All too often, I meet with new clients that need assistance with elder law long term care planning for a loved one, but have either waited too long or show up after they have followed improper advice from well-meaning individuals who were not elder law attorneys. In this post you will learn when you should contact an Elder Law Attorney in New York.
If one waits too long, by the time they meet with an elder law attorney, they may have lost significant planning opportunities that would have otherwise been available had they come much earlier. They are also usually already stressed with the physical, emotional and financial burden of dealing with their loved one’s long term care needs.
I recently met with John (*name changed) who was referred to my elder law office because his mom was running out of funds. She suffered from advanced dementia and had trouble with activities such as walking, dressing and taking care of her personal hygiene. John had arranged for home health aides to care for her 12 hours daily at a monthly cost of approximately $9,000. John was concerned because his mom had less than $60,000 left in her bank accounts and soon, other than her small monthly social security check, there would be no money to cover her expenses.
This is a typical case where meeting with an elder law attorney earlier, long before the thousands of dollars were spent on home health aides, could have saved most of mom’s money.
Well-meaning friends, neighbors, and sometimes social workers give advice but don’t know the intricate laws relating to long term care, and specifically the Medicaid care program.
Many people are unaware that there are alternative ways to plan for the high costs of long term care other than spending down one’s own money.
Many people are unaware that currently in New York there is no look back (penalty) period to access Medicaid home care benefits.
Few people know in advance when they may actually need future services of a home health aide or be admitted to a nursing home. But planning when you don’t yet need these services will give you the greatest flexibility and allow you the greatest opportunity to preserve your assets, protect your home, and receive the care that you may need.
Planning for the eventual need for elder care before any such needs are on the horizon, will allow you to plan when you are calm, capable of logical decision making, and allow you to consult with your loved ones and collaborate for what is best for you. Waiting until a crisis, result in less options available, rushed decisions, and additional pressure on top of dealing with the actual crisis.
Regardless of when you come into our office, whether in a time of calm or during an unexpected storm, an elder law attorney will lay out your options with clarity and compassion.
While it gives us great satisfaction to assist clients in the eleventh hour, it gives us even greater joy to help a family plan in advance.
We can help with your Elder Law issues
Call us today to set up a free consultation in our Nassau County Elder Law office to see how an elder law attorney can help you plan.
Call (516) 466-9455