Mechanicsburg Long-Term Care Planning AttorneySchedule Consultation
Your Partner in Planning for Nursing Home and Beyond
As statistics show that approximately 70 percent of Pennsylvania residents will require long-term care after turning 65, it becomes evident that preparing for such care is crucial. Unfortunately, the cost of full-time nursing home care in the state can amount to approximately $13,000 per month. For most individuals, relying on Medicaid or other forms of financial assistance becomes necessary to cover these expenses.
At Keystone Elder Law, P.C., our team of dedicated Mechanicsburg long-term care planning attorneys is here to assist you in developing a comprehensive plan that meets your present and future needs. We will sit down with you to review all available options, considering factors such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. Moreover, we will guide you on safeguarding your assets and preserving eligibility for Medicaid and other financial assistance programs, ensuring the affordability of necessary care.
A Full Range of Long-Term Care Planning Services for South Central Pennsylvania Clients
While not everyone may require nursing home care in their later years, it’s essential to assess your financial situation and plan ahead, even if long-term care is not an immediate need. Keystone Elder Law, P.C. offers a range of services to address various aspects of long-term care planning, including:
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This insurance policy covers the costs of nursing home care, assisted living, in-home assistance, and other forms of long-term care if the need arises. However, it is essential to consult with a Mechanicsburg long-term care planning attorney before purchasing a policy, as they can be complex and expensive, often with exclusions that require careful consideration.
- Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts: If you anticipate relying on Medicaid or other public assistance for long-term care, it’s vital to evaluate the potential impact on your home and other assets. Strict income and asset limits apply to these programs, and after your passing, your heirs may be required to sell your home to reimburse Medicaid. Establishing a valid Medicaid asset protection trust can prevent this outcome.
- Gifting Strategies: Many seniors in Mechanicsburg mistakenly believe that they can transfer money and property to their children to circumvent Medicaid’s asset limits. However, Medicaid has a “lookback” period of five years for most substantial gifts, subject to certain thresholds. It is crucial to consult with a long-term care planning attorney to understand the implications before engaging in gifting strategies.
- Estate Planning: Long-term care planning encompasses more than asset protection; it involves creating a comprehensive estate plan that includes powers of attorney. By designating individuals you trust, you ensure that they can make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacitation.
Contact a Mechanicsburg, PA, Long-Term Care Planning Lawyer Today
Planning for long-term care may seem daunting, but with the assistance of skilled and compassionate Mechanicsburg long-term care planning attorneys at Keystone Elder Law, P.C., the process becomes manageable. We will guide you through each step of developing an appropriate plan that protects you and your loved ones. Schedule a confidential and no-obligation consultation today to begin securing your future.
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