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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Estate Planning When Facing a Nursing Home Transition: Questions for a San Diego Elder Law Attorney

The decision to place a parent in a nursing home rarely comes easily. Apart from the emotional toll, significant financial and legal adjustments are often necessary. While immediate well-being takes priority, it's vital to safeguard your parent's assets and long-term care needs with proactive estate planning.

Questions to Guide Your Consultation

As San Diego elder law attorneys we focus on addressing the intricate needs of aging individuals and their families. During your consultation, explore these crucial questions:

  • Power of Attorney: Is the existing Power of Attorney (POA) sufficient? Does it clearly grant the right to handle financial transactions, make care decisions, and sell or shift ownership of property if necessary? Updating a POA might be advisable.
  • Updating Wills & Trusts: Should their will or existing trusts be revised to reflect the change in living situation and ensure their assets are distributed according to their current wishes?  Do their documents need to be revised, a new trust created, or assets shifted in order to protect assets from the cost of care and access care benefits? 
  • Medical Decision Making: If there an Advance Directive (we used to call them healthcare powers of attorney) in place?  Does it express their wishes in detail?  Is there a HIPAA medical information release to allow family members to speak with their physicians and nurses? 
  • Guardianship Considerations: If no Advance Directive or POA exists or your parent no longer has the mentally incapacity required to sign these documents act for themselves, will court-appointed conservatorship be necessary to get them the care they would want and safeguard their interests?
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: If your parent has long-term care insurance, understand its benefits, claim thresholds, and how it works alongside other resources.
  • Benefits Planning: What care benefits are available, or can be made available, to reduce your parent’s care costs to preserve their assets?

Proactive Planning Ensures Your Parent's Well-Being

Navigating estate planning while arranging nursing home care may feel overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. An elder law attorney will:

  • Provide objective, strategic guidance during a stressful time.
  • Advocate for your parent's rights and long-term well-being.
  • Create sound legal documents if updates are needed
  • Help you bring together and coordinate a team to see to your family’s needs and keep you from being overwhelmed.

Schedule a Consultation

Get the informed counsel your family deserves. Our firm assists with elder law transitions, offering compassion and tailored solutions. Don't let legal burdens compound your worries. Contact us at 619-281-1888 to schedule an appointment with the mention of this blog post.

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The Attorneys of the Weissler Law Group assist clients in San Diego, California as well as in: Coronado, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Del Cerro, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Escondido, National City, Spring Valley, and Chula Vista.

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