What Is End of Life Care?

long term life care

Most of us associate the estate planning process with thinking ahead for what will happen to your assets or even care for your minor children after you pass away. But end of life care considerations can also raise critical questions that affect you and your loved ones.

If you have specific wishes regarding the financial management of your affairs if you were to become incapacitated, or the medical treatments you do and do not want to receive, you need to create an end-of-life care plan. Alongside your estate plan this helps to ensure that your wishes are respected to the greatest degree possible.

Overall, your end-of-life care plan includes things regarding your wishes and intentions for:
• Emergency contacts
• Advanced healthcare directives
• Medications
• A summary of your health care condition
• Information about your health care providers
• End-of-life care wishes

In the heat of the moment, you may be unable to speak for yourself and your loved ones may not agree on the best course of action for your treatment. Getting approved to make decisions on your behalf takes time and may add to the stress.

If you have certain wishes for what you want to happen in future years, it is critical that you share these and document them with the help of an estate planning attorney. Our Virginia Beach estate planning office can help you determine what should be put in place so you have peace of mind about your future.

Americans Hopeful For More Long Term Care Information And Support

A recent study completed by Nexus Insights shows that many older Americans have increasing questions about long term care and the best way to support themselves in the future. If you wind up with an illness or injury, your only option to treat it might be entering a nursing home or other long term care facility. This can be an expensive investment if you haven

What Do You Know About Long-Term Care?

Lincoln Financial Group recently completed a study showing that only 16% of adults are familiar with the benefits and features of long-term care solutions. Long-term care refers to needs typically handled inside a nursing home or other health care facility for someone who is unable to complete activities of daily living.

Long-term care solutions, such as a long-term care insurance policy, may help give you peace of mind and a clear plan for what to do if you are affected by a health issue, such as an illness or an accident.

Given that one in four Americans will deal with a disability that may prompt long-term care coverage at some point in their life, it is crucial to work with a qualified professional to discuss the possibility of these costs in the future. In Virginia, you may not automatically qualify for Medicaid. This is a big reason why you’ll want to find time to speak with a Virginia Beach elder law attorney to discuss your options.

This is especially important for married couples since both of you may be relying on the same retirement resources. The sudden need for long-term care support, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars per month for assisted living facilities or nursing homes could decimate a couple’s retirement savings strategy. Finding a lawyer who can help you work through long term care concerns and other elder law needs will help give you clarity on the options available to you so that you can pick a strategy that is most aligned with your concerns.



How Many People Don’t Have the Resources to Support Themselves with Long-Term Care?

Long-term care expenses can be catastrophic for a single person or even for the other spouse of a married couple. Most people anticipate aging in place or relying on family and friends as caregivers. But extensive long-term care needs might require assisted living or a nursing home.

A recent study indicates that 60% of those people who will have moderate or severe long term care needs will not have the financial or family resources to meet those needs. Medicaid will step in to provide assistance for some of them but without Medicaid in place nearly 16% of today’s 65-year-olds will have severe enough care needs that they will be unable to cover them with private resources. This highlights the importance of having a plan to qualify for Medicaid if and when that time comes.

Automatic qualification for Medicaid is very difficult since many people do not anticipate the illness or disabling injury that requires them to seek out long-term care. If you find yourself in the position of needing support from an experienced Medicaid planning lawyer, now is a good opportunity to walk through your options and see how your current strategy lines up with the possible expenses of the average long term care stay.

While there are plenty of nursing homes and great care facilities in Virginia, most people are caught off guard by both the expense of staying at one and the possibility for staying there a long time. In both these situations, it helps to plan ahead by thinking about the assets you can use to support yourself and assets you wish to pass on in your estate and how these impact Medicaid eligibility. Talk to a Virginia Beach lawyer today.

What Are Coverable Long Term Care Events?

In order for a long term care event to be covered under your long term care insurance policy or Medicaid, your doctor must indicate that you are unable to perform at least two activities of daily living. You may see these referenced in paperwork as ADLs. The other circumstance that could qualify you to get a long term care support is suffering a cognitive impairment. The six ADLs identified by medical professionals are continence, bathing, toileting, transferring, dressing and eating.

Continence refers to being able to control bodily functions and transferring means the ability to sit, stand and move about. However, you do not have to be admitted into a nursing home in order to claim benefits for long term care support. Long term care insurance policies can be used in several different situations, such as assisted living, rehab services or in-home care.

Increasingly, people are seeking out the option to age in place or stay in their own home while getting the support that they need. This may be a viable option for you going forward and should always be discussed directly with your experienced estate planning lawyer.

Most people who need long term care services in Virginia Beach hope to get that funded through Medicaid. If you’re not sure what it takes to qualify for Medicaid in Virginia Beach or need help getting that process kickstarted, now is the right time to speak with an experienced VA estate planning lawyer.


New Study Shows One Third of People Don’t Have What It Takes for Minimal Long Term Care

Who will foot the bill if you need a nursing home? That’s a question popping up for more and more families in America these days.

Long term care insurance is extremely expensive and premiums have been on the rise in recent years. This doesn’t bode well for those people who are most likely to need long term care after age 65. The possibility of requiring care later in life is a significant concern for any individual as well as their family.

Standalone long term care insurance is decreasing as a viable option for many people due to the number of insurance carriers who have exited the market as well as the overall cost. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also made this situation much worse by putting assisted living facilities and nursing homes under a microscope about what it’s like to live and work in these facilities.

Many people don’t anticipate needing to go into a nursing home and hope that their individual health remains intact throughout all of their later years but failing to plan properly can put them in a difficult situation or force their loved ones to take on care responsibilities later in life.

A new report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that approximately one-third of Americans do not have enough resources to support one year’s worth of minimal long term care. Marital status also plays a significant role in determining who will get the care that they need. If you don’t have a long term care plan as part of your elder law strategy, you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Virginia Beach estate lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.


Am I Eligible for the Virginia PACE Program?

PACE is an integrated program of care for Virginia residents age 55 or more who meet the following criteria:

  • Have been certified as meeting functional needs for a nursing facility level of care.
  • Will be able to safely reside inside a PACE service community.
  • Live inside a PACE service area.

PACE services can be instrumental in assisting with your long term care plan. The program services can include prescription medication, dentistry, adult day care, occupational and physical therapy, hospital care, primary care and respite care. Any other services that are determined medically necessary by your team to support your overall health can be included in the PACE program.

PACE connects you directly with a team of health care professionals to provide individualized and coordinated care. The purpose of a team is to get to know you as an individual and ensure that your care is aligned with your preferences and personal goals. At certain times an individual might need a higher level of care either on a long term or temporary basis.

In these cases, PACE can cover the cost of nursing facility care but only 7% of current individuals enrolled in PACE live inside a nursing facility. For more questions about how to leverage PACE personally, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Virginia.    



Do You Need Medicaid in Virginia for Your Long-Term Care?

At least 50% of healthy Americans above age 65 will need some form of long-term care in the future. This can come in the form of home care, assisted living or nursing home care. This kind of care might be necessary but regardless of the setting it can be very cost prohibitive.

There are five primary ways that you may be able to afford long term care in Virginia. These include:

  • Private pay; in which you write the provider a check directly from your own accounts.
  • Long term care insurance; which requires an active policy with regular premium payments. Only around 8% of Americans have bought LTC insurance.
  • Veterans’ Administration benefits, but these VA programs pays for less than 1% of all long term care services in the US.
  • Medicare; which is a common misconception since most people assume that Medicare would pick up the tab for long term care assistance. Medicare only pays for extremely limited benefits, such as a certain number of days in a nursing home if the person is receiving skilled care.
  • Medicaid; a low-income form of benefits payments that is responsible for more than half of all long term care expenses in the United States.

The Medicaid program is administered at the state level. The primary aspects for Virginia Medicaid eligibility include Virginia residency, membership in a covered group, medical and functional criteria, resource eligibility rules, asset transfer rules, and income eligibility rules.

To learn more about these complex aspects, schedule a consultation with an experienced Virginia elder lawyer today. Planning in advance and thinking through these options before a crisis situation emerges makes it easier for you and your loved ones.



Does Your Elder Law Plan Include Long Term Care Insurance?

You might not know just how many people rely on long-term care to deal with an ongoing or a short-term medical issue, but the odds show that there’s a good chance you’ll need long term care in the future.

If you don’t have any other plan in place and you don’t qualify for Medicaid when you face an urgent health crisis and need to go into a nursing home, you’ll pay an average of $140,000 out of pocket. For most people, that could decimate the retirement savings they had set aside for themselves or for them and their spouse.

Even though the numbers paint a picture of just how important it is to factor long term care into your elder law planning, few people consider long term care insurance as one of their options. In fact, only around 7 million Americans have long term care insurance to help pay for this very expensive and possibly necessary support.

Long term care insurance policies might not be the best fit for you, however. Many who bought these policies have been subjected to major rate spikes since the insurance companies underestimated how many claims they’d have to pay out. The number of companies offering LTC insurance has also dwindled. And some of the premiums for these policies can cost more than $2700 a year.

But just because LTC insurance might not be the right fit for you doesn’t mean your search for a plan stops there. Getting qualified for Medicaid does not have to be a difficult process, but you need to spend the time thinking over your choices and tools in advance. The right attorney can help you do that.

Speaking with an experienced elder law attorney in Virginia can prepare you for the possibility of nursing home care so that you can review all of your options.

Are You Concerned About Long Term Care Costs?

Does your estate plan account for long-term care costs? If not, you could end up paying out of your own retirement savings to cover necessary expenses for your care or for a spouse’s.

Studies have found that most people over age 65 will eventually need help with daily tasks of living, such as getting dressed, eating or bathing. One of the most interesting facts pulled from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging is that women are likely to need care for a longer period of time than men.

Women will need this type of care on average for 3.7 years, while men will need this form of assistance for an average of 2.2 years. Many people will have little choice but to rely on unpaid care from children or spouses.

However, it’s important to realize that the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that more than one-third of people in need of assistance will spend time in a nursing home. That nursing home care can be extremely expensive and is likely not be covered by Medicare.

This is because private health insurance in Medicare don’t often classify nursing home care custodial expenses which can eliminate a significant portion of your retirement savings. Planning ahead to qualify for Medicaid is extremely important and it’s something that should be done with the guidance of an experienced and dedicated lawyer in Virginia Beach.