How to protect ourselves from the cost of healthcare as we age really does require legal advice.
People that I know made a decision to live in community as a multi-family household so they could help their parents. They made this decision in good faith with the best of intentions. Between the time they made the decision, started legal paperwork on the house they will modify and move into, Dad got very, very sick. Unfortunately, they did not consult with an Elder Law attorney first and now Medicaid as a healthcare option is off the table because of the five year look back.
It seems counter intuitive to spend money to save money but really, Medicaid and healthcare planning is the gift that keeps on giving. Consulting with an elder law attorney may not have changed this families decision, but they would have understood the consequences up front.
Even if you don’t expect to need Medicaid, the healthcare systems currently in place for our later years and understanding who pays for what, is so complex we all need legal advice from an Elder law attorney. And we need this legal advice BEFORE we need a nursing home, assisted living facility, home care or create a multi-family household.
Most people are clear about using an Estate Lawyer to create your will. Very few people understand what working with an Elder Lawyer gives you until the Financial Power of Attorney document you put in place doesn’t allow you to move money around to protect your loved one and their health care choices.
In this article by Cathy Sikorski, colleague and friend, she clearly explains the differences, which one is appropriate to use when, and gives you four questions to make sure your attorney has a handle on Elder Law issues.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.