Optimize Health Care Options — Minimize Legal Concerns
If you or your loved one are confronting health care issues and no planning is in place, or if several years have passed since planning was implemented, the following important points are considered as we guide families:
- Care Options Evaluation -When developing an “Estate Plan with Health Care Needs,” the health and care needs of the senior, the support system of each family and the current insurance coverage are carefully considered by our Nurse Case Managers, and remain the primary focus of the planning process. Clinical eligibility for community-based programs is evaluated along with the assessment of financial criteria often required to qualify to receive the maximum amount of services at home.
- Estate Planning and Living Documents.1 - Comprehensive Durable Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Proxies/Living Wills are critical documents to implement or update when a loved one's physical and/or cognitive health is declining. These documents allow an individual to name a trusted family member or confidant to make important decisions regarding their health care or legal and financial affairs, in the event of cognitive or physical incapacity. The proper Estate Planning documents, such as Wills, Deeds and Trusts are also implemented based on care needs and mortality.
- Asset Preservation and Financial Guidance.2 - This is another instance where a comprehensive approach, including a health care evaluation, is so important in the planning process. If there is a high likelihood of a rapid decline, potentially resulting in either death or disability (nursing home placement or excessive home care costs), effective financial planning should consider current as well as potential future out-of-pocket care costs. An evaluation of how assets are currently held will determine what type of protection strategies should be implemented in an Estate Plan. This all must be done while considering the next level (Medicaid Planning- see Emergency and Crisis Planning), which considers current state and federal guidelines regarding transfers of assets that allows families to optimize their care dollars, while legally, morally and ethically protecting their estates.