What is Elder Law | What Does an Elder Care Attorney do?
Elder care law is really an umbrella term encompassing multiple areas of law. Some elder care attorneys handle subjects that most people know something about, such as: probate, guardianship, estate planning. Other elder care lawyers focus their practice on some less-well-known areas of law such as: special needs planning, VA benefits planning, and medicaid planning. This then begs the question: what is Medicaid planning?
Medicaid planning is a way to protect people’s assets from the threat of long-term care expenses. Most clients are between 65 and 95, own their own homes and have between $25,000 and $750,000 worth of assets in addition to the house. What many people don’t realize is exactly how expensive long term care expenses can be – the average costs of a skilled nursing facility, in Florida, is $9,171.00 per month. So someone can be solid middle class or upper middle class, have saved their whole life and think that they’ll have plenty of money for whatever happens only to suffer a stroke, major heart attack or get an Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diagnosis and need help with their activities of daily living. If they have this six-figure per year expense, most Floridians would lose everything – and many do. Unbeknownst to most people – Medicare does not pay skilled nursing home expenses after 100 days. An elder care attorney, who handles medicaid planning, is able to legally and ethically protect people’s assets to get them qualified for Medicaid. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, has an excellent long-term care benefit. This helps them supplement their lifestyle with their own assets (to improve the quality of their life while alive) and make it more likely that they will have something to pass onto their heirs after they pass away. There are many myths and much misinformation surrounding long-term care Medicaid in Florida.
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