Article 115-Estate Planning Series: The Questions Your Estate Plan Should Answer 

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Nowhere is this more true than in my professional world. 

A crisis can arise in many ways.  The most obvious example is the unexpected passing of a loved one.   But what about a stroke, a serious fall or even the diagnosis of a life altering health condition? At that point, important options may evaporate.

Article 112-Estate Planning Series: The Solution is Simple, Until It’s Too Late 

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Uncategorized

To satisfactorily discuss a legal issue, I may spend a few columns writing about it.  For example, recent columns have addressed long term care, and there is more on that topic I would like to share with you. 

However, I also try to share real life examples (altered only to preserve privacy) to help illustrate the importance of these issues.  The decisions you make can have very serious consequences. 

Recently, I met with a family dealing with a terrible, unexpected crisis.  A family member had been very seriously injured and will likely spend months – possibly years – recovering.  His cognitive abilities have been seriously affected.  For at least the foreseeable future, he will not be able to make any decisions.  However, legal, financial and other decisions still have to be made.

Article 114-Estate Planning Series: What Will Your Estate Plan Accomplish For Your Family?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts

For those who attend my presentations, I offer a free, no obligation estate planning audit.  There are two reasons for the audit.  First, we discuss what is accomplished with their current estate plan.  Second, we discuss whether that plan addresses the issues of concern to them. 

Often these individuals have a trust (not always created by an attorney), but have no idea why.  Perhaps they were told a trust would help them avoid going through “probate”, but they aren’t sure what they are avoiding.

Article 113-Estate Planning Series: Is Long Term Care Insurance the Best Answer For Me?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Long Term Care

So what is the answer to long term care needs?   Seventy percent (70%) of seniors will need some form of long term care.  Yet Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and your health insurance policy will not help pay for those costs, which can reach or even exceed ten thousand dollars a month.

Unfortunately, many assume their only option is to purchase long term care (LTC) insurance.  LTC insurance is a type of policy that will pay benefits when the insured is unable to perform certain activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring. 

Article 111-Estate Planning Series: It Can Happen In An Instant

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Long Term Care

Many, including seniors, see long term care as an issue to be addressed in the future. Because it is usually associated with the frailties of age, it is also assumed they will be able to anticipate the need for long term care, and plan accordingly. 

Unfortunately, the need for long term care too often arises suddenly.  The lifestyle and independence to which seniors are accustomed can be forever changed without any advance notice or indication.

Article 110-Estate Planning Series: How Can We Care for the Caregivers?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Long Term Care

Imagine you are responsible for the care of a spouse or parent with dementia.  He does not recognize you.   He needs help dressing or toileting, but his innate modesty causes him to fight attempts to help.  In fact, occasionally he reacts aggressively or even violently.  He is otherwise physically healthy, and may remain in this condition for years to come.

This example is all too real for many caregivers.  And they are exhausted. 

Article 109-Estate Planning Series: The Cost of Medicaid for Long Term Care

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Long Term Care

Although Medicare is not intended to provide assistance to seniors in need of long term care, under certain circumstances, Medicaid will provide that assistance.    I believe Medicaid is a critically important safety net to assist our most vulnerable senior citizens in need.  Therefore, it may seem ironic that the purpose of this column is to encourage you to avoid relying on Medicaid if possible.

Article 108-Estate Planning Series: Will Medicare Pay for My Long Term Care?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Long Term Care

Last column I explained the options to pay for long term care are limited.  Adding to the problem is a significant amount of incorrect information about what those options are.  For example, many seniors erroneously believe Medicare will pay long term care costs.  This is not correct.

On the other hand, upon meeting certain conditions, Medicaid will pay for long term care.   I understand why people confuse the two.  Not only do the terms sounds similar but, in some cases, Medicare provides assistance for some of the same types of health issues as Medicaid. 

Article 106-Estate Planning Series: Are You Prepared for This Scam?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning

It has only been a few columns since I addressed the risk seniors face from scams.  However, recent information emphasizes just how important it is to address this issue often.  Within the last three weeks, both local and national news have run stories stressing the importance for seniors, and their families, to remain vigilant against scams.

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