Disabled elderly man with adult child

Legal Options for Adult Children of Disabled Parents

Adult children of disabled parents often face a daunting array of concerns and responsibilities. The tasks required can be overwhelming whether the adult children are young, employed and perhaps taking care of their own young children, or middle-aged and hoping to enjoy retirement in the relatively near future. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our estate planning/elder care attorneys are able to supply valuable insight, advice, and legal services in either case.

We are eager to help you, as we have helped so many clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, ensure that your disabled parents receive the care and assistance they need without leaving you financially and emotionally drained. We have the tools and logistical skills to help you manage not only your parents’ health issues, but their complex personal finances, business interests, and pressing legal matters. 

We Customize Our Strategies To Meet Your Parents’ Needs

Our attorneys have been in practice long enough to be aware that no two disabled parents have precisely the same requirements, so we will pay close attention to the details that make your family members unique in order to tailor the services we offer you. 

Preparing Essential Documents

Effective management of a disabled parent’s affairs begins with the correct legal documents. Those listed below are typically essential:

  • Will to state how they want their assets distributed to their beneficiaries.
  • Trusts for specific purposes, such as protecting assets and avoiding probate.
  • Durable Power of Attorney to give you the authority to handle your parent’s financial and legal affairs.
  • Advance Directive to outline your parent’s wishes for end-of-life medical treatment.
  • Health Care Proxy to designate someone to make healthcare decisions if your parent is incapable of voicing their wishes.

Our attorneys can ensure these documents reflect your parent’s wishes and comply with Massachusetts law.

Planning for MassHealth Eligibility

Because the cost of long-term care is extremely high, preparing for MassHealth (Medicaid) eligibility is critical. We can help structure your parents’ assets and income to meet MassHealth requirements, ensuring that your parents have access to the care they need without exhausting their life savings or your inheritance.

Establishing Guardianship 

You may want to consider this as an option if your parent can no longer make reasonable personal decisions about where to live or how to provide self-care, in addition to being unable to navigate legal and financial matters.

Deciding What Type of Setting Is Best for Your Parents

Selecting the appropriate living arrangement and level of care is the key to your parents’ comfort and your peace of mind. We have extensive experience in helping clients decide whether their parents’ specific disabilities are best served in:

  • Independent living arrangement with some external support
  • Assisted living community in which cooking, cleaning, repairs, transportation and some health, medication, and hygiene needs are addressed
  • Nursing facility in which there is round-the-clock monitoring and medical care
  • Home care in which there is extensive help with everyday needs in familiar surroundings for those with significant health issues and mobility limitations.

Can I Be Paid for Taking Care of My Parents?

Massachusetts allows for family members to be paid for providing home care to loved ones through MassHealth and this may be desirable for you or some other relative. This arrangement requires careful planning to ensure compliance. Our attorneys can guide you through establishing a caregiver agreement that allows you to be compensated fairly without affecting your parent’s eligibility for benefits.

The Takeaway

Taking care of your parents when they are disabled and becoming increasingly dependent is no easy feat. Nonetheless, working with the experienced professionals at Surprenant & Beneski can ease your path. Contact our dedicated elder care attorneys today to feel the relief of having renewed control of a seemingly overwhelming situation.