Planning for the Unexpected

Posted Feb 15, 2019 by Bill Alexander

Life can be busy, and the pressures thrown at us are overwhelming. The hardest thing to remember to do is to make time for ourselves. Not only do we need respite time, but we also need time to reassess, organize, and plan. Folks tend to do things the way they’ve always been done without considering if it is still the best way. It is the most difficult thing for people to do, and everyone struggles with this issue. Because life throws pressures at us, circumstances can change unexpectedly. It is important to have a current plan in place to deal with these changes.

This doesn’t just apply to legal planning, but to financial planning, family planning, vacation, or whatever it may be. Sitting down at the beginning of the year to consider what we’re doing and how we can plan better is a good start. Doing so once a quarter will keep us even more organized. Particularly when it comes to legal planning, on average it takes 20 years for people to re-do their legal documents! This should take place much more frequently. Seniors should reassess at least every five years.

Many people may need the help of other resources, even if they do plan. Our monthly seminars are focused on the issue of long-term care, and how to access resources available to many families. Topics covered include Medicaid for nursing care, PACE, Special Assistance, VA Benefits and Medicare. These seminars are a great source of information for families experiencing a crisis, wondering how they will be able to pay for the long-term care of a loved one. We try to give some direction on where they can get help and how. The unfortunate thing is, there is no way for people to learn this information on their own. Our seminars can help families understand how these programs work, how to be eligible, and how to protect assets while receiving the benefits.

Another important aspect of planning has to do with VA benefits. For those who served on active duty during a war period, a long-term care reimbursement program called “Pension” is accessible. There are some prerequisites for eligibility, including an income and asset test. This is a potential benefit for veterans, veterans’ spouses, and their widows or widowers. However, it is important to note that to remain eligible, veterans should not purchase an annuity. Due to changes in the law, which took effect on October 17, 2018, purchasing an annuity will deny benefits for this program. Otherwise, this program can be enough to help people get the care they need, or at least stop the financial bleeding.

If you or your loved have questions about asset protection, or would like to know more about government assistance programs such as Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, or other Special Needs programs, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we are experienced attorneys who offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more here, or call us at (919) 256-7000.