Understanding elder law
If you live long enough, or if anyone in your family does, elder law will become relevant to you — and not just any attorney can help you with it. Elder law is the field of legal practice that affects the particular needs and concerns of senior citizens. These concerns include estate planning and trusteeship, asset protection and guardianship.
Two major areas of elder law that are important to many people are asset protection when applying for Medicaid and designating durable power of attorney. Asset protection becomes an issue when you apply for Medicaid because there are limits to the income and resources that applicants are allowed to have — and if you make a gift of these assets to someone else in the five years before you apply for Medicaid, an eligibility penalty will be imposed when you apply. So if you intend to apply for Medicaid in the future, you need to begin planning a lot more than five years in advance. You will need an elder law attorney to help you through this process, showing you what assets you can transfer and how to transfer them.
Durable power of attorney comes in two forms — financial and health care. Both involve empowering another person to make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. In the case of financial power of attorney, your agent makes financial decisions. If drawn correctly, financial powers of attorney can be used in order to protect the assets of an individual when they might be placed into a nursing home. Language must be inserted into these documents that allows gifting to take place in order to create an avenue by which assets can be protected. Many attorneys fail to do this.
Health care power of attorney gives your agent the power to make your health care decisions, such as enforcing your living will. A living will is a documents that spells out the circumstances under which you do or do not wish to be kept alive artificially.
Charlotte NC elder law attorney
If you want to be sure you will be eligible for Medicaid or a nursing home when you need them, you need to start preparing long before then. If you or someone you love may need to assign durable power of attorney, you need an expert to help you.
Robert C. Whitt, Charlotte attorney, servicing the areas of Charlotte, Gastonia, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He has helped hundreds of clients protect their assets while qualifying for Medicaid, entering a nursing home or taking advantage of assisted living services. If you are in need of help with elder law or may need it in the future, call his office today.