly cost for a private room in Florida nursing homes is $94,000 while the average yearly cost for private rooms in Florida assisted living facilities is $37,000. How do Fort Myers residents pay for nursing home care expenses? The FHCA says that 40 percent pay using private funds and Medicaid, if they qualify for Medicaid. Medicare only covers rehab services after a person is discharged from the hospital and a small portion of long-term care health services. (more…)
Probate is a process that goes into effect when someone passes away to administer their estate. The laws of probate vary from state to state, but there are some common practices that link all of the states together. If a loved one passes away, then you will probably be involved in the probate process in some way. (more…)
People in Fort Myers often make the mistake of assuming that estate planning services and elder law services are the same things. In reality, the two are very different. Estate planning handles issues pertaining to the distribution of assets after your death and handling guardianship issues for your dependent children. Elder law handles issues that deal with Medicaid, health proxies, and power of attorney. In other words, elder law issues are those that must be attended to while you are still alive. (more…)
Emergency guardianship is an important and complicated part of elder law that can happen quickly. When a loved one experiences a medical situation that leaves them unable to make important decisions regarding their estate, they become a ward and the probate court will step in and assign an emergency guardian. The family can also petition the court to name one of them as the emergency guardian, but the process must take place quickly.
Once an emergency guardian is in place, there are many decisions that need to be made. Every family should discuss an emergency guardian situation and understand the importance of being ready for these types of crisis moments. (more…)
Medicaid will pay for home care or nursing home care if the applicant’s available, countable resources are less than $2,000. An allowance called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance is available for Medicaid applicants who are married. If Medicaid discovers an applicant has transferred property five years before trying to get Medicaid, they may be hit with a “transfer penalty” that triggers a period of time in which they are disqualified from Medicaid. However, real estate exemptions exist that do not interfere with being approved for Medicaid. (more…)
In addition to strict income guidelines determining whether nursing home patients qualify for Medicaid, penalties also involve rules governing the Medicaid look-back period. Also referred to as the “penalty period”, the Medicaid look-back period evaluates dollar amounts of assets divided by the daily private or average monthly private rate of nursing home services. For example, if the average monthly cost of nursing home care in a particular state is $4000 and the patient received $60,000 in gifts during the penalty period, then the patient will be unable to qualify for Medicaid coverage for 15 months, ($4000/$60,000 = 15 months).
Fortunately, a Bonita Springs elder lawyer has in-depth knowledge of Medicaid’s complicated eligibility rules and may be able to help you find ways to reduce or eliminate months of Medicaid ineligibility. (more…)