Have you always thought that there could not be anything more shocking than a cancer diagnosis for your parents? When you learn this devastating news, so many questions rush through your head: How much time do we have? What do we need to do? Is there a cure in sight? What health care needs will they have now? What can I do to help? Do they need a second opinion? These are just the start of the list of questions you need answers to in the coming days.
As experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, we know just how concerning a cancer diagnosis is. Now is the time to not only think about the health care needs of your aging parents but it is also the time to think proactively about their future. You will want to ask questions to determine:
There is also now the question about whether or not your aging parents will be able to care for themselves. You also may be concerned and have serious questions related to how to find and pay for their necessary care, now and in the future as their healthcare needs change. Be aware that healthcare support can come in all forms for your aging parents. Consider options in the community such as:
The process of finding care for your aging parents can be a heavy responsibility, and one you may not be able to complete without help when you work full time and have a family of your own. The health of your parents may also decline to the point where they cannot live alone or need to be in a safe environment such as an assisted living facility or nursing home. While the first step is identifying the care they need, the next one is to find the funds to pay for it.
Do you know if your parents have the ability to pay for the care they need? Medicare and Medicaid, for instance, may provide financial assistance with a cancer diagnosis. While Medicare and Medicaid are different programs and can help in different ways. Medicare is the health insurance program for adults over age 65. Many of the available Medicare plans pay up to 80% of the costs of all of the doctor’s visits and diagnostic tests that come prior to a cancer diagnosis, until the health insurance deductible is met. Medicare may then cover the remaining costs for the pre-diagnosis visits. This can make Medicare very useful for patients with cancer until long-term care is necessary. Unfortunately, Medicare has a limited nursing home benefit, paying only for 100 days of care.
Now, if your loved ones need custodial care, then Medicaid may be able to help. This will depend on the income and assets of your aging parents. A qualified Florida elder law attorney can advise you as you walk through the process of obtaining Medicaid services for your loved ones and help you through this challenging time.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our office is here to help you navigate the legal issues related to seeking and covering the cost of memory care. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.
Have you created an estate plan? Are you planning to? Did you know that, according to a 2022 wills survey, less than one-third of Americans have an estate plan in place? Interestingly, though, almost two-thirds of Americans admit that having an estate plan is important. The primary reason why people do not have an estate plan in place, even though they believe it is important, is because they believe that they do not have enough assets, according to this same survey. We would like to discuss four important reasons for you to begin working with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to create an estate plan to protect your assets and your wishes.
1. Minimize estate taxes. By creating your estate plan you may be able to minimize the amount of taxes your estate may have to pay. It depends on the size of your estate and the location of your property, as to whether the tax burden may be very substantial if the proper estate plan is not put into place.
2. Take care of your children. There are multiple reasons why estate planning can be important if you have children. One very important reason is that you have the opportunity to name in your will who you would want to raise your children in the event of your death. If you do not have a will with this information, the court will probably have to step in and make that decision. Another important reason is in the handling of your assets for your children. You, of course, want to decide how your assets are distributed to your children in the event of your death. However, if you die without an estate plan, the decision about the distribution of your assets will probably be governed by the laws of the state of Florida.
3. You want everything private. Are you concerned about the public nature of probate? Do you want to keep your estate affairs more private? By working with a Florida estate planning attorney you can take advantage of a variety of estate planning documents that can help you accomplish this task.
4. You need to plan for incapacity. Are you aware that estate planning is not just about what happens to your assets when you die? In fact, no matter what your age or what your assets are, what would happen if you were suddenly incapacitated due to an accident or illness? Who would pay your bills, monitor your business, take care of your children or make medical decisions? All of these questions can be answered in a good and thorough Florida estate plan.
Our office is here to help you navigate the legal issues related to creating a good Florida estate plan. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.