If you’ve heard the phrase “elder law” and assumed it is something to put off until years down the road, you’ve fallen prey to a common myth that could dearly cost your family. The reality is that elder law is all about preparing for the future so you are ready for anything life throws your way. These are the top four myths about elder law we frequently hear, along with the truth you need to know.
Myth: Elder Law Planning Is Too Expensive
To put it simply, failing to plan ahead could end up costing you significantly more than the price of working with an attorney. Whether you intend to remain at home as you age or require the services of a nursing home, getting older can be incredibly costly. With the right legal strategies in place, you can ensure both you and your family are covered and live comfortably.
Myth: I Can Just Give Assets to Family to Meet Medicaid Requirements for a Nursing Home
While spending down may be part of a viable strategy for Medicaid qualification, gifting is a no-go due to the program’s unforgiving five-year lookback period. Anything you gift counts against your asset maximums, and that could mean you end up paying for a nursing home stay out of your own pocket. Don’t panic if you’ve already gifted assets, however, as we have legal methods available for reversing previous gifts so you can still qualify for Medicaid.
Myth: Since I Already Made a Will, I Don’t Need an Elder Law Attorney
Your will is a helpful tool, but it doesn’t cover everything. It also needs to be revised over time—especially if you’ve been divorced, re-married, or had children or grandchildren. An elder law attorney is an important resource beyond just updating your will though. Your attorney can help with retirement planning, draft medical directives, and craft trusts so your estate avoids the probate process.
Myth: I’m Too Young to Need an Elder Law Plan
We simply cannot stress this enough—do not wait until you are a senior citizen to prepare for unexpected changes to your medical or financial situation. Your family may undergo extreme hardship if you are incapacitated or pass away without legal protections in place.
Get started covering your planning needs as early as possible. Send us a message or give us a call so we can schedule a free 15-minute consultation to discuss how our legal toolbox can be best used in your unique situation.