qualified elder law attorney in Fort Wayne that puts you at ease can be difficult. At Boeglin, Gerardot and Grubbs, we know that
caring for your aged loved ones can entail more of a challenge than you can take on alone. With all of the professional choices for elderly care in Fort Wayne, having a good handle on
your rights and legal options may help give you a little more peace of mind. Elder law is one
term used to designate an area of legal practice focusing on matters affecting the elderly. The usual specialties that pertain to elder law include Medicaid,
guardianship, living wills, and medical power of attorney.
Medicare offers only limited coverage for nursing home facilities. Such coverage applies when the
patient requires skilled nursing home services immediately after hospital care. If
the purpose of a nursing home stay is custodial care and not skilled nursing services, Medicare will not pay
for the stay. Custodial
care assists with daily living.
Daily living activities consist of
walking, dressing, and eating. A doctor may recommend these services, but a doctor’s order is not required for nursing home admission to receive custodial care.
may pay for a stay at a nursing home not
covered by Medicare. To qualify for
Medicaid paying nursing home expenses, an individual must fill out an
application. Medicaid will
pay nursing home expenses for low-income individuals,
but eligibility guidelines are complex and vary widely depending on the state in which the applicant files for coverage.
Regardless of which state, qualification usually reflects the applicant’s income, assets, and marital status. Planning years prior to the actual need for custodial nursing care almost certainly assures a wider range of options and more accommodating benefits. Creating trusts and funding a retirement
savings account are some of the options you have.
also known as conservatorship, is a judicial process that appoints a guardian for an adult, often
elderly, that has become incapacitated. Courts typically appoint a guardian when a physical or mental condition prevents an adult from making his or her own decisions. Guardianships are
only required when an individual is incapacitated and are concluded when the
longer needs the guardian to help him or her make decisions. For example,
a medical condition may render an adult temporarily unable to make
medical decisions or manage their financial affairs. In such circumstances, the guardian’s court-ordered authority ends when the court orders it to when the individual recovers enough
to make medical decisions and
manage their affairs again. Often unplanned,
guardianships usually arise
when an elderly person suffers an injury or becomes mentally unable to make decisions. To avoid unplanned court-ordered
guardianships, careful planning is advised. Individuals who sign medical powers of attorney (or healthcare directives), durable powers of attorney and living wills can choose who will act for them and remove
the fees of a judicially appointed guardian.
specify an individual’s
wishes pertaining to medical treatment should they become unable to state these wishes with healthcare providers and family
members. Sometimes living wills are called advance directives. They have validity in all 50 states, allowing a person to declare that they want a natural death
without the use of artificial means to prolong life. Living wills also cover a patient’s desire for
or disallowance of artificial feeding and hydration. By
law, physicians and healthcare providers have no choice but to comply with an
individual’s living will.
Power of Attorney (Healthcare Directive)
A living will is a declaration about an individual’s desire to allow or not to allow extraordinary medical treatment or artificial feedings should that person find
himself or herself in a terminal situation. Another resource
that can assist a patient when they’re not able to communicate with their healthcare providers is a medical
power of attorney, also referred to as a healthcare
directive, a healthcare proxy, a healthcare surrogate, or a healthcare
representative. Medical powers of attorney are valid everywhere in the United States. They allow someone to appoint someone else to make medical decisions for them when they’re unable
to act for themselves. Individuals may appoint a single
decision maker, an alternate, in case an appointee becomes
unavailable, or multiple decision makers, requiring them to act together. Advance planning and healthcare directives are quite helpful and often
eliminate the need for guardianship proceedings.