Walpole Elder Law Attorney
Americans on the whole are living longer, happier, healthier and more productive lives. Although this is great news in general, it can create a hardship for elderly couples and individuals whose income and savings are not enough to last throughout their lives, especially through any period requiring a long-term stay in a Walpole nursing home or skilled nursing facility.
Elder law is the field of law that deals specifically with legal issues related to aging, and an elder law attorney is one who is dedicated to meeting the needs of elders and their families through thoughtful and careful planning strategies. Walpole elder law attorney Linda K. Fisher puts years of experience and expertise toward providing practical legal advice and professional representation to individuals and families confronted with elder law issues, whether for themselves, their spouses, their siblings, parents or grandparents. At Fisher Law LLC, we’ll help you plan for the future, meet your current needs, protect your assets, and make sure you and your loved ones are equipped to handle the financial needs for long-term care or other health issues.
How Can I Afford Long-Term Care?
The costs of a long-term stay in a nursing home are prohibitive for most people. Medicare doesn’t cover nursing home costs, but Medicaid does. Unfortunately, while Medicare is an entitlement program that most people qualify for simply by turning 65 years old, Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) is needs-based and only available to people with very low incomes and practically no savings.
Spending down your life savings on a nursing home until you qualify for Medicaid and then letting the government pick up the tab is one way to afford long-term care, but it doesn’t leave any money for your spouse or heirs, or for yourself if your stay is only temporary. You might think that giving away your money to family members so you can qualify for Medicaid is the answer, but any transfers made within five years of applying for Medicaid are carefully scrutinized. The government can penalize you for making transfers it thinks are fraudulent, and the penalty is that you have to wait even longer to qualify for Medicaid and its life-saving benefits and pay the higher, private pay rate during this penalty period.
The Walpole elder law attorneys at Fisher Law LLC can advise you and assist you on the right way to spend down your assets and qualify for MassHealth without penalty. With the right strategies, you can qualify for help with long-term care without going broke or spending your children’s inheritance. Call Fisher Law to formulate an effective strategy tailored to your circumstances.
Should I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance is one way people can help ensure they can afford a stay in a Walpole nursing home should the need arise. While one can never predict the future, you probably know based on your personal health and family medical history whether nursing home care might be in your future. Also, statistics show that most people – about seven out of ten – will require a nursing home stay at some point in their lives. The average stay lasts more than two years and costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Long-term care insurance is worth considering and can be an important part of your long-term care planning.
If looking for an insurance policy, shop around, because the quality of the policy and price of the premium can vary greatly from company to company. The younger and healthier you are, the better time it is to purchase your policy. Premiums will be lower, and if you make sure to get a policy that is “guaranteed renewable,” you’ll never lose coverage so long as you keep up the premiums. If you wait until you are older or in poorer health, not only will the policy be much more expensive, you might not qualify.
Fisher Law LLC can help you evaluate long-term care insurance as part of your overall Walpole long-term care planning strategy.
Help With Elder Law in Walpole
For help planning for long-term care in Walpole and other essential elder law needs, call Fisher Law LLC to schedule a consultation with a professional Walpole elder law attorney who is personally invested in helping you reach your goals.