Elder Law Attorneys Help Preserve Family Assets by Planning Ahead
Caring for our elders is vital to ensuring their comfort and security during their later years of life. That is why we are always searching for ways to make common facets of elder care law easier for you and your loved ones to understand. Elder law encompasses estate planning, trusts, wills, social security, care arrangements, retirement benefits planning, and protection against elder abuse (physical, mental, and financial). Whether you have a spouse or parents being cared for at home or in an assisted living facility or nursing home, the costs for care can potentially be astronomical. These costs are not only monetary, but they are emotional and physical as well. Learn how caring for a loved one can take a toll on you personally as well as your family’s pocketbook and what alternatives may be available.
Our goal at Sandoval Legacy Group is to help you enjoy your retirement free from financial worries so that your later years can be truly golden. By establishing an estate plan, you can specify how you want your money and other assets distributed, making it easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs during a time of grief and to preserve your family’s legacy and wealth for generations.
Each elder client’s set of circumstances must be considered carefully—and we have a proven track record across Southern California of handling matters concerning older clients as well as children with aging parents. We will carefully assess all your needs during a free consultation and develop a specific plan that your loved one can benefit from. We personalize all our services to your distinct needs, and we will always act as your advocate when drawing up the necessary documentation. Contact us today to ensure that your aging loved ones receive the quality care they need without going broke paying for it. By waiting or hesitating you may be reducing your options and burdening your family financially, as a result, adult children may lose their inheritances.
Long Term Medi-Cal
Far too many people believe creating an estate plan is just for the wealthy. The fact is, whether you have millions in the bank or a small nest egg, everyone should have a comprehensive estate plan in place and should get help with Medi-Cal planning to protect their assets. Along with advance planning, we also offer crisis planning to protect assets in the event that clients become disabled, incapacitated, or require home care, nursing home care, or die suddenly.
Medi-Cal is California’s version of the Medicaid program. The application process is lengthy and certain requirements must be met. Because of the strict eligibility guidelines, early planning is the key to qualifying for Long-Term Medi-Cal when you need it. For those seniors who qualify, Long Term Care Medi-Cal care benefits can be obtained, and will pay for the cost of skilled nursing, if you plan ahead.
You may wonder how you will ever afford long-term care with nursing home costs hovering around eight thousand dollars a month. The cost of long-term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility in California is high. The majority of seniors believe that Medicare pays for skilled nursing care. In limited circumstances, this is true. Medicare and the senior share the cost of care for the first 100 days. Medicare will pay up to 100% for the first 20 days of skilled nursing care. For the 21-100 days, the patient will pay a co-payment. After 100 days of care, Medicare will no longer pay for the cost of a long-term stay in a skilled nursing facility.
Our experienced elder law attorneys can help you incorporate planning for Long-Term Medi-Cal strategies into your existing estate plan, or into a new plan. Additionally, you will be guided through every step of the application process for Medi-Cal long-term care to ensure that your family is not drained of funds from nursing home medical bills and to help ensure that your assets are protected if the need for long-term care does become a reality. No one should be left without the care they need to live a fulfilled life. As such, we will do all we can to leave your loved one in a good financial place when they’re receiving long-term medical assistance.
Seniors looking at a long-term stay in a skilled nursing facility often seek assistance through Long-Term Care Medi-Cal. Although we recommend you begin the planning process as soon as possible because planning ahead for asset preservation and eligibility is much easier and less stressful than planning for immediate eligibility. It is understandable, however, that this may not be the case for everyone. Medical emergencies often happen when we least expect them. Because of this, many of our clients seek our “Crisis Planning” services after the senior has been admitted to the hospital and is being transferred to a skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation hospital, or assisted living facility.
Unfortunately, these situations can be a bit more difficult to navigate. Therefore, we set out to be a trusted advisor that will help you qualify for the best possible care. Depending on your age and marital status, there are certain income and non-exempt asset restrictions that must be met in order to qualify for Medi-Cal long term care. Additionally, there are asset limits for qualification. If resources exceed these limits, the senior in the nursing home will be ineligible to qualify for Medi-Cal. At that point, an individual or couple must engage in Crisis Planning. This may involve the individual or couple privately paying for skilled nursing home care for a period of time. The excess available resources must be spent, repositioned into exempt resources, or transferred out of ownership by the individual or couple. The transfer is usually accomplished by utilizing an irrevocable trust.
The California Medicaid program (called Medi-Cal) rules are complicated and truly unique –however you are not alone, we are here to help guide you to ensure you are eligible for financial assistance with the high costs of long-term care. To find out if you qualify for Medi-Cal long-term care or if you have been denied coverage, contact us at (888) 502-2881. Expert estate planning and elder law attorney Dennis M, Sandoval, and the team at Sandoval Legacy Group, can address your concerns and provide answers.
Our goal is to protect you and your assets and eliminate the burden of long-term care costs on your loved ones with honest, professional guidance. In the event that you or a family member is contemplating receiving Medi-Cal long-term care benefits in the future, but do not have an estate plan with a revocable trust, please schedule an appointment so that you and your family can get the protection and benefits now. Act now, before its too late.
Conservatorships can be a useful tool for your loved one as well, depending on your circumstances. Deciding to pursue or contest a conservatorship is a serious decision that is best made after consulting an experienced conservatorship attorney. In some states, guardianships are used to appoint someone to manage a disabled or elderly person’s personal or financial affairs. However, guardianships are only used for minors in California. During a “conservatorship of the person”, the conservator (the person appointed by the court to manage personal affairs) can assist the conservatee (a disabled or adult person). Conservators manage the income and assets of conservatees and pay their bills under a “conservatorship of the estate”. It is possible for one person to be the conservator of both the estate and the person.
Our law firm is committed to assisting families of elderly or disabled individuals as they navigate the complex conservatorship process, whether seeking to direct the affairs of a loved one or looking to oppose a conservatorship proceeding. Whenever you seek or contest a conservatorship, we thoroughly prepare your case for court, knowing how much is at stake for you and your family. You can rest assured that we will be very involved in contested conservatorship cases, advocating for the best interests of the proposed conservator.
The Sandoval Legacy Group team is ready and able to answer any questions you may have about conservatorships. Learn more about all the necessary services and guidance for conservators, conservates, or family members seeking conservatorships in Southern California.
Caring for an aging parent or family member can be challenging and stressful. Check out our recently recorded webinars with elder law expert, Dennis M. Sandoval as he discusses “Paying for Long-Term Care” in California, and “Elder Care Problems and Solutions”.
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With office locations throughout Southern California, Sandoval Legacy Group, a division of Holstrom, Block & Parke, offers comprehensive and personalized estate planning, special needs planning, trust administration, probate, and conservatorships expert services in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, San Diego County, and Los Angeles County.