Elder law is the legal specialty that is focused on matters that are largely of interest to senior citizens. Elder law attorneys advise seniors who are addressing the legal ramifications that go along with the eventualities of aging.
Perhaps the most important one is the matter of long-term care costs. Many people are quite unpleasantly surprised when they become aware of all of the facts.
It could be logical to assume that you do not have to worry too much about assisted-living expenses because you will be qualified for Medicare once you reach the age of 65. Unfortunately, Medicare will only pay for convalescent care after surgery for a period of up to 100 days. It will not pay for long-term custodial care.
For most people, it will be difficult-to-impossible to pay for long-term care out-of-pocket. At the present time, in the state of New York the average annual expense for residence in a nursing home exceeds $100,000.
The average length of time that people spend in nursing homes is around two years and three months. Ten percent of nursing home residents remain in the facilities for at least five years.
Assisted-living communities provide less intensive care, so they are considerably less expensive. However, the national average for a year in an assisted living community is over $40,000.
You simply may not be able to come up with this kind of money. Short of this, long-term care costs could consume everything that you have been able to accumulate throughout your life. This would in essence result in the inheritances that you want to leave behind to your loved ones being absorbed by long-term care costs.
Elder law attorneys often help people address long-term care costs through Medicaid planning. Medicaid is a government program that will pay for long-term care. You have to be able to meet upper asset limits to qualify because Medicaid is a need-based program.
However, if you work with a licensed elder law attorney in Smithtown New York you can take steps to prepare for eligibility without losing a great deal in the process. If you take the correct steps, you can come up with a cogent plan that you can live with given the difficulty of the circumstances.
Other Elder Law Issues
Long-term care is a huge elder law issue, but it is not the only one. Some elder law attorneys assist clients with nursing home neglect and abuse cases.
These would be physical abuse cases for the most part. However, elder financial abuse is also a big problem in the United States today. This is another matter that can come into play when you discuss the eventualities of aging with an elder law attorney.
This is a brief look at some of the matters that elder law attorneys typically handle. However, if you consult with an elder care lawyer there are no particular boundaries. You can discuss any legal matter that comes to mind, and your elder law attorney in Smithtown New York will make every effort to answer your questions.