Estate Planning strives to achieve just one result: pass assets from a person who has died to a living heir. This makes sense. The law is based on precedent, i.e., what happened in the past. It is not flexible. It is not innovative. In the early 1900s, life expectancy for a male in America was 47.9 years. [Read more…]
Veterans who have incurred or aggravated an injury, illness or disability from military service are entitled to compensation. The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering this benefit. One such injury is not an injury of the body. Rather, it is a non-physical injury called “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” [Read more…]
What is an “elder law attorney” anyway? Elder law attorneys practice a special kind of law that helps families pay or manage long term care. These lawyers also help families with Powers of Attorney and Guardianships.
You should contact an Elder Law Attorney when: [Read more…]
When you, your spouse or parent begins to search for long term care services, it can prove to be daunting. Going to the internet can be overwhelming. Mr. Google is really smart but even he is wrong half of the time. Candidly, sometimes less information is more. Well, less information is better if it is quality information.
Here is a tip when selecting an Assisted Living Facility. [Read more…]
Imagine life as a hallway. You’ve been walking down it for so long that you have no idea where you started. Finally, you see ahead the end of the hall with two doors. One door is blue and the other is red.
The blue door represents proactive planning. This door invites people who recognize the frailty of human life, the high cost of care and the complexity of our society. It represents a path in which its travelers organize their affairs to protect their assets, themselves and their families before a crisis occurs. The blue door is long term care insurance, testamentary trusts for the benefit of a spouse, wealth replacement planning, powers of attorney and solid financial planning.
I am often asked where I practice. I would describe myself as an elder law attorney with offices in Tacoma, WA and Kirkland, WA. However, my clients are throughout the Puget Sound in Washington state. I am not an elder law attorney for just Tacoma and Kirkland. (Elder law attorneys are often referred to as elder care attorneys) [Read more…]
Through life, we buy property. Sometimes, we buy lots of property and it is sometimes difficult to manage. The task is even more onerous when we pass away because, as I stated within the first pages of this book, you cannot take property with you when you pass. You have to leave all of your property behind.
Estate planning comes in because [Read more…]
Medicaid for nursing home care or Washington State’s COPES program offers care benefits to Washingtonians who are medically indigent. There are two parts. The Medicaid or COPES applicant must be “functionally eligible” and “financially eligible.” If you are already in a nursing home, Medicaid concedes that you are functionally eligible. If you are not in a nursing home, to be eligible, you have to pass a test. Kinda. [Read more…]
Where do I begin? This question is a series of blogs. But, here goes. The problem my clients have is that they are paying more for care than they make in income. This forces them to spend down their retirement assets. One solution is a federal program enacted after John F. Kennedy was killed called Medicaid. Medicaid pays for care for Americans who are in a nursing home but are medically inidigent. Those rules are complicated. But, if you are a single person, Medicaid considers you indigent if you have no more than $2,000 in the bank. Medicaid does not count [Read more…]
The idea of long term care differs between government programs. In Washington’s Medicaid regulations, the definitions are complicated. To prove that proposition, I have posted the definitions from the Medicaid regulations below that define “long term care services.” WAC stands for “Washington Administrative Code.” Read through the list of definitions and welcome to my world. [Read more…]