Elder Law in Harlan, Iowa

As people hit their golden years, different sorts of legal issues may arise. Elder Law consists of estate planning and powers of attorney, but also long-term care planning, qualification of public benefits, and prevention or litigation regarding elder abuse.

Long-Term Care Planning

In 2010, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home in the United States was $7,000 per month, and that figure continues to grow. Today, there are four main ways that the aging pay for long-term care and possible stays at nursing homes:

  • Medicare is a short-term solution for long-term care planning, as it only pays for care while a person is improving. Medicare will only pay for 100 days of skilled nursing care.
  • Long-term-care insurance. Long-term-care insurance is sometimes a viable and wise option for middle-class Americans. In general, insurance is more affordable when purchased at a younger and healthier age.
  • Private pay/self-insurance. For people with a substantial net worth and a healthy family history, making plans to pay for possible nursing home stays through personal accounts can be a viable financial decision.
  • Medicaid is available to people who qualify based on tests of income and net worth. While Medicaid rules are complicated and expenditures on behalf of a person are often subject to payback after death, planning can sometimes protect family assets while providing care. If eligibility is only possible through gifts and transfers to heirs, such gifts are normally required five years prior to applying for Medicaid.

A financial planner should be involved with considering these options. We can help with the analysis and the subsequent planning.

Elder Abuse

Iowa recently passed a law to protect elders from physical injuries, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. We can assist individuals or families who have suspicions that wrongful actions may be taking place.