As the nation’s population has continued to age in recent decades, elder law has emerged as an important field of law. Elder law addresses a broad range of concerns that affect seniors and their loved ones. And like other areas of the law, its impact is such that even younger people can benefit from many of the services an elder law attorney can provide.
The Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law is committed to providing effective elder law and Medi-Cal services to residents in the area. Our California elder law team can provide the effective legal advice you need, and assist you with a broad range of elder law concerns. Medi-Cal planning plays a major role in our efforts, as it is among the most common methods used by seniors to enable them to obtain eligibility for the Medi-Cal assistance they need to cover nursing home expenses. Often, that eligibility can be obtained without spending down assets, enabling California residents to secure benefits while retaining at least some of their assets.
You can learn more about the important elder law and Medi-Cal services that we provide by contacting the Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law via this website or by phone at (408) 356-9200 in Campbell or (831) 476-2400 in Aptos. We’re eager to answer your questions, including:
- How does elder law impact your life?
- How does Medicaid planning work?
- What can a California elder law attorney do for me?
How Does Elder Law Impact Your Life?
Elder law encompasses many legal areas of concern, but places an emphasis on those issues that impact a client’s ability to maintain dignity and independence, secure financial assets, and protect himself against incapacity. Elder law experts typically focus on important concerns like estate planning needs, incapacity plans, and long-term care efforts designed to ensure that future nursing home care costs are covered.
Elder law has attained its status as a particular field of law precisely because of the way that senior legal needs change as people grow older. While some earlier legal concerns become less relevant, new legal concerns emerge with the passing of time. For example, seniors have a statistically higher likelihood of experiencing dementia-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s. They are also far more likely than younger Americans to require long-term medical care.
Their life expectancy is shorter as well, which can place their assets at risk if they lack appropriate estate planning. Many can suffer illnesses and injuries that leave them incapacitated and in need of assistance with even basic decision-making. Elder law can deal with those and other concerns. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you need the assistance that only an experienced elder law attorney can offer.
How Does Medi-Cal Planning Work?
Medi-Cal planning is almost always near the top of any list of important services elder law attorneys provide. Nursing home costs are more expensive than ever before, and seniors often struggle to finance their long-term care. With Medi-Cal planning, seniors can secure asset protection to safeguard at least some of their wealth, while still managing to qualify for the Medi-Cal benefits they need to pay for nursing home expenses.
Though American life expectancies have increased dramatically in the last century, that hasn’t always been met with increases in overall healthiness. Seniors may live longer, but many are still subject to illnesses and various medical conditions that can severely restrict their ability to maintain an independent lifestyle. Once they lose the ability to manage their own daily lives and care for themselves, some form of long-term skilled care becomes a necessity. And that’s where those high nursing home costs become a major concern.
Seniors cannot typically cover nursing home expenses that can amount to many thousands of dollars a month. To cover those expenses, many are forced to seek Medi-Cal benefits – health insurance coverage originally designed for low-income Americans more than half a century ago. In California, the Medicaid program that provides that coverage for residents in the state is known as Medi-Cal.
Unfortunately, even seniors who cannot afford nursing home coverage on their own often struggle to achieve Medi-Cal eligibility. This is due to the program’s strict eligibility standards. If a senior has too many assets or exceeds the income limits by even one dollar, he or she can be rejected for benefits.
Medicaid planning is designed to help seniors deal with these concerns and obtain the benefits they need. Without this planning, those elderly Californians would be required to sell their assets and spend down their wealth to reduce their total income and assets to a level below the program’s standards – leaving them dependent upon the state and without any financial legacy to leave to their loved ones.
A California elder law attorney can help those seniors to use trusts and other planning tools to achieve eligibility while still retaining some portion of their assets. That can ensure that seniors get the benefits and care they need, without impoverishing themselves in the process. Of course, this planning must be done as early as possible to ensure that the senior avoids unwelcome eligibility penalties – penalties that can be incurred when assets are transferred within five years prior to an application for benefits.
What Can a California Elder Law Attorney Do for Me?
Your California elder law attorney can help you to enjoy the protections that these incapacity planning, asset protection, and Medi-Cal planning strategies can provide. Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law is committed to ensuring that you get the elder law assistance you need to gain as much control over your future as you can possibly have. To discover more about how our elder law and Medi-Cal services can benefit you and to get your free consultation today, get in touch with us through this website or call (408) 356-9200 in Campbell or (831) 476-2400 in Aptos.