You've worked hard all of your life to accumulate some assets which you hope to pass down to your children and grandchildren to help them with a better life. If you are one of the 40%( according to studies) of people who, after reaching age 65, will need some type of long term care in the future , the results of your hard work can disappear if you don't take certain steps. For example, here in Massachusetts, nursing home care can be more than $300.00 a day or $ 110,000.00 per year. The current rate for in home care is over $20.00 per hour. If you need 10 hours of care per day to remain in your own home, that cost equals $6,000.00 each month. Government programs are available, but if you are a single individual, your assets have to reduced to reduced to no more than $2,000.00 to qualify.
If you need to enter a nursing home , the past 5 years of your financial life will be closely examined by government agencies and innocent gifts, while you were healthy, like paying for a granddaughters college tuition four years ago or helping an out of work son save his house from foreclosure, can result in a denial of payment. A carefully crafted estate plan can prevent these financial disasters.
While it's true the earlier you plan the better, we still may be able to help save some of your assets even at the last minute. You may have heard well meaning friends tell you if you haven't " given" everything away more than 5 years ago , there is no hope and all your assets will be lost. There are planning techniques available even if we are doing "crisis planning". For married couples, where one person remains at home, we have even more last minute planning techniques available.
Who needs an estate plan. The answer is everyone. The laws here in Massachusetts are about to change regarding how your assets are to be distributed if you don't have a will. Don't you want to decide what happens to your assets? The most simple plans require a strong Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy , and a Will. If you're situation is more complex, we would look at establishing a trust for you to protect your future. If you're not sure what you need, give me call. At our initial meeting, we can take a look at your goals and come up with the best plan.
If you are a parent or grandparent with a disabled child or grandchild, a Special Needs Trust can offer financial protection for your child or grandchild and help protect your future needs as well.
Please visit my blog for up to date articles that can help you. Through continuing education and my teaching seminars on elder law issues, I keep learning new information on elder law from which I help my clients plan for their future.
In terms of cost for the legal services I offer, most of my services are on a fixed fee basis so you'll know these costs after our first meeting.
Please contact me and learn how I can help you.