Putting the Pieces of the Elder Law Puzzle Together, Why We Ask What We Ask - Part 3

As we wrap up our blog series this month, we are going to focus on legal documents and various types of insurance.  Sharing complete information with your attorney allows them to develop a life care plan crafted to you unique circumstances and needs

Bringing  your existing legal documents to the first meeting with the attorney is crucial.

You should plan to bring any existing legal documents to the first meeting for the attorney to review. Often times, documents are outdated because individuals named in the documents have died or circumstances have changed. In addition, documents prepared in other states may not meet all of the requirements of Georgia law. Because laws are ever-changing, it is important to make sure that documents are up to date and prepared by an attorney.

Elder care attorneys recommend that you have a General Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters, a Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care, and a Last Will and Testament. Some individuals and families may require additional planning.  Learn more about essential documents here

Do you have long-term care insurance and what does it cover?

Long term care insurance can pay for different levels of care. Depending on the policy, some long term care insurance policies cover home care and assisted living care, but almost all of them cover nursing home care.

Elder law attorneys consider long-term care insurance to be income. This can provide more flexibility for your long-term care and therefore will impact your life care plan. Families should bring their long-term care insurance policies to the first meeting for the attorney to review.

For younger folks who do not need care now, but may in the future and are interested in getting long term care insurance, the ideal time to consider purchasing a policy is mid to late 50s.

 

Determining whether there is life insurance or other prepaid final expenses can be extremely important when planning for long term care.

Many families come into our office and they know their loved one has life insurance, but they may not know much about the policy. For individuals who need nursing home care, Medicaid allows for a $10,000 burial exemption, and life insurance has an effect on this exemption. There are whole and term life policies, and Medicaid treats them differently. Elder law attorneys can help decipher the life insurance policies and determine the impact they have on qualification.

In addition, an elder law attorney will want to know whether an individual has prepaid for any final expenses, like burial plots and funeral services, and review the burial contract.