Estate Planning And Long-Term Care Considerations For When Your Loved One Is Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease

Has your loved one recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease?  As you become familiar with how Parkinson’s disease progresses, have you learned that your loved one’s ability to walk, bathe, and dress will gradually become impaired?  In addition, there may be an increased risk of falling.  Has this diagnosis caused you to look into what the future may look like for your loved one, including the difficult decision of placing your loved one in a nursing home someday?  Are you wondering how to afford the high cost of a nursing home, when and if it is needed? 

When your loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you need to begin considering estate planning and long-term care planning. Does your loved one have a Florida estate plan? This should not only be a Florida last will and testament, but also the accompanying documents that make it a Florida estate plan. These Florida estate planning documents should include, but not be limited to, a last will and testament, trust agreement, durable power of attorney, health care documents and living will.

It is of the utmost importance that your loved one create or update his or her Florida estate plan while he or she has the capacity to make decisions.  In Florida, you must have capacity in order to create an estate plan and with a diagnosis like Parkinson’s disease, time is of the essence.

With this new diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, you and your loved one need to begin talking and preparing for the possible need for a nursing home in the future.  Now a nursing home can be paid for with a long-term care insurance policy if your loved one has one, or life insurance policies which can be cashed out, or veteran’s benefits. If you and your loved one discover that he or she does have one or more of these benefits, be sure to gather all the supporting documents of these policies, and make copies.  By taking care of this now, you and your loved one will have the required proof of coverage should your loved one’s mental capacity decline. 

Because you and your loved one have determined the existence of one or more of the above benefits, that is good news.  We highly recommend that you meet with a qualified Florida estate planning and elder law attorney as soon as possible. She can advise you on determining how to afford a nursing home when the time comes. Experienced in the area of long-term care planning, a Florida estate planning and elder law attorney can assist you and your loved one with the review of all the benefits you believe may cover the cost of a nursing home. Know that Medicare does not cover the cost of a long-term care nursing home. However, Medicaid does cover nursing home costs, but eligibility for Medicaid is based upon your loved one’s assets.  Meeting now with your qualified Florida estate planning and elder law attorney she may assist your loved one in the drafting of planning documents, such as a trust, which may make your loved one eligible for Medicaid. It is important to begin this planning as soon as possible because there are time limits on the transfer of assets which may affect Medicaid eligibility. 

We know and understand how difficult a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is and it often comes with many other issues. You and your loved one should now begin working with a Florida estate planning and elder law attorney so that you can determine the best strategy to use in helping to assure your loved one will be able to afford a nursing home when the time comes. This planning will give you and your loved one the peace of mind that he or she will receive the care needed while the disease progresses. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Do not wait to contact our law practice to learn more today. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting. To learn more about Meloro Law and how we can help you when you need legal representation for estate planning or elder law issues do not wait to call us today.