Caring for a family member can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. It can deepen the bond you have with your loved one, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining. Caregivers are usually so busy giving care that they often forget to take care of themselves.
Twice in the past few weeks we have had clients come in with durable powers of attorney that are more than 10 years old. The durable power of attorney is the legal document that states who you want to handle your non-medical affairs if you are incapacitated and can no longer handle them yourself. Although Florida durable powers of attorney do not legally expire, they can become less effective due to changes in the law.
When a loved one needs assistance paying for the costs of long-term care, many families look to the Medicaid programs to provide that assistance. The FL Medicaid programs are available to provide the safety net these families seek, but the size and shape of the safety net varies depending upon whether the loved one needs care in a nursing home or in an assisted living community.
Many times when a senior falls, the result is a broken hip. After surgery, the senior will most likely be released from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility for help in regaining their strength and balance before ultimately returning home.
When you need to turn to Medicaid for assistance in paying the costs of your long-term care, one of the things that you need to do is to divide your assets into Medicaid countable assets and Medicaid non-countable assets. The amount of your countable assets cannot exceed $2,000. When it comes to real estate, some real estate assets are countable assets and some are non-countable assets.
A nursing home resident receiving assistance from Medicaid still has a responsibility to pay a portion of their monthly nursing home bill. The resident’s portion of the bill is called the patient responsibility. The patient responsibility is calculated by subtracting Medicaid allowed deductions from the patient’s gross monthly income. The amount of income left after the allowed deductions are subtracted is paid to the nursing home each month as the resident’s patient responsibility.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”) has designated May as National Elder Law Month in part to facilitate discussions about long-term care planning and spotlight the steps involved in putting a long-term care plan in place.
When a health condition or injury renders Florida adults no longer able to handle their own affairs, they need a representative to step in and speak for them. Usually there are two types of representatives. One representative handles medical issues and one representative handles financial issues. The representative handling financial issues can either be an agent under a durable power of attorney, a trustee under a trust or in cases of a failure to plan ahead, a guardian appointed by the court.
Documents that give you the chance to document your health care wishes in case at some point in the future you are unable to state your wishes yourself are called medical advance directives. Two types of medical advance directives are the Living Will and the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order). Although they are both advance directives they each have a different job to perform.