Medicaid Planning | Guardianships | Veterans Planning | Elder Abuse
Department of Elderly Affairs Information for Florida: https://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/resources.php
Florida’s increasing population of seniors are living longer than ever before. This
presents a unique situation in which they can potentially outlive their ability to care for themselves.
A higher life expectancy means that seniors will require a long-term care plan for their future that includes having access to:
That’s why it’s so important to consult with a seasoned elder law attorney now so you can begin the process of putting plans in place to protect your long-term physical and financial well-being.
Whether you are a senior planning for your own future, or a caretaker making decisions for a loved one, Lehn Law, P.A. can help chart a road map for the future.
Lehn Law, P.A. has solid expertise in many areas of senior law and can assist you in an immediate crisis. We also offer pre-planned solutions for long-term care issues you may face in the future.
Acting as part financial advisor, part family advocate, Attorney Joseph W. Lehn will customize a plan that fits your current or future needs and puts you in the best position to enjoy the highest quality of life in your golden years.
There is a strong likelihood that most of us will need some form of long-term
care as we age. Even if you can rely on a family member in your later years, there may come a time when your needs exceed their capabilities. In this instance, you may consider an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Assisted living and nursing homes are very expensive. Without advanced planning, Floridians can be blindsided by the heavy financial burdens it can place on their hard-earned savings.
The costs of nursing home care in Florida average between $6,000 and $8,000 a month. Many seniors and their families are unable or ill-prepared to afford this kind of expense.
At Lehn Law, P.A. we can help you preserve the “nest egg” you have accumulated and reduce the costs of long-term care by seeking assistance through Medicaid’s Institutional Care Program (ICP). With the costs of long-term care sky rocketing to nearly $9,000.00 per month many seniors simply cannot afford this expense and are left with no choice but to apply for public benefits.
This public benefit can cover the cost of nursing home care. In fact, Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America.
Medicaid is a needs-based program. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you need to meet the following criteria or tests:
In 2016, a married couple in Florida may keep up to $121,220 in countable assets, which is $119,220 for the “community” or healthy spouse, added to $2,000 in assets allowed for the nursing home spouse.
Seniors who have too much income to qualify for Medicaid worry that they will have to spend all of their life savings in order to become eligible for benefits.
At Lehn Law, P.A., we can help you restructure your assets so you don’t have to “spend down” everything you’ve worked so hard to accumulate and still qualify for Medicaid.
To solve the “income cap” problem, an income trust must be created. Those authorized to create the trust can include:
Each month, you would deposit the amount of income that is over the cap, or the “excess” income into a checking account. The account needs to be funded every month or you will lost your benefits for a certain period of time.
If you are a veteran, veteran’s spouse, or veteran’s widow or widower whose medical costs exceed your income, you may be able to access Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits to help you pay for:
If you qualify, it can pay up to $2,120/month for a couple, $1,788/month for a single veteran and $1,149 for a single surviving spouse.
A durable power of attorney (POA) enables you to appoint an “agent,” such as a trusted
relative or friend, to handle specific health, legal and financial responsibilities in the event that you become incapacitated.
Families should consider preparing these legal documents long before someone starts having trouble handling certain aspects of life.
Similar to a trust, the POA can be written so that the transfer of responsibilities happens immediately, or at the time when the elder is determined to be incapacitated. Up until that point, the elder can continue to make decisions on his or her own.
It’s very painful to watch a loved one become incapacitated due to the natural aging
process. They may end up suffering from a physical disability or develop a cognitive impairment or debilitating disease, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s
If this happens, the incapacitated person may need to have a guardian appointed to assume responsibility for their overall welfare. This only becomes an option in the event that the elder does not have a power of attorney or advanced directive in place.
Guardianship is the legal process of having a court determine if a person lacks the capacity to care for themselves and cannot perform certain daily tasks, such as driving.
An appointed guardian will have the legal authority to make decisions related to the incapacitated person’s finances, medical care, and place of residency.
Neglect and abuse can sometimes exist in nursing homes. If as a result of negligence, physical or emotional abuse, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your losses.
you or a loved one have been victimized in a nursing home
At Lehn Law, we are fiercely protective of elders who have suffered abuse and will not hesitate to file a civil action lawsuit against the nursing home who inflicted the abuse.
Attorney Lehn can report the abuse to the proper authorities and inform the nursing home of the impending allegations. In some cases, the nursing home may agree to settle. If they don’t, we will pursue justice in court.
Lehn Law, P.A. helps seniors, disabled persons, their families and caregivers plan for the future. We provide elder care services including Medicaid planning, veterans planning, guardianships and elder abuse litigation.