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March 14, 2018
By: Anthony B. Ferraro

TIP OF THE WEEK: Suffice it to say that they are awful diseases. They change your life and your relations with your loved one.

Your loved one can lose their memory and ability and you lose your peace of mind.

But there are some bright spots on the horizon. With planning you can learn how to deal with these diseases and regain your peace of mind.

There are number of steps that many family and professional caregivers use to forge ahead.

When someone enters a nursing home, they often spend thousands of
dollars paying for care. Sometimes they even spend down to just $2,000 before they can qualify for Medicaid to pay their bills.

Fortunately, over the years we have developed strategies to help keep some of your life’s earnings from being totally spent on long-term care.

Yes, the best solution would be to have long-term care insurance. Unfortunately, very few of our clients have it. We recommend it to all of our clients, but very few will end up qualifying for it and eventually purchasing it.

Therefore it’s up to you to discover the different ways to preserve some of your assets. The best way to do this is to discuss this with your trusted advisors. Start with an experienced practitioner. At our office, we will do a free 15 minute consultation over the telephone with you so you can begin to discover your options.

Here is how we explain the 2 different sets of steps we take in the process:

For all Cases:
1. Revise Power of Attorney documents – not all the POA’s we observe are adequate

2. Inventory of Assets – not that easy as individuals forget what they own and how they own it

3. Correct your Estate Documents – at 55 years of age your estate documents may need to change substantially

4. Create a Blueprint of Options, Design & Sign Trusts – gives clarity

For Crisis Cases Only:
5. Review Nursing Home or Other Facility Contract – often these contracts are not resident friendly

6. Set up 60 month history – this takes gathering and sorting

7. Work Your Strategy to Protect Assets- it is worth the effort, but you need an experienced practitioner

8. Apply for Medicaid Coverage – can be a complicated sequence of tasks

9. Post-Application Audit – these are comprehensive audits

10. Appeal, if needed – must be done in short time period

11. Annual Redetermination – must be done

Most people are interested in learning the correct legal methods that can be used to protect at least a portion of your lifelong savings. What if you still have a healthy spouse who will live on for many years? What if you have a needy child?

Perhaps there’s nothing for you to do at this point. But at least you should be sure that you’ve covered the ground necessary to be smart about handling this awful disease.

If you call our office for a free 15 minute telephone consultation we will talk to talk to you about your personal situation and generally discuss the steps you need to take right now to build a protective wall around your loved ones and your savings. We will also talk about governmental benefits that may be available to you from either Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and the VA.

Ask us about legal steps that we have taken with other clients to make sure that they are never totally impoverished.

Recent News on Proposed Observation Status Regulations.

On February 2, 2018 The Department of Public Health of the state of Illinois has proposed amendments to Hospital Licensing Requirements. The rule that is proposed requires that patients be given written notice within 24 hours when they are placed under observation status rather than being admitted . The notice must state that the observation status may affect private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid coverage for any other services or medication they receive while in the hospital as well as coverage of any subsequent discharge to a nursing home or to home or community based care.