Does Elder Care Have To Be Crisis Planning?

Elder law planning usually begins with a crisis. As the result of a catastrophic illness or disability, a spouse or parent faces admission to a long‑term care facility. The family fears that everything the infirmed person had worked for and accumulated during a lifetime may be at risk. Few know that at-home caregivers are available 24/7 at a far lower cost or that qualified family caregivers can be paid to provide services.

For 25 of their 44 years of practice, the lawyers at McHugh & Macri in East Hanover, New Jersey, have been providing help and guidance to individuals and families facing this situation. Don McHugh and Vince Macri are two of 450 attorneys nationwide who are certified in elder law (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation. If you and your family are facing the admission of a family member to an assisted living, nursing home or long-term care facility, we have good news and bad news.

First The Bad News

The bad news is that, yes, everything you own is at risk because the United States does not have a long-term care plan for the elderly.

Many believe that Medicare will pay for nursing home care. Medicare pays for hospitalization, rehabilitation and therapy. When rehabilitation and therapy are over, you become a custodial patient. Neither Medicare nor Medicare Supplement Plans pay for custodial care. Medicare covers a maximum of 100 days of rehab and therapy. After 100 days, you become insured by the Y.O.U. insurance company, with convenient offices in your left or right pocket!

With nursing home costs of $11,000 per month or $132,000 a year, the estate you spent a lifetime building can be wiped out. While long-term care insurance policies will pay for nursing home costs, these policies need to be purchased years in advance of need. If you wait until you need long-term care, the cost will be prohibitive or coverage unavailable.

Now The Good News

The good news is that health care impoverishment does not have to happen. Most people believe that once you are in a long-term care facility, it's too late to preserve assets. Wrong. Our lawyers can still preserve and protect some of your assets, including your home. The sooner you come to us, the more we can shelter. If you wait until you are admitted to a long-term care facility, our lawyers can protect only some assets. Had you started earlier, you would have been able to preserve a much higher percentage of your assets. The planning we use to protect your assets is called asset preservation and it is a legal way to preserve them.

Don McHugh and Vince Macri are two of only 450 attorneys nationwide who are certified in elder law (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation.

Free Lawyer Consultation

For a free initial consultation with one of our CELA partners, call 973-577-6010 or fill out the fee-free contact form on this website.