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Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents Since 1978.

June 2018 Archives

What documents should one execute when elder care planning?

As a person ages, they may reach a point where they can no longer care for themselves. They may need help with daily care activities or they may need in-home health care. Often, a family member steps up and takes on the role of caregiver. While this is often an act of love, it can be confusing if the caregiver does not know what the person's wishes would be. Therefore, people in New Jersey should consider executing the following documents while they are still able, to provide guidance to their caregivers in the future.

Transferring a home to one's child as part of Medicaid planning

To qualify for Medicaid benefits, the combined total of a person's income and assets cannot surpass a certain threshold, which is relatively low. A person's home may be counted as an asset for the purpose of Medicaid qualification. However, people in New Jersey need not impoverish themselves to obtain Medicaid benefits. This is because there are exceptions to what counts as an asset when determining whether one is eligible for Medicaid.

What to include in a living will

Elder care planning entails more than just securing Medicaid. It also involves creating or updating routine estate documents, such as guardianships and powers of attorney. Another one that you should include is a health care directive, also known as a living will. This addresses the kind of care you want if you are on life support and therefore unable to express your wishes. It differs from durable medical power of attorney in that it only covers end-of-life decisions and not all medical treatment.

Protecting assets through a special needs trust

Many people in New Jersey, including the elderly and special needs individuals, rely on government benefits to make ends meet financially. However, there is a limit on the monetary amount of assets a person can have in order to qualify for certain government benefits. People may fear that they must impoverish themselves in order to qualify for benefits. However, through the execution of a special needs trust, certain assets will be excluded when a person applies for benefits.

When does the court appoint a guardian?

Sometimes, as a person ages, his or her mental or physical abilities deteriorate to the point that he or she becomes partially or totally incapacitated. Special needs children may also be incapacitated as adults. When this happens, a court appointed guardian may need to be selected to take care of the incapacitated person's affairs. However, state law defines what duties a guardian can fulfill.

We assist those in New Jersey appealing a denial of Medicaid

The baby boomer generation is aging, and some may find that their parents are in need of nursing home care, or they may have reached an age where they themselves need nursing home care. Many people in such situations will want to apply for Medicaid benefits. However, sometimes when a person applies for Medicaid, their application is denied.

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