Elder Law and Estate Planning in Kentuckiana
A recent financial management mobile app allows you to age yourself instantaneously to see what an eighty year old ‘you’ might look like. For many of us, we only have to look in our parents’ faces to see ourselves. Although reversing roles with Mom or Dad can be stressful and full of anxiety, a little preparation and solutions-based assistance can help you focus on the truly important things.
Whether thinking ahead for your own future, acting on behalf of a spouse or parent, or seeking information as a compassionate caregiver – we are well-positioned to help you identify elder care solutions.
We are local, Kentuckiana, elder law attorneys with McNeely Stephenson. Our lives and families are interwoven with the fabric of this community. Using our legal background to address issues facing the elderly, we have helped our neighbors with the challenges faced by aging spouses, parents and grandparents.
Our elder attorneys help families find solutions to manage their elder care needs in a way that preserves not just their long-term financial health, but also the long-term health of their family relationships. The goal of McNeely Stephenson is to allow families to remain focused on the most important aspect of aging: enjoying your lives together.
If you need help with the challenges and concerns confronting you or a loved one, or if you just want to make sure that you are prepared for the future, we invite you to speak with one of our attorneys. Call us at (812) 725-8224 and let us help you explore legal solutions to your long-term care needs.
The Basic Picture
Medicare is a federal health insurance program supported by mandatory payroll deductions, and it primarily serves people over age 65. Recipients may pay a monthly premium, based on “work credits” – the number associated with how long a person has been employed. The program has four separate parts addressing specific health needs. Part A, for example, usually pays for some short-term, in-home medical help prescribed by a doctor, but it won’t pay for long-term custodial care. Part D offers prescription drug coverage. Find more information about medicare claims.
Medicaid provides a long term care program utilizing both federal and state components. Medicaid recipients typically pay very little for covered medical expenses. The program may cover home care or day services if your 65-plus parent is nursing-home eligible. A person may receive Medicaid and Medicare benefits concurrently. Read more about medicaid claims.
Social Security benefits are paid to people for retirement and disability, and may be paid to widows or widowers. If your parent’s Social Security benefits were earned based on lower-paying jobs, and if the benefits are the only source of income, there may be a larger monthly benefit available by applying for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program – and we can help you make that determination as well as fill out the papers.
Veterans benefits come in several types and levels. For example, if your aging parent is a military veteran and needs continuing medical care because of a service-related disability, an application for medical benefits, hospitalization and prescription drugs may be submitted.
Solving the Long-Term Care Puzzle
Do you know someone caring for an aging parent? With over 10 million Americans over fifty taking on the responsibility of basic care for their parents, chances are you have a family member or friend in this situation. An increasing number of Baby Boomers find themselves in the ‘sandwich generation’ – torn between providing care for children and parents at the same time.
We can help you navigate the maze of qualifying for government programs and evaluating long-term care options. Our first step will be to review Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and even Veterans Benefits to inventory what resources can be utilized for care needs.
Each program has specific qualifications and associated paperwork. As you may have already discovered, securing these resources isn’t always easy. But don’t throw up your hands – contact us and we can review the options together.
Our attorneys are available to meet with you to discuss a long-term care plan and solve the financing challenges that may seem overwhelming. Call us today at (812) 725-8224 with your questions and let’s get started identifying solutions.
Understanding Power of Attorney & Guardianships
Having a properly drafted power-of-attorney is the cornerstone for every estate plan. Just as you don’t want to drive down an interstate highway without a spare tire, you do not want to find yourself without a properly drafted power-of-attorney when you’re confronted with a hospital or nursing home stay.
A power-of-attorney gives legal authorization to someone chosen by the signer to make decisions on his or her behalf. It may be effective immediately or at some predetermined later point in time, and it may broadly cover all decision-making or authorize decisions only about certain issues.
Executing a power-of-attorney is essential to safeguarding the health, financial and care concerns faced as we grow older. For a power-of-attorney to act with full legal authority, the document must be accurate and thorough, and it is best to complete it before major cognitive disabilities arise.
If you do not have a properly drafted power-of-attorney, a guardianship may be necessary. Guardianships are court ordered; consequently, the parties must appear before a court and the necessity of financial and/or healthcare assistance must be proven. Guardianships are often more expensive than a properly drafted power-of-attorney and the record keeping requirements are often much more extensive.
When you are ready to learn more about protecting yourself, or a loved one, through the security and protection offered by a power-of-attorney or a guardianship, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at McNeely Stephenson. We have worked with many families to safeguard their loved ones. Let us help you to find options that meet your needs.
Giving Support to Caregivers
You may be an in-home caregiver or an adult-child who wishes they could live closer to Mom and Dad. Due to the challenges of modern life, the traditional definition of ‘caregiver’ is constantly changing. Oftentimes, with chronic ailments like Alzheimer’s, the solutions that fit one day are no longer appropriate the next. The attorneys at McNeely Stephenson work hard to provide you with options, so that you can craft a plan that best fits the care needs of your loved ones.
Many families have depended on McNeely Stephenson to answer their elder law questions. We represent and counsel families and their loved ones with the legal and financial issues that come with aging, disability and serious illness.
Whether you’re planning for your own future or for the future of a loved one, please consider allowing us to help you. Contact us today to start finding solutions: complete our online form, or call us at (812) 725-8224.