When making the often difficult decision about selecting a residential care facility for a loved one, we usually focus on the facilities amenities and the level of care provided to their residents when determining the best place for our loved one.
However, there is a major consideration that can often be overlooked:
- Whether or not anything can be done to protect your loved one’s assets; and
- How to ensure that family members will not be held personally responsible for any payments to that facility on behalf of their loved one.
It is a false assumption that residential care facility contracts (also known as residential care agreements) are made to protect the resident. These very complex agreements are more often written to protect and benefit the facility.
Unfortunately, families are often faced with having to choose a residential care facility for their loved one under pressure, such as after a medical crisis.
Often, the families are vulnerable and focused only on making sure their loved one is cared for which could result in overlooking loopholes and complexities contained in the residential care agreement. This is why it is important to have an experienced elder law attorney review any contract proposed by a residential care facility. Upon review, the attorney can advise the resident of their legal rights, discuss any potential risks, and even negotiate terms on your behalf with the facility.
In addition, if your loved one may eventually need Medicaid eligibility to pay for the cost of residential care, the attorney can educate the family about the Medicaid program and outline whether or not assets can be preserved as well as guide the family through the eligibility process.
Like most things in life, pre-planning allows us to create a safe and solid path for our intentions. In this case, planning for residential care in advance of needing it is the safest way to ensure your loved one is taken care of and protected.
Planning should include the preparation of legal documents or updating existing legal documents, such as a durable financial power of attorney and an advanced medical directive. These documents solidify your loved one’s wishes and directives for medical care and the handling of financial affairs, such as paying bills or executing contracts.
To discuss the benefits of this type of trust and other ways to protect your loved ones and yourself from falling prey to unforeseen costs and legalities, please schedule a consultation with one of our experienced elder law attorneys.
To learn more and schedule a consultation, reach out to us at 856.782.8450 or [email protected].