As you get older, you have to think about more than how to spend your retirement. You may already have thought about issues like who will inherit your estate when you are gone. But you should also consider planning for future medical needs or emergencies. For example, who will make important medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you are temporarily or permanently unable to make those decisions for yourself? How will you pay for future medical care or nursing home costs? Do you have a plan in place that addresses these important issues?
Working with an experienced Chandler elder law lawyer from the Gunderson Law Group can help you put together the right plan to protect your interests. Even if you don’t yet have a plan in place, and are starting to face some of these types of challenges, our lawyers may also be able to help you resolve these types of “elder law” issues regarding your health care, estate and other related concerns.
Long-Term care is expensive. There are things you can do today to help ensure that you get the care that you need in the future. In many instances, Medicare (commonly known as AHCCCS in Arizona) can be an important part of your plan. Long-term care provided through AHCCCS is known as the Arizona Long Term Care System (or ALTCS). ALTCS provides long-term care coverage to those who can demonstrate medical and financial need.
Qualifying for ALTCS coverage can be a complicated issue. You may not have sufficient assets to fund all of your long-term care needs, but in many cases, you (or your spouse) may have enough money or other assets that you do not immediately qualify for ALTCS coverage. In these cases, careful planning with an attorney can help you understand your options and plan for future ALTCS coverage. In some cases, there may be steps you can take now to protect certain family assets and qualify for coverage sooner than you otherwise might have qualified.
Our dedicated attorneys can help you understand your options and plan accordingly.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
When a loved one ages, physical and mental limitations may develop. Long-term care facilities, in-home caregivers, or other arrangements may help provide the direct personal and medical care that your loved one needs, but your loved one may not have the mental capacity to make decisions.
Sometimes, the court will need to step in to appoint a guardian or conservator who can make decisions on your loved one’s behalf. A guardian may be able to make decisions about medical care, living arrangements, while a conservator may be appointed to make decisions regarding assets or finances.
Of course, estate planning is an important part of preparing for your later years. Estate planning can include creating a will, establishing trusts for heirs, planning for asset protection and more.
Usually, a well-crafted estate plan can help avoid unnecessary stress that often results as individuals age. For example, qualifying for government-funded nursing-home care is often easier when appropriate plans have been made ahead of time. Similarly, the need to have a court-appointed guardian or conservator can oftentimes be eliminated through careful trust planning.
Of course there are other benefits of estate planning as well. A thoughtful estate plan can help protect certain family assets for future generations. A clear estate plan can also provide the guidance your family needs in determining how to distribute your property when you are gone. This is especially helpful in avoiding unnecessary legal fees that tend to arise when there is no estate plan, and the estate assets are distributed in a contested probate proceeding.
You should seek a qualified attorney for advice on the best strategies for protecting your estate and ensuring that your assets go to the beneficiaries you want. The attorneys at the Gunderson Law Group can help with all of these aspect of your planning needs.
Call (480) 750-7337 today to talk with a Chandler elder law lawyer about estate planning or other concerns for yourself or your loved one. You can also contact us online.
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