Elder law is the term used to describe legal matters that most often involve senior citizens planning for their long term care needs. The typical elder law client is over 60 years of age, and with legal planning can protect assets from future medical costs. Therefore, the focus of elder law is often on the financial aspects of long term care planning. In addition to financial planning, legal planning for elderly clients in order to be thorough, must include planning for health care decision making. Advance health directives can provide instructions regarding medical care, as well as provide for the appointment of a representative of the client's choosing to make health related decisions.
Many clients are concerned with the costs of long term care. In the New York metropolitan area the cost of care in a nursing facility is generally $15,000 per month or more in NYC and the five boroughs. These costs can deplete one's life savings, even if the stay is only temporary.
People are familiar with the term "5 year lookback" but few know the true impact of the rules governing eligibility for Medicaid's financing of nursing home care. Attorneys with an advanced understanding of the eligibility rules can assist a client in becoming Medicaid eligible with minimal impact on the value of his or her savings or real property. The laws regarding transfer of assets and eligibility for Medical Assistance to pay for nursing home care become more constraining every year.
Beginning later this year in NY there will be a 30 month lookback for Community Medicaid with Home Care Benefits.
It is more important than ever to plan well in advance to protect assets from the costs of long term care. Since no one can predict future medical needs, asset protection planning should be considered and implemented when clients are healthy and well, rather waiting for a crisis to occur.
Our clients often choose to protect assets in advance by establishing and funding trusts. By creating and funding trusts properly, well in advance of needing care, assets can be protected, and families will be spared the added stress and financial burdens of losing hard earned savings to finance long term care. Contact us today to begin your asset protection planning in Howard Beach & Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY and surrounding area.