In 1900, average life expectancy in the U.S. was about 47. Today, it’s nearly 80. As we are getting older, the chances of needing long-term or nursing home care has increased dramatically. In fact, one estimate projects that 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point. If that is you or a loved one, you may be wondering how to pay for nursing home care should it become necessary.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child with special needs, you’ve already experienced the various challenges of navigating the complex world of government benefits programs and federal and state regulations for persons with disabilities.
Is it too late to plan for Medicaid if my spouse already is in a nursing home?
What is the difference between a “living will” and a “durable power of attorney for health care?” Do I need both and, if so, which is more important?
What is elder law and how do I find an elder law attorney?
Elder law is a focused practice for lawyers who choose to handle issues commonly faced by elderly and disabled individuals. Attorneys may advertise that they specialize in elder law if they have met specified qualifying criteria, which usually includes a written examination and evidence of extensive experience in the area.
Petitioning the court for guardianship over another individual is sometimes necessary when the individual in question is not able to provide for his or her own basic needs such as, food, shelter, health care or to manage personal finances. Guardianship may often be avoided if other less restrictive alternatives are available, such as when financial or health care power of attorney documents are in in place.
The best way to take full advantage of your Medicare benefits is to be aware of the terms of your coverage. A summary of general Medicare coverage information for 2017 is available online at: https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf.
Persons with disabilities will soon be able to create self-settled special needs trusts on their own behalf under 42 U.S.C. 1396p(d)(4)(A). Under current law, creation of such a trust required the signature of a parent, grandparent or legal guardian, or court approval.
June 24, 2016: Judith L. Bomster to be panelist at the 10th Annual New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics CLE Program. This annual Continuing Legal Education program is open to all New Hampshire Attorneys to explore ethical questions in the legal environment designed to avoid and respond to complaints.