Protect the Life Savings of Your Mom from a Nursing Home
Does your mom currently live on her own without any problems? Do you check in with her each day or stop by her home? Have the two of you talked about her plans for the future, especially if she were to need critical nursing care? During the month of May both National Elder Law Month and National Older American Month are celebrated. Both of these observances are crucial for you and your mom because of the support and knowledge or aging that both of you can receive. In regard to National Elder Law Month, Florida elder law attorneys will be out in their communities educating seniors about laws impacting them and the legal documents they need. National Older Americans Month reminds Americans that the family, friends and communities of seniors need to be supportive and protective. This is an important time of year to ensure our aging Florida seniors have the support they need, including your mom.
In long-term care planning for your mom, it is important to know that you both can reach out to a qualified Florida elder law attorney. Your attorney knows the cost structure of nursing home care and can help your mother protect her lifetime of savings from being completely used up by the cost of care, either in a nursing home or at home.
The following statements and discussions are three ways to prevent your mother and other aging Florida seniors from losing their life savings to a nursing home.
1. First, begin planning now. Florida seniors can preserve their life savings while planning for the future well in advance of when those plans need to be put into action. Begin by meeting with a qualified Florida elder law attorney to start long-term care planning.
2. Be informed on the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Were you and your mom planning for Medicare to cover the cost of a nursing home? Unfortunately, Medicare usually only covers 100 days of nursing home care. If your mom, as a Florida senior, qualifies for Medicaid, then the Medicaid program in Florida will take over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough. Know that Medicaid will cover nursing home costs for qualified Florida seniors for as long as they need it. However, there is a caveat. Medicaid rules will require Florida seniors to spend down most of their life savings prior to qualifying for the program. Also, Medicaid will look back over the past 5 years and see what was held in assets, and what the income and expenses were during this time period. A qualified Florida elder law attorney can assist you and your mom with all this planning.
3. Remember, planning should always be 5 years ahead. As stated before, Florida Medicaid has a look back period of 5 years. A qualified Florida elder law attorney can help your mom plan around this 5-year “lookback” rule to protect your mom’s life savings. Your attorney may decide the best way to do this is to be sure that your mom’s assets are transferred out of her estate prior to the 60 months before she may need nursing home care. You and your mom do not know when nursing home care will be needed, but it is still best to start planning early. Your attorney can work with your mom to determine the best approach.
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.