The field of estate planning is intimately intertwined with the elder law niche. You want to make sure that you facilitate effective postmortem asset transfers, but you should simultaneously prepare yourself for the eventualities of aging.
Right now, the elder law field is very important, because the baby boomers are getting older. There are some 10,000 people applying for Social Security every day. An unprecedented number of people are attaining senior citizen status at the same time, so there are a lot of questions being asked.
You should certainly discuss the eventualities of aging with a licensed elder law attorney if you are concerned about the future. Retirement planning is an important part of the puzzle, because you want to make sure that you have the underpinning that you need to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.
And then there are the twilight years that will follow your active retirement years. During this interim, many people require living assistance. In fact, 70 percent of people who are reaching the age of 65 will someday need long-term care.
This is a very relevant elder law issue, because Medicare will not pay for help with your activities of daily living. This is considered to be custodial care rather than medical or convalescent care.
Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of convalescent care after surgery, but it will not pay for custodial care.
Long-term care is very expensive, with a room in a nursing home averaging well over $100,000 in the state of New York.
How do you prepare for possible long-term care costs? For many, the solution is Medicaid. However, because it is a need-based program, it takes careful planning to divest yourself of assets before you apply for coverage.
There is a five-year look back that complicates the matter. You are penalized and your eligibility is delayed if you give away assets within five years of submitting your application.
Long-term care is at the top of the list, but there are a number of other elder law concerns that you should address if you want to be optimally prepared for the future.
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
How do you find a licensed elder law attorney? There is a national body called the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. As we stated previously, estate planning attorneys typically specialize in elder law matters as well.
When you work with someone who is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, you can discuss your future and create a comprehensive plan for aging as you prepare your assets for eventual distribution to your heirs.
We are members of the Academy, and we invite you to contact us to set up a free consultation if you would like to take action. You can send us a message through this page to request an appointment: Smithtown NY Elder Law Attorney.