Elder Care and Planning often goes hand in hand with wills, powers of attorney and trusts. This is the fastest growing area of our practice. Although there are general principals that apply to most clients each client seeking Elder Care planning is unique and we approach advising them as such. Typically we meet with the client to get the total picture of their estate as well as medical and care needs then put together a plan for them in the form of a short presentation and meet with them again to discuss, explain and advise.
A "classic" example of a client in need of this planning:
A husband/wife are in their late 60's. The wife is in good health, but the husband is diagnosed with a degenerative disease which will leave him in need of institutional care for many years. Will Medical Assistance pay for his care? Should they sell their house? Do they need a trust? Is his current Power of Attorney sufficient? Can the wife keep her income? The answers to these questions may vary based on the facts and circumstance but are all questions to be answered as part of our Elder Law services.
There are many stereotypes and misnomers when it comes to elder care planning. They range from "you're trying to cheat the government" to "they will take everything I have, including my house."
Our philosophy includes, 1) the client must receive quality care. That may be provided in the home from a family members or visiting nurses. It may also be in a facility. 2) Plan ahead before there is a crisis. 3) Use legal and ethical methods to preserve a person's estate plan and, where there is a healthy spouse, to preserve assets for him or her.