Elder care law is one of the most important areas of law we have, yet many Florida seniors and their loved ones are extremely unprepared. They fail to plan early and well for a potential future that involves significant long-term care needs. Unfortunately, it is commonplace for our aging population and their caregivers to rely on estate plans and these plans often only cover a part of their needs.
The key to aging well in Florida is to be fully prepared for any circumstance that arises as a result of the aging process. We want you and your family to be protected. While there are multiple elder care issues we can help you navigate, our goal is two-fold. We want you to receive the good long-term care you deserve and we want to find a ways to pay for it that will not impoverish you or your family.
Let us share four tips with you in this article.
1. Know the difference between estate plans and elder care law.
A common misconception is that estate planning and elder care law are basically the same thing. Estate plans, however, only make up part of elder law. Estate plans typically include a will and a trust, and basically cover the transfer of wealth and planning for death. By contrast, elder care law encompasses all legal matters that seniors and persons with disabilities face. These considerations are not limited to just issues regarding death, but also those of incapacity, as well.
2. Do your research.
It’s easy to chat with friends or family and emulate their end-of-life plans. If those plans only include estate planning, however, you put yourself in the position to face serious issues as you age. Research the best course of action for you based on your circumstances, because everyone deals with different health, disability and financial issues. What worked for Aunt Hilda or Grandma Jean may not suit you, so be sure to research all elder care law opportunities.
3. Ask the right questions.
During your pursuit for an elder care law attorney to help you plan ahead, be sure to ask your attorney the right questions for you. It’s common for elder care law attorneys to practice in one, two or a few areas of elder care law, not everything, so be sure your attorney fits your needs. Ask them what areas they focus on in, how many years they’ve been practicing law, and how to best be prepared for future meetings. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can avoid hiring an attorney who will only help you with part of your needs.
4. Find out what you qualify for.
Your elder care law attorney can help you determine if you may qualify for public benefits programs to help you pay for the high cost of long-term care. These benefits can include Florida Medicaid to help pay for a long-term care facility, or even VA Pension Benefits. It is a common misconception that you must be a disabled veteran to qualify for VA Pension Benefits. If you were discharged from service (without dishonorable conditions), served more than 90 days during a qualifying period of war, are permanently and totally disabled or aged older than 65, and your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law, you most likely benefit for VA pension benefits to help pay for long-term care.
The key is to do your research, ask the right questions, and don’t rely on advice from friends or family. You need to find the right elder care lawyer for you. We work with families just like yours each and every day on finding the right elder care law answers for them and would be honored to answer your questions. Ready to start planning? Let us know by contacting us through our website or call us at (877) 977 – ELDER. We look forward to talking to you!