Elder law refers to all of the legal issues that have an impact on people as they reach their retirement years and eventually pass on from this life. While many people just assume that retirees have everything in order prior to reaching their senior years, nothing could be further from the truth. Seniors still have many legal matters of great importance to their lives; those concerns are just focused on different things than they dealt with in their younger years. Here are the top three reasons you may need a Charlotte elder law attorney.
What does a Charlotte Elder Law Attorney Do?
An elder law attorney is one that focuses on how various areas of the law impact senior citizens and the loved ones who care for them. Although there are many legal issues that impact seniors, oftentimes more than other citizens, there are three common areas that the elderly and their families need assistance with the most. Those legal issues include Medicaid planning, guardianship, and Social Security/Veteran’s benefits and our Charlotte elder law attorney can help.
Medicaid Planning for Seniors
Our Charlotte elder law attorney is often asked why you need a plan if Medicaid will cover the costs of long-term care when you need it. The Medicaid program was designed to help low-income Americans get health care coverage. The problem is that the Medicaid program’s eligibility standards include limits on both assets and income – and many seniors struggle to meet those asset limits.
Planning ahead is always a wise idea because you never know when you will need Medicaid coverage but there is a pretty good chance you will need benefits in the future. Why? Because the likelihood of needing long-term care at some point is high for most people when they become seniors. Since the average annual cost of long-term nursing care across the nation is more than $80,000, most people will not be able to afford those costs on their own. Neither private health insurance nor Medicare will cover the cost of long-term care. For that reason, Medicaid will likely be your best option, but you need to qualify and that can be tricky.
Guardianship for Seniors
One of the greatest challenges when it comes to incapacity planning is balancing the need to protect your loved one and allowing them to maintain as much independence as possible. If it is a situation where a formal guardianship must be established by the court, seniors will be very concerned about losing their independence entirely. Since guardianships are usually the last resort, remember that it is not appropriate just because your loved one makes a decision with which you do not agree or solely based on a medical diagnosis. Let our Charlotte elder law attorney assist you in working through these incapacity issues.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits
If you are a wartime veteran who has 90 days of active duty, with at least one day of that time during a period of war, you may be eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits. A surviving spouse who was married at the time of the veteran’s death may also be eligible for these benefits. There are both medical and financial qualifications that determine eligibility. Our Charlotte elder law attorney can explain what you need to know in order to avoid making mistakes with your application.
In order to meet the medical qualifications and be eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits, you must show that you require the assistance of another individual in performing daily tasks for yourself. That includes eating, dressing, grooming, etc. Eligible veterans or spouses who are blind, nursing home patients with a mental or physical incapacity, and assisted living residents typically qualify for these benefits, as well. Much like other types of government benefits, eligibility for these benefits requires a limited amount of personal financial resources, excluding your house and vehicle.
Join us for a free seminar today! If you have questions regarding elder law or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC) or for individuals in Kentucky at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY).