I’m often asked when it is necessary to talk to an attorney if you’re making future decisions involving your assets?
Senior adults are often prey to scams at a time when they are facing health and financial insecurity. Add to that the long term and short term ramifications to decisions that families just may not be aware of, and I think it’s always a good idea to contact us at Crenshaw Peterson as your elder law attorneys and just check in. Sometimes families are able to resolve or help with decisions regarding health and finances but it is always a good idea to seek the advice of an elder law attorney to confirm the right path is being taken and bring some peace of mind to the senior adult as well as their family. Unintended consequences are often the biggest culprits to future planning.
The following decisions should be made in consultation with Crenshaw Peterson as elder law attorneys because they can later impact a senior adult’s potential for Medicaid or Veterans benefits. We can help to develop safe solutions to achieve your goals, without losing the potential benefits.
1. Giving money or property away as a gift
2. Adding children’s names to accounts or to real property
3. Selling certain types of assets
4. Buying financial products that can cause problems as you age
5. Any transfers of property by deeds
6. If one spouse needs additional in-home care assistance or is being moved into a nursing home
7. Paying a family member to care for you
8. Selling real property or a business in order to have the money to pay for assisted living or nursing home care
9. If one spouse becomes the caretaker for the other due to declining mental capacities
10. Choosing who will assist if there are no reliable families members close to assist with health care or provide financial assistance.
Just like the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it also takes a team with a combined set of knowledge to build a plan for your future as a senior adult. Your team may include family, your elder law attorney, a doctor, financial advisors, and even a caretaker involved. Working together allows us to develop a plan that meets all the needs of the senior from A to Z and offers the assurances that the senior adult’s needs will be met fully and that everything done is in their best interests and for their safety. The first step to achieving this plan is, of course, to have a good estate plan in place. But that estate plan may need to be updated or tweaked as time goes on and as our lives and situations change. So before you make any of the above decisions, or start planning as life changes and throws you a curveball, be sure to contact us and allow Crenshaw Peterson, as your elder attorneys, to help you plan for the next steps.