Your mom is getting older, and you wonder if she’s taken every possible step to protect herself and her estate. Are there programs that could help fund her care needs if her medical bills drain her assets? Take a closer look at the seven areas of elder law that she shouldn’t be overlooking.
Asset protection is a legal measure to save assets from being taken by creditors after one’s death. One area where this is important is if your mom is going to be on Medicaid. The government could come after her home after her death if she hasn’t taken legal measures to prevent this from happening.
It’s best to talk to an attorney about your mom’s assets. Go over what could happen in different situations and have her tell the attorney what she’d want to happen. With asset protection measures, she may find it’s possible to ensure her wishes are met.
Estate planning takes a closer look at your mom’s wishes regarding her estate both during her life and after death. It enables her to choose ahead of time who would get different assets, what assets she has, and that she has enough life insurance.
Her estate plan can also cover what she’d want to happen if she became incapacitated and couldn’t make her own medical and financial decisions. She could name who would become guardian to her pets. It also explores state tax laws to make sure her plan accounts for area laws.
If your mom will need Medicaid at any point in her life, Medicaid planning is essential. She has to meet the asset requirements and income levels, and those rules can be complex. An attorney with expertise in Medicaid applications is important.
Power of Attorney Protections
A power of attorney names someone who will make medical and financial decisions if your mom won’t be able to make them on her own. It’s important to have one in place if she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
At some point, she will not have the mental capacity to make decisions. The earlier these protections are in place, the better as she will reach a point where she cannot name a power of attorney and it can create major hassles in having the authority to pay her bills or make medical decisions.
Probate law is a form of elder law where your mom’s named executor (representative) takes the will she created and follows the steps to ensure assets are distributed in accordance with her wishes. Her executor will pay any remaining debts, sell any assets that aren’t being given to people, and then write checks for her beneficiaries.
Veterans Administration Benefits
If your mom or her spouse served in the military, VA benefits may be available to help with long-term care costs. Aid & Attendance is an example of a VA benefit that helps pay for some of your mom’s care needs.
Finally, a will is a legal document where your mom names her assets, beneficiaries, and instructions on what will happen following her death.
When your mom needs expert advice about estate plans or applications for help with long-term care or health care expenses, an elder law expert can help answer her questions and prepare the legal documents that protect her interests. Learn more about these six areas of elder law by scheduling a consultation.
If you or a loved one need assistance with Elder Law in Birmingham, AL contact The Alabama Elder Care Law Firm, LLC today. (205) 390-0101