The Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area elder law attorneys at Clarity Legal Group® can provide you with invaluable help in planning ahead in case you become incapacitated. If you do not make advanced plans and have the misfortune of becoming unable to take care of yourself or make your own decisions, both you and your family could face dire consequences.
The elder law attorneys at Clarity Legal Group® have the experience necessary to help you make advanced plans so your loved ones will not have to go to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed if you become incapacitated. Your incapacity plan can also protect your assets in important ways so your chance to leave your desired legacy is not put at unnecessary risk.
How Can Durham Elder Law Attorneys Help You Plan for Incapacity?
Our Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area elder law attorneys have experience with Medicaid Planning, long term health care planning, asset protection planning, powers of attorney, family dispute resolution, family agreements, wills, trusts and estates. Our attorneys provide the assistance that you need to address the key issues that arise in the event of incapacity. Clarity Legal Group® attorneys can help you by:
- Assisting with the creation of advanced directives: If you become incapacitated, you will be unable to consent to receive medical care and unable to decline care that you would prefer not to receive. If you have created advanced directives, your wishes and preferences will be known to your doctor and your close family members so you won’t receive care you would prefer to avoid or be denied care that you would prefer to receive. Advanced directives like naming a healthcare proxy and creating a living will can spare your family the pain of having to make difficult choices such as the choice to remove life-sustaining medical devices.
- Helping you to create a power of attorney: Upon your incapacity, someone will need to make decisions and manage your assets for you if you become unable to form or express preferences. If you have made a power of attorney, you can name an agent who will step in to make decisions on your behalf. This allows you to ensure you have chosen a person who you can count on to make decisions that would be in accordance with your values and that will protect your wealth. If you have no power of attorney or other incapacity plan in place, your loved ones will need to go to court to get a guardian or conservator appointed and this can be stressful. The court may also end up appointing a different person than you would have preferred be put in charge of making decisions on your behalf.
- Assisting with the creation of a living trust: A living trust can allow you to put certain assets that you wish to protect into a trust and name a backup trustee who will manage those trust assets when you no longer can. Not only does a living trust ensure a trustee of your choosing has immediate authority to manage trust assets, but the assets held within the trust will also pass more quickly on to heirs or beneficiaries when you pass away. This can be very helpful for family members who may be counting on an inheritance and who may not want to wait to receive their inherited assets through a lengthy probate process.
- Helping you to create a Medicaid plan: If you become incapacitated and need to move to a nursing home care facility or receive long-term care at home because you can’t care for yourself any longer, this care is very expensive. Typically, the only way to pay for this type of care is from long term care insurance, your bank account, or through Medicaid. Many people do not understand until the last minute that Medicare does not cover long term skilled nursing care. Most types of care that incapacitated people need is not covered by Medicare or other private insurers, so unless you qualify for Medicaid, paying privately could be your only option. Medicaid is means-tested so you need to have a Medicaid plan in place to avoid having to spend all of your wealth before getting covered.
Whatever your situation, there is always something which can be done. Do not assume that just because it is the last minute, and you or a family member faces a long term nursing need very soon, that there is nothing to do. Also remember that the administration and implementation of Medicaid differs significantly from state to state. What worked for a friend in another state may not work in North Carolina and what was impossible elsewhere may be possible here.
Whatever you do, do not make your Medicaid application until after you have first consulted with attorneys experienced in this area. Our team of attorneys at Clarity Legal Group® would be happy to help you.
There may also be additional steps that you need to take in case of incapacity, depending upon your situation. For example, small business owners may need to create a business succession plan to ensure that control of their company can seamlessly transfer upon incapacity.
Getting Help from Durham Elder Law Attorneys
The Durham elder law attorneys at Clarity Legal Group® can help you throughout the process of making an incapacity plan. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call at 919-484-0012 or contact us online today.