NINE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AS PART OF THE AGING POPULATION
1. Family Care Agreements: Create these with family and friends, but they are tricky.
Caregiver agreements are useful tools to use as part of an asset protection plan. They are best done far in advance of a nursing home stay. These are contracts that need to be tied to the actual fair market value of services rendered and need to be actuarially sound and based on the expected life expectancy of the service recipient. Be careful with these agreements.
2. 2008 Thresholds for VA Aid and Attendance: If you are a VA Vet, try to qualify.
The VA Aid and Attendance rules provide that a married veteran and his spouse can receive as much as $1,842 per month. A single veteran can receive as much as $1,554 per month, and the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran can receive as much as $998 per month.
These payments from the VA can be used for home health in home, assisted living, nursing home expenses, and other medical expenses. Don’t try to do this without the assistance of an elder law attorney however, because some of the steps you take for VA Aid & Attendance qualification are contrary to the steps that will allow you to obtain Medicaid assistance for a nursing home stay.
3. Boomers Underestimate Their Risk of Long Term Disability: Don’t make this mistake.
Some reports indicate that baby boomers are underestimating their chances of suffering disability or injury causing them to lose work. Some reports indicate that a worker has a 30% chance of suffering a disabling injury or illness that causes them to miss work for months at a time.
4. 10 Million Boomers Will Develop Alzheimer’s, Report Predicts: Sad, but be proactive.
One report indicates that Alzheimer’s Disease will strike 10 million baby boomers. As of this time, there is no cure for the disease. Many Alzheimer’s victims end up needing nursing home or assisted living assistance. What we should all glean from this is that we start to need working on our long term care plan now. For those who can afford and qualify for long term care insurance, this is wise step. For those that cannot afford or qualify for long term care insurance, you need to consult with an elder care attorney to start working on a long term care plan.
5. Medicaid Cuts: If you live in Illinois- prepare now.
In the State of Florida, the legislature has proposed $500 million in cuts, which include reductions in Medicaid. The concern of many is that this might create a diminished level of care for residents of the state, especially those receiving Medicaid benefits.
6. Reverse Mortgage Update: Shop Carefully.
Some studies are indicating that seniors need to weight their options more carefully before relying on reverse mortgages to tap into home equity. The terms of reverse mortgages can otherwise destroy what could be retirement security. Reverse mortgages can play a useful role in much long term care planning, but you need to shop carefully and work with qualified agents.
7. Intentional Financial Exploitation of a Senior a Crime: Keep an eye out for our elderly.
SB 1259 in California would make the intentional exploitation of a senior citizen’s physical, mental, or psychological state in order to take possession of his or her assets a criminal offense.
8. Special Needs Trusts and Inherited IRAs: Get the right legal talent for this.
Attorneys who work in the area of special needs and retirement planning need to understand that there is substantial amount of interplay as between both of these strategies. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently found that the IRA of a deceased taxpayer that was transferred to his disabled child’s supplemental needs trust was not a recognized transfer for gift and estate tax purposes. Also, the required minimum distributions in that IRA could be based on the disabled child’s life expectancy, rather than that of the parent.
9. Seniors Need to File Tax Return to Get Rebate Check: File now.
Seniors can benefit from the economic stimulus law enacted on February 13, 2008, but they need to file an income tax return.
P.S. Our Special Workshops. As a notice to our readership, please be aware of the following upcoming dates for our workshop entitled “How to Legally & Effectively Protect Your Assets From A Long Term Nursing Home Stay”:
April 3, 2008 at 7:00 pm
April 23, 2008 at 7:00 pm
May 7, 2008 at 7:00 pm
May 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm
- – Call to make a reservation in our training room.
- – You don’t want to miss this workshop!
The “3 Phase” Lawyers
Legal Counsel Assisting You in the 3 Phases of Your Life:
- – Maturing Years
- – Senior Years
- – Post Death Years
“Educate to Motivate”
Anthony B. Ferraro
The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC
5600 N River Road,Suite 764
Rosemont, IL 60018
Note: Pursuant to federal regulations imposed on practitioners who render tax advice (“Circular 230”), we are required to advise you that any tax advice contained herein is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.
This document is for discussion purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be, considered as legal advice. You should never attempt Medicaid planning, Estate planning, Probate, or Estate and Trust Administration without the advice of competent legal counsel.