At Swendson Hentz Ltd., we help our elderly clients with long-term care planning. We can help you:
- Develop a long-term plan
- Understand the Medicare benefits that are available.
- Explain if/how you qualify for Title 19 payments.
- Review your options with you including long-term care insurance.
- Review your estate plan & discuss the use of a revocable living trust
We listen to your goals and help you create a long-term plan. By planning for a possible decline in health, you will reduce the burden on your family. Often, we help our clients with the following goals:
- To remain in their home as long as possible.
- To go into an assisted living and avoid a nursing home.
- To make plans if one spouse needs long term care.
The number one mistake is not planning early enough. The earlier you plan, the better the result.
How We Help Facilitate Elder Law
Many individuals over the age of 65 will eventually need long-term care, which is very expensive. Medicaid is a federal-state program that provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including those who are 65 or older or disabled.
We can help you structure your financial resources and prepare documentation to give you the best odds of being accepted into the Medicaid program. Medicaid eligibility is very complex and the rules change frequently. In addition, we can help you preserve your assets by creating a trust, managing asset transfers, and/or converting countable assets into exempt assets. In the event your spouse requires long-term care, we can help you craft a plan to ensure that you have adequate income and resources to continue to live independently.
Let us help you navigate these complexities, analyze, plan, and apply for Medicaid and/or other public benefit programs.
Special Needs Planning
If an individual is receiving public benefits, we can create Special Needs Trusts through Wispact, Life Navigators, or independently. Special Needs Trusts helps you maximize your finances while remaining eligible for Medicaid benefits. A Special Needs Trust enables an elderly person to have things above and beyond what is covered by Medicaid. While Medicaid continues to pay for room and board, funds from the trust can be used to purchase extra care, clothing, diapers, magazines, television, toiletries, durable medical equipment, funeral arrangements, etc. Without the Special Needs Trust, the elderly person can have no more than $2,000 in total assets and average monthly allowance of $30.
Guardianship is a process in which rights are taken away from an individual (a Ward) based on their incapacity. Often times, guardianship is appointed by a court when an adult has been found to have functional impairments in decision-making or communication and is no longer able to care for himself or herself.
In Wisconsin, there are two primary kinds of guardians – the guardian of the estate & guardian of the person:
- The Guardian of the Estate manages the ward’s financial affairs including paying bills, buying or selling property, bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the Ward, etc.
- The Guardian of the Person ensures the Ward’s day to day needs are being met appropriately. This guardian determines the appropriate level of care as well as provides transportation, support, and makes the Ward’s life as fulfilling as possible. The Guardian of the Person has the ability to place the Ward in a nursing home settings to ensure the Ward is receiving the type of care they require based on their condition.
The best way to avoid the need for a Guardian of the Person is to have a valid Medical Power of Attorney in place prior to the Ward losing capacity to complete estate planning documents. Contact us while your elderly loved one still has the capability, so that we can try to execute important estate planning documents before the individual loses their capacity to do so.
Elders at Risk
An Elder at Risk as an individual 60 or older who has or is experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. Wisconsin law requires individuals who work in certain professions to report elder and adult-at-risk abuse and neglect. If your elderly loved one has suffered from elderly abuse, we can help you understand their rights, advocate on their behalf, and remedy the situation.
Elder Law Resources
Thanks to the patient guidance of Swendson Hentz my mother got the care and support she needed as she struggled with dementia.