How about those for scary words? What image do they bring to your mind’s eye? Terry Schiavo? An aged relative in his or her final days who no longer recognizes family members? People in wheel chairs lined up and staring into space? Soldiers who were wounded in protecting our country and are struggling to recover whatever they can of their former lives?
Whatever images those words conjure up for you, I know that they are not pleasant ones.
And yet, those words are going to be the reality for many Americans. With the best medical system in the world, our life expectancies are continuing to lengthen. However, the quality of life for many of those years lived past the age at which our parents died may leave a lot to be desired. Alzheimer’s disease, except for the rare early-onset type, used to be practically unknown because so very few people lived long enough to develop its symptoms. Instead they died of stroke (because high blood pressure could not be controlled) or some other now-manageable conditions or illnesses. Medicare pays for a lot of medical care for those over 65, but it does not pay for long-term nursing home care.
So, the burden of paying for that often falls on families and/or the Medicaid system. However, as demands increase, the restrictions on qualifying for Medicaid are ever tightening. Time after time we have met with a family that has taken the advice of another family member, a hairdresser, a well intentioned church or other friend, or someone else who does not have the skill and training to give advice in this complex and ever-changing area. Almost always, we find that what the family has done on its own might have worked at one time but now is not helpful and often has made Medicaid qualification extremely difficult, if not impossible.
We help our clients do Medicaid and disability planning ahead of time when appropriate, which is part of why we get to know them very well. Nobody can give you the advice you need unless they understand your own personal situation, including your unique blend of assets, risks, and life event probabilities.
Medicaid planning to avoid impoverishing your spouse and help preserve for your family something of what you have worked so hard your whole life to amass is certainly possible. It is part of the services we offer. Doing it before a crisis develops is far better than the other way.
Having a Personal Family Lawyer™ who knows you and your family and keeps up with your life as it changes is the very best way to avoid having that crisis arrive without warning.
So, whether your family is in crisis mode now or you want to plan ahead to try to avoid having a crisis later, we can help. CLICK HERE to contact us and find out how.