Are you a member of the Sandwich Generation?Schedule Consultation
Getting your family ready at the end of the summer to go back to school can challenge most parents’ patience and energy under even the best of circumstances. But when there is also caregiving duty for a parent who has dementia, or chores and errands to support a loved one who has become disabled by a chronic disease, the stress can be overwhelming.
Here’s an article to read more about how Baby Boomers who are responsible simultaneously for the care of their children and parents are a special breed.
Sign up to attend one or all of the below listed seminars that we will offer at various times in September. Each seminar has a significant “what’s in it for me” factor for caregiving children, but since our services are ALWAYS geared towards serving the parent or older generation of the family, we encourage you to bring a parent who is able to attend so we can ask them these two questions:
- Do you hope to spend the last days of your life in a nursing home? Nobody does, but few plan to avoid it.
- Given a choice, do you want what is left of your life savings to go the government, a nursing home, or your children? If an aging parent wants to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren, we can help them to make sure that the right documents are in place.
Seminar #1: Preemptive Planning Strategies, Essential Legal Documents, and Avoidable Pitfalls.
September 7th, 2017
Attorney Jessica Greene, CELA,* LL.M. in Elder Law will explain how helping to plan now can avoid financial stress and complications later:
- Why are too many power of attorney documents surprisingly useless when trying to preserve assets at a time of crisis?
- How should an agent be appointed if one child is better with a checkbook and another is better with medical issues?
- Why is a parent’s revocable living trust not as helpful as they might expect?
- What are the limitations of a pre-nuptial agreement with long-term care needs in second marriages?
- What is the purpose of a trust, the right time to create it, and the best asset to put in it?
- What is the risk of a parent funding a grandchild’s college education since the accountant said up to $14,000 to any person should be OK and not reportable to the government?
- Under what circumstances must a child pay for a parent’s care, and how can planning prevent that?
Seminar #2: Overview of Caring for Aging Parents.
September 14th, 2017
Karen E. Kaslow, RN, BSN, who is Keystone Elder Law’s care coordinator, will use visual charts and anecdotal stories to explain:
- How an older person’s need for caregiving help with activities of daily living increases
with age and frailty.
- How to identify a danger zone when a catastrophic incident could cause a need for long-
term or permanent nursing care.
- Various levels of care and options for receiving it.
- The cost of obtaining care and possible resources to provide for it.
- What Medicare does and does not pay for in relation to long-term care needs.
- The basics of long-term care insurance, and when to submit a claim if you are insured.
Seminar #3: Legal Risks and Opportunities for Living with Parents, and Paying for Nursing Homes
September 21st, 2017
Attorney Dave Nesbit will discuss legal options for intergenerational living arrangements done to preserve the home and family wealth, including:
- When and how to consider a life estate deed.
- Opportunities and pitfalls of intra-family property occupancy and conveyance including, room and board agreements, rent to own, promissory note issues, putting children’s names on house deeds, determining fair market value, use of caregiver agreements, and caregiver exception transfers.
- What are the filial responsibility risks for the non-participating sibling?
- What is the fiduciary risk if the child who is a co-occupant is also the agent under a POA?
- What strategies remain to preserve the home and family wealth if the parent is in the
Seminar #4: Will You Be Tasked With Managing Your Parent’s Estate?
September 28th, 2017
Attorney Ryan Webber will give an overview of how to avoid, manage and minimize the hassles and expenses of probate, inheritance taxes, and Executor responsibilities, including:
- Elements of a good Last Will and Testament.
- Advantages of a trust.
- How nursing-home spend-downs with Medicaid annuities avoid probate with remaining
- Understanding the difference between estate tax and inheritance taxes.
- Duties and pitfalls of an Executor.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can be used to give another person the right to sell a car, home, or other property in the place of the maker of the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney might be used to allow another person to sign a contract for the maker of the Power of Attorney (the person who makes a power of attorney is called the “principal”). It can be used to give another person the authority to make health care decisions, do financial transactions, or sign legal documents that the principal cannot do for one reason or another. With few exceptions, Powers of Attorney can give others the right to do any legal acts that the makers of the Powers of Attorney could do them themselves. A General Power of Attorney gives the “power of attorney Agent” or simply “Agent” (the legal name of the person who is authorized to act for the principal) very broad powers to do almost every legal act that the principal can do. When Elder Law Attorneys draft general Powers of Attorney, they still list the types of things the Agent can do but these powers are very broad. People often do general Powers of Attorney to plan ahead for the day when they may not be able to take care of things themselves. By doing the General Power of Attorney, they designate someone who can do these things for them.
Normal Powers of Attorney terminate if and when the principal becomes incompetent. Yet many people do Powers of Attorney for the sole purpose of designating someone else to act for them if they cannot act for themselves. It is precisely when persons can no longer do for themselves that a Power of Attorney is most valuable. To remedy this inconsistency, the law created a Durable Power of Attorney that remains effective even if a person becomes incompetent. The only thing that distinguishes a Durable Power of Attorney from a regular Power of Attorney is special wording that states that the power survives the principal’s incapacity. Even a Durable Power of Attorney, however, may be terminated under certain circumstances if court proceedings are filed. Most Powers of Attorney done today are durable.
Yes. At the time the Power of Attorney is signed, the principal must be capable of understanding the document. Although a Power of Attorney is still valid if and when a person becomes incompetent, the principal must understand what he or she is signing at the moment of execution. That means a person can be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or be otherwise incompetent sometimes but as long as they have a lucid moment and are competent at the moment they sign the Power of Attorney, it is valid even if they do not remember signing it at a later date. At the time it is signed, the principal must know what the Power of Attorney does, whom they are giving the Power of Attorney to, and what property may be affected by the Power of Attorney.
Any competent person eighteen years of age and older can serve as an agent. Certain financial institutions can also serve. There is no course of education that agent must complete or any test that Agent must pass. Because a Power of Attorney is such a potentially powerful document, agents should be chosen for reliability and trustworthiness. In the wrong hands, a Power of Attorney can be a license to steal. It can be a big responsibility to serve as an agent.
Medicare is health insurance and covers medical services such as physician appointments, therapy, blood tests, x rays, medical procedures and hospitalization. Medicare will sometime pay for rehabilitation in a long-term care facility for a period of 20 to 100 days, but not longer. In long-term care, Medicaid covers the cost of ongoing support services for daily functioning, such as room and board in a nursing home.
Medicaid is a federal program that is overseen by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In Pennsylvania, Medicaid is called Medical Assistance and is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
In Pennsylvania, Medicaid funds are not available to pay for assisted living or personal care.
For Medicaid to pay for care in a nursing home, an individual recipient must be determined to need a nursing home level of care by a physician and the local Office of Aging. An individual whose income is not greater than three times the poverty level may keep up to $8,000 of total resources, but may otherwise keep only $2,400. The cash value of life insurance counts as a resource, but one car and a residential home does not count as a resource.
Empowering Clients with Holistic Planning at
Keystone Elder Law
At Keystone Elder Law, we believe that the physical, social, legal, and financial considerations of our clients all intertwine. We utilize an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate each area, which allows for the creation of a plan that addresses the concerns of the individual as a whole as well as the family. To this end, our model of practice includes a Care Coordinator (usually a nurse or social worker), whose expertise complements our team of attorneys.
When the road of life is smooth, decisions about legal and financial matters are easy to push aside for “a rainy day.” Planning ahead, however, will allow for more options as you view the map of where you’ve been and where you want to go. Don’t let a crisis limit your choices or derail your plans.(717) 697-3223