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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

White Plains Long-Term Care Planning Law Blog

Why your estate plan may be out-of-date

Taking the time to develop an estate plan is important no matter one's age. While some like to put this off until later in life, it is often stressed that individuals understand what an estate plan can do, the different documents that make up an estate plan and the importance of keep them up-to-date. Take for an example a will. This document is crucial when it comes to designating the heirs and beneficiaries that obtain one's property and assets following his or her death.

Having an out-of-date will could be problematic; however, a recent report suggests that this could be due to social media. Living in a digital world means that the more traditional assets are no longer tangible. In other words, they are moving online.

The importance of the right nursing home for your loved one

Deciding that it's time for your loved one to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility isn't easy. People often experience a range of emotions from guilt to fear. The truth is that many times, nursing homes have an unnecessarily negative reputation. Many facilities focus on cleanliness, as well as top care for the residents.

Unfortunately, a few bad facilities, where patient care isn't the priority, can give the entire industry a bad name. That's why it's important for you to help your aging loved one select the right facility. This is particularly true in cases where your loved one may have early signs of dementia or require significant physical assistance for daily life.

Signs its necessary to establish a guardianship

No matter our age, we tend to show our love for our parents. And after putting in years to raise us, we are often ready and willing for these roles to reverse in the later years of their lives. Caring for an elderly parent is not only common in New York, it is often something one prepares for. It is difficult to consider assigning guardianship of an aging parent, but it is a step that is often necessary to take.

Unfortunately, aging adults are not completely transparent with their health, and f their health is depreciating, this could impact the decisions they make financially and with their health. No one wants to see his or her loved one is a more challenging predicament; therefore, establishing a guardianship can be necessary.

When no long-term care plan exists

We do not often like to think to far in the future. This means that we are older, our children grow up, careers may come and go and health issues may come up. However, like any adult in New York and elsewhere, it is important to be prepared to deal with the issues that life may bring. Therefore, it is imperative to consider what would happen if we become ill and are no longer to care for ourselves in our old age or incapacitated state.

The importance of developing a long-term care plan is often emphasized; however, what could happen in the event that one did not draft one is not always discussed at full. Oftentimes, when an individual fails to plan of long-term care, this often means that his or her caregiving is left up to a female family member.

How to help a loved one adjust to life in a nursing home

Even when all parties agree that moving from a traditional home to a nursing home is the right decision, there is sure to be an adjustment period. If it's your responsibility to help a loved one adjust to life in a nursing home, there are several steps you can follow to ease the tension and ensure a smooth transition.

  • Take familiar items: A nursing home room isn't nearly as big as your loved one's house, but that doesn't mean you can't make it feel comfortable from day one. Choose a few familiar items, such as pictures and a bedspread, to help ease the transition in the early days.
  • Talk to the staff: Share as much information on your loved one as possible, such as their likes, dislikes, interests, medical history and daily schedule. Not only does this help your loved one adjust, but it also makes life easier on the staff while giving you peace of mind.
  • Visit as often as you can: Your loved one will enjoy seeing your face, so don't be shy about visiting when your schedule allows. Talk to other family members and friends about when they'll be visiting, as this allows you to space out your time.
  • Share information on activities: Most nursing homes have a variety of activities for residents, ranging from bingo to exercise class. Your loved one doesn't have to participate, but it's one of the better ways to adjust. Not only does it get them moving, but it also allows them to meet other residents.
  • Don't take your loved one out just yet: If you do this before they settle into a routine, it could make them homesick. Wait a few weeks or longer before you pick them up for an outside excursion.

These are the types of tips you can use to help your loved one adjust to life in a nursing home. As you focus on making the transition as simple as possible, don't forget to pay close attention to other important matters, such as the best way to pay for nursing home care.

Helping you draft a solid long-term care plan

There are many what ifs in life. So, why not take steps to address some of these? No matter how much we want to deny it, we are all aging. And with age come certain health concerns and conditions. It is possible that a day will come when one can no longer care for him or herself. Whether that means getting in-home care or residing in a nursing home, it is important to have these details clear and in writing.

Long-term care planning may seem like something you should do when you are older; however, it is becoming more and more important to address these matters when one is in their 20s, 30s or 40s. This allows one to look at their situation and decide what is best. At Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, our law firm is dedicated to helping individuals in the White Plains area.

What is probate?

When developing an estate plan, there are some things to keep in mind and there are some things to avoid. Typically, one is told they want to avoid high costs associated with the execution on an estate plan following his or her death; thus, they are told avoiding probate is a must. While avoiding probate can reduce costs, it is still important to understand what the process is, why it is necessary and why it is not such a negative procedure.

What is probate? In simple terms, it is the legal process designed to deal with the assets and debts remaining following the death of a person. When probate is initiated, the court, by default, supervises the process. The term probate is used not only to describe the process but it is also used to describe the court where the process takes place and the actual distribution of assets.

How creating a trust can help you qualify for Medicaid

Inadequate long-term care planning is often linked to common myths about paying for care. Quite a few people believe that Medicare or private insurance will pay if they eventually need to move into a nursing home. Many Americans are shocked to learn that that is not the case.

Medicare does offer basic medical coverage to older adults, but it does not cover the expense of long-term care. Although Medicare will not cover nursing home expenses or the cost of in-home skilled nursing help, Medicaid may cover these necessary medical costs.

Helping you establish guardianship

There is no way around it; we all age and will likely make it to our elderly years. Thus, it is important to consider ways to protect yourself, as the unexpected could happen at any age. And if a person in New York is no longer able to make decisions on their own due to incapacitation or any other reason, it is vital to have certain documents in place to protect yourself and outline your wishes.

It is scary to think about a time where you won't be able to make decisions for yourself. However, it is a possible reality. Therefore, the attorneys at Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, recognize the importance of fully understanding the importance of establishing a guardianship and including powers of attorneys in one's estate plan.

Factors to consider when developing your long-term care plan

Aging is a natural process in life and, for some people, there may come a time when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Since there is no way to tell if you will be one of these people, it is best to plan for such an eventuality. It is much better to have everything in order if the day comes when you can no longer make your own decisions instead of leaving certain decisions in the hands of the state or people you may not consider reliable.

Estate planning includes many aspects beyond simply writing a will. In addition to distributing your estate among your heirs, estate planning also allows you to include a long-term care plan so that you do not have to worry about an uncertain future. Here are a few things to consider when developing your long-term care plan.

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