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…)
An elder law attorney in Naples, equipped to handle a wide variety of matters relevant to elderly people, can be a legal advocate for senior citizens and their families. In addition to issues relating to Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, long term care planning and estate planning, elder law attorneys can also: (more…)