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Estate Planning FAQs and Info


I want my child to take care of my affairs when I am no longer able to do so. How can I make sure she will be permitted to act for me?

Answer: Have an Elder Law Attorney prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, designating an agent and perhaps even a successor agent to act on your behalf.


If I have given someone a durable power of attorney, will it be necessary to have a guardianship proceeding if I become incapacitated?

Answer: No.


If I give a POA to another, do I give up the right to manage my own affairs?

Answer: No. As long as you have not been declared legally incompetent by a court, you can manage your own financial affairs.


Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for long-term care?

Answer: Medicare will sometimes pay a portion of your stay in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days. However, Medicare only pays this portion under limited circumstances. If you qualify, Medicaid will pay the cost of your long-term care in a skilled nursing facility.


Is there any insurance that covers the cost of long-term care? Is it fair and inexpensive?

Answer: Most insurance companies now offer long-term care insurance policies. All policies are different. You should always review the contract thoroughly to make sure you understand what benefits you are paying for.


When is it time to go from in-home care to something else?

Answer: When you can no longer perform certain necessary activities of daily living, you might consider moving into a facility that can provide a skilled level of care around the clock. This is a personal decision that families should make together with their doctor.


I hear that I can't apply for Medicaid for five years. Is that right?

Answer: Not necessarily. If you have transferred assets out of your name in the last five years, Medicaid assigns a period of Medicaid ineligibility based on the amount of the transfer. Depending on the transfers that were made, it may not be necessary to wait five years prior to applying for Medicaid benefits.


Is it true that the nursing home resident must sell his or her home?

Answer: Absolutely not. Your homeplace is exempt for Medicaid eligibility purposes. However, at your death, Medicaid can place a lien against your home to reimburse themselves for the cost of paying for your care.


Is the care any different between private pay and Medicaid?

Answer: No.


Do my children have a legal responsibility to support me?

Answer: No.



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