Baby-Boomers and Seniors 2011 Legal Report
I want to dispel two huge myths that routinely produce false security for senior citizens and their adult children: First, a revocable living trust does not protect your assets from nursing home costs or other long-term care expenses. Second, Medicaid is not just for the “poor.”
“Is it time to start thinking about my parent’s long-term care options?”
This question alone may be the most difficult decisions that baby-boomer’s are faced with in 2011. Baby-boomers have been referred to as “the Sandwich Generation” because they often must take on health-related responsibilities for both their own children and their aging parents. Planning for the future should be the #1 New Year’s resolution for baby-boomers and senior citizens.
Key #1: Plan in Advance
The sooner that you or your parents explore and understand the benefits of senior-focused asset protection planning, the better equipped everyone involved will be towards reaching the goal of maintaining your parents’ highest quality of life.
Proper planning can ease anxieties for baby-boomers by removing stressful decision-making and feelings of guilt. Likewise, a senior-focused asset protection plan can ensure that a senior citizen doesn’t feel as if he or she is a “burden” on thefamily.
Key #2: Get on the Same Page
Bringing up the need for long-term planning to an aging parent can be difficult. But if you understand that the primary goal of this type of planning is maintaining your parents’ highest quality of life for as long as possible, you should be able to effectively communicate that proper advanced planning is in your parents’ best interests.
Just as good parents want what is best for their children, adult children should likewise seek what is best for their parents. The protection, peace of mind, and elimination of uncertainty brought about by proper planning at an early stage is always in the best interests of senior citizens.
Key #3: Select the Right Attorney
Medicaid eligibility rules and veterans’ benefits rules are the most complex areas of law in existence, and it is essential that the attorney your parents work with for their long-term planning has a comprehensive understanding of these laws. The easy way to ensure that an elder law attorney has the requisite knowledge of these laws is to look for the Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) designation, which is approved by the American Bar Association.
There are over 5,000 attorneys in the US who practice elder law, but less than 500 of these have passed the full-day exam required to become a CELA.