In September we celebrate both Grandparents Day and National Assisted Living week. In honor of the elder members of our society, we encourage everybody to take a step back and appreciate all that our senior community members provide in terms of experience and wisdom. We also encourage you to take this time to evaluate your (or your loved one’s) current legal and estate plan status.
Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans do not even have a basic last will and testament in place? This can cause a lot of problems when an individual without a will dies. Dying without a will is dying “intestate,” and this means that the state ends up in control of the deceased person's estate, rather than his or her heirs.
Even more disturbing, nearly 30% of nursing home residents reported experiencing physical abuse in a nursing home, per the National Center for Victims of Crime. Keep in mind that this is only outright physical abuse from staff perpetrated on patients (this does not include situations of neglect or patient-on-patient encounters), and that abuse in general is massively underreported. The elderly are some of our most vulnerable citizens, and we must protect them from the unscrupulous looking to take advantage.
Protecting our elderly
It is important for the elderly to have adequate legal and financial protection, particularly if they are in need of assistance with day-to-day tasks. With a proper elder care team in place, you can ensure that your (or your loved one’s) golden years are safe and secure.
Particularly if you are looking into assisted living facilities and are a resident of the State of California, understanding the provisions that Medi-Cal provides is paramount. Proper understanding and provisioning of and for Medi-Cal can help provide a comfortable and well-supported retirement.
If you are a Veteran of the armed forces (or are a Veteran’s spouse), you might be eligible for VA benefits, which can help you pay for long-term care expenses. Even if you are not a Veteran nor associated with one, having a plan in place for long-term care benefits seniors of all incomes and current health statuses.
Finally, with elder abuse and neglect so sadly prevalent, understanding the signs of and ways to prevent elder abuse is vital for our elderly population’s safety, well-being and happiness.
Preparing your estate
Now is a good time to take a look at your current estate plan and see if it fits your needs. Depending on your assets, you may wish to create a new will or even living trusts. With the right guidance, you can ensure that your assets get to your chosen beneficiaries in a quick and tax-efficient manner.
With proper planning, it is possible to use trusts to avoid probate and even estate taxes in some circumstances. Every estate is different and deserves personal attention. This way, you and your heirs can rest easy knowing that your family wealth remains protected.
Our elderly community members have much to offer in terms of their wisdom and experience, resulting from years of hard work. Contact us today at AmeriEstate to learn more about how we can help protect everybody and their financial interests.