Talking To Your Parents
About An Estate Plan
Talking to your parents about an estate plan and/or long-term care may seem daunting and overwhelming. We understand the challenges that this presents and can often help provide educational insights on what to consider and potential solutions. As an experienced team of estate planning specialists with clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, we have helped many families navigate the tough conversations and have guided them with appropriate strategies. Our expertise in elder law benefits the long-term scope of this type of planning. Here are the most frequently discussed scenarios:
Qualifying for Masshealth Medicaid Benefits
Although you may never have considered the possibility that you or your loved ones would ever need Medicaid, the reality is that the majority of Americans have to tap into this benefit. In fact, 70 percent of those who live to age 65 will need long-term care at a skilled nursing facility. Because very few people can afford the typical cost of nursing home care ($12,000 to $14,000 per month, uncovered by Medicare), most of us would be unable to manage without MassHealth. Since the plan is needs-based, it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney so that your assets remain safe, most often in a Medicaid trust.
Purchasing Long Term Insurance
Though you may believe long-term care insurance will provide you with security in your older years, this is rarely true. Some people pay expensive premiums for years, only to find that they never use the coverage and have nothing to show for their “investment”; others find that their premiums increase as the years pass and that when they do need long-term coverage it is not nearly as comprehensive as they were led to believe.
Addressing Pre-Existing Conditions
Some people have pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes, as children, and many more develop such problems as they age. Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health insurance companies cannot refuse to cover anyone because of pre-existing conditions, nor are they permitted to charge higher premiums or extend waiting periods. If you have a pre-existing condition and are worried about repercussions, Surprenant & Beneski is here to help. We will implement proven methods to protect your assets, your healthcare, and your family in view of your medical background.
Reviewing Existing Estate Plans
If you already have an estate plan and are not certain that it is all-inclusive or up-to-date, our attorneys will be glad to review it to make sure it covers all the bases. Besides, life is never static, so it is important to have your estate plan reviewed at regular intervals to make certain you have taken major changes -- such as marriage, divorce, birth, or a significant change in assets -- into account.
Establishing an Incapacity Plan
Though few of us foresee incapacity, all of us should plan for it since an unexpected disease or injury can strike at any time. Preparing for incapacity by having the proper documents and funds at the ready will provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. We will make sure that you have all the necessary papers -- Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, HIPAA Release, Advanced Directive -- to keep your loved ones informed, your financial affairs running smoothly, and your wishes regarding your own healthcare scrupulously followed.
Estate planning is an important part of taking control of your life. By working with our knowledgeable estate planning professionals, you can prepare for both predictable and unexpected events. Our managing partners, Dan Surprenant & Michelle Beneski, are 2 of 25 CELA designated attorneys in the state of Massachusetts. A CELA is a certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. This makes our team uniquely qualified to support you and your loved ones through all stages of planning. Surprenant & Beneski can help you to secure your future, provide for your family, and protect your legacy.