As medical advances allow us to grow older, we face many issues not encountered a generation ago. Elder Law encompasses the legal, insurance, and financial issues involved in the aging process. It includes planning to make sure that we are cared for in our golden years, and action when calamity strikes. Often times, the planning for a person’s advanced years may include real estate transactions, wills, powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies, trusts, tax planning, Medicaid planning and applications, social security and guardianship proceedings.
Our New Jersey elder law attorneys can assist in the planning and preparation needed to ensure that you or your loved one is well cared for and the financing is in place to maximize preservation of the assets which have been accumulated over a lifetime. The goal is to preserve the health and welfare of our mature clients and provide security and comfort with knowledge that you will be well cared for in the future. We can assist you to set up your future according to your wishes. You can appoint people you trust to manage your affairs.
Long-term nursing care and assisted living are extremely costly. The monthly cost of the average nursing home is approximately $9,000.00 per month. This can deplete a financially stable individual’s or couples’ savings a short period of time, and can create a stressful and insecure future for a spouse. Medicare and standard private medical insurance plans do not cover the cost of long-term nursing care. With proper and timely planning, financial stability can be maintained.
If you qualify and have the financial ability to purchase long-term care insurance, it is an excellent option; however long term care insurance is generally not available to individuals who are already ill or aged. Medicaid can pay for nursing home care for qualified applicants, but there are significant drawbacks which only careful planning can avoid.
Medicaid is administered by the board of social services of the applicant’s county. A person is eligible for Medicaid when they have no more than $2,000 in assets (if they are married, there is an additional community spouse resource allowance). Medicaid takes a snapshot of a person’s financial status on the application date. Any transfer of assets for less than fair market value which was made during the five years before applying for Medicaid benefits may result in a transfer penalty period which begins when the applicant would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
The application process is often complicated and may require five years of cancelled checks, receipts, bank statements and details explaining all cash withdrawals and transfers of funds.
Our elder law attorneys advise clients in estate and Medicaid planning, draft wills, powers of attorney, living wills and trusts, and prepare Medicaid applications. We can help guide you through these difficult legal issues. We understand that each person’s situation is different and look for solutions that help you solve your legal, financial and personal needs and desires.
We understand that behind every elder law matter there are people and families who are severely affected. We take everything we do seriously. We care, and we want to help.
To obtain help in elder law issues, email us or call (973) 890-0004.