Elder Law

Long-Term Care Planning

In the United States, the average lifespan has greatly increased during the past few decades. With this increase in longevity come various issues that have lead to the development of a new area of law specifically focusing on the elderly population. Elder law is a combination of estate planning, asset protection and long-term care planning. The estate planning team at KVCF have a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of elder law and regularly represents clients in this area.

Now that people are living longer, often well into their eighties and nineties, it has become more likely that an individual will need long-term medical and nursing home care. Unfortunately, long-term care is extraordinarily expensive and an individual could easily deplete his or her life savings in a matter of months when paying for such services out-of-pocket. If a person is unable to pay for their long-term care expenses, his or her assets will be liquidated leaving one impoverished and unable to have a say concerning their own placement, level or quality of care.

Luckily, there is a way to plan around this long-term care problem. While self-paying out of your personal assets or leveraging long-term care insurance to pay for such expenses is often a frontline defense, it is not always enough.

Medicaid is a government-funded health care plan managed by the states available to those who qualify financially. Medicaid can cover an enrollee’s long-term care expenses in a nursing home. Because it is a means-tested program, however, many must spend down below two-thousand dollars or move assets around in order to qualify. The estate planning team at KVCF is skilled at designing estate plans to protect your personal estate while legally qualifying for Medicaid.

Veteran’s Benefits

Another amble governmental benefit to help individuals pay for long-term care expenses is through a little-known pension provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Aid and Attendance Pension can provide thousands of tax-free dollars a year to help surviving veterans or widows of veterans who served pay for the high costs of long-term care expenses.

The estate planning team at KVCF have attorneys fully accredited with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to plan, prepare and represent surviving veterans and their widows in order to receive the pension awards that they rightfully deserve.

Prior to speaking with KVCF, many individuals assume on their own or are told by the VA in many instances that they do not qualify. However, the basic qualifications are generally as follows:

  1. The veteran must have served 90 consecutive days on active duty.
  2. The veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge.
  3. The veteran must have served at least 1 day of active duty during a war period.
  4. The widow must not have divorced the veteran or remarried after the veteran’s death.
  5. The veteran or widow of the veteran who served must be determined to need the aid and assistance with various daily living activities.

Although there are also income and asset limits associated with qualifying for this award, the estate planning team at KVCF specialize in getting clients qualified despite the initial obstacles.

Guardian and Conservatorship Representation

It is important to realize that living longer increases the chance a person might become incapacitated, becoming unable to handle his or her personal, financial or medical affairs. Without proper powers of attorney or advance medical directives, a loved one must obtain a court order granting them the authority to make such important decisions for their mom, dad or other incapacitated adult family member.  Without the proper legal help, the court process in obtaining the right to make legal and medical decisions for an incapacitated adult can be intimidating, daunting and complex.
 
The estate planning team at KVCF has the experience to represent you from start to finish in order to obtain the legal rights necessary to handle all of a loved one’s legal and medical matters.