Have you, as their adult child, been taking care of your parents in their home? Are you beginning to realize, though, that their care is getting more and more intense? However, are you concerned about the cost of a nursing home? How can you help your parents protect a lifetime of savings from being completely spent on the cost of care in a nursing home?
Because May is both National Elder Law Month and National Older American Month, this is the perfect time of year to be sure our aging loved ones have the support they need. So, we want to share with you three strategies to protect the life savings of your aging parents from the costs of a nursing home.
1. Plan ASAP. One of the most important things you can do when helping your parents preserve their life savings is to start planning for the future well in advance of when those plans will be needed. It is critical to meet with a qualified Florida elder law attorney now to engage in long-term care planning.
2. Know the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid. If you are planning for Medicare to help your parents with their nursing home costs, it may not happen. Medicare typically only covers 100 days of nursing home care, and chances are that your parents will need a lot longer than that. Now if your parents qualify for Medicaid, then the Medicaid program will take over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough. Medicaid will cover nursing home costs for qualified individuals for as long as they need it. There is a drawback. Medicaid rules will require your parents to spend down most of their life savings prior to qualifying for the program. In fact, Medicaid will look back over their past 5 years and see what they held in assets, and what their income and expenses were during this time period.
3. Keep Your Planning 5 Years Ahead. Working with a qualified elder law attorney she can help you plan around the 5-year “lookback” rule to protect the life savings of your parents. Your attorney may suggest that the assets of your parents be transferred out of their estate prior to the 60 months before they need nursing home care. Since the need for this care may be sooner rather than later, it may be best to start planning early. Your attorney can work with you to decide on the best approach.
We believe in a collaborative approach to helping our clients. This means that our assistance does not end with just legal help. We work closely with other senior providers to make sure all our clients’ needs are taken care of from start to finish. To develop a plan as to how your parents can cover the cost of long-term care, our office is here to assist. Our mission is to make sure every family feels that they have been taken care of, have peace of mind and have someone to lean on during difficult times.