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When Should Your Parents Talk to an Elder Law Attorney?

Elder Law Attorney in Los Angeles CA
Elder Law Attorney in Los Angeles CA

Many families look at DIY legal forms and wonder if it’s enough.

Can’t you save money and use a blank advance directive form? It’s not as clear-cut as you might think. In some states, DIY forms are accepted if they’re notarized and witnessed, but the forms themselves may not meet specific local requirements.  It’s always best to consult with an elder law attorney before making any plans. How do you know when it’s the right time? When should your parents consult an attorney?

When Funds Are Running Out

Some chronic health conditions require daily help, but health insurance doesn’t cover that cost. Alzheimer’s disease is a good example. The average cost of home care per the Alzheimer’s Association is just over $1,000 a week. This is why the disease usually leads to bankruptcy. The cost of home care over 10 or 20 years is financially crippling.

Once your mom or dad is down to $2,000 in assets, they may need to rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of home care or room in a memory care community. The Medicaid application process is time-consuming and frustrating. There are many rules to follow if your parent is to be covered by Medicaid. A lawyer who specializes in Medicaid applications will save your family a lot of stress and frustration.

To Protect Their Finances

Some chronic health conditions lead to expensive medical bills. If your dad owes money when he passes away, some institutions and agencies will try to get that money by placing a lien on his home. An elder law attorney can help your family avoid losing the house by talking about different legal options. They can also talk to a lawyer about ways to pay for long-term care as their health changes.

Don’t Wait

One of the biggest mistakes families make is waiting until something happens. If your parents are doing this, it could be too late. It’s always best to get a will, advance directives, and powers of attorney in place as early as possible.

If things change, the legal documents can be changed. It’s not a big deal. If they don’t have a will or powers of attorney in place, the government, doctors, or advocates may make decisions for them that may not match their wishes. If they are seriously injured or pass away from an illness or accident, they can’t go back. It’s too late.

Contact an elder law and estate planning firm to arrange your free legal consultation. Schedule the consultation online or by phone.

 

The Law Office of James Dolenga offers SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Elder Law Attorney in Los Angeles, CA. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299

 

Sources:

https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/financial-legal-planning/planning-for-care-costs

James Dolenga, JD

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