What does long term care planning or asset protection planning involve?
Generally protecting your assets or the assets of a loved one from the threat of long term nursing care (which can cost over $10,000.00 a month in New Jersey) is a process with a beginning, middle, and an end.
The first step is to gather information. At The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC we take a holistic approach to long term care planning. We want more than just financial information, because when we put together an Asset Protection Plan it must accomplish your financial goals and at the same time we want to accomplish the goals you and your loved ones have concerning your lifestyle, the family’s needs and maximizing a client’s health care services.
In the second step, we prepare a detailed asset protection plan in writing. The Plan is a road map that we follow up on with the client. We are responsible for accomplishing each step detailed in the Asset Protection Plan.
In the last step, we apply for and obtain government funded long term care benefits for our client.
How long does asset protection planning take?
The first two steps (as described in Question 1) are completed usually within a month of retaining The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC. How long the third step takes depends entirely on the client’s specific situation. Some clients obtain government funded long term care benefits in a month or less, while other clients may obtain benefits in as much as five years from hiring The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC. Irrespective of how long it takes, The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC will be there to follow through on the plan, adjust the plan according the changes in our client’s situations, until such time as the goal of the plan is met.
How much does this all cost?
Long Term Care planning generally costs about the same as two months in a nursing facility. However, it only costs as little as $500.00 for a client to find out what his or her options are. We offer traditional hourly fees plans and flat fee plans. Generally, the type of fee is based on the fact situation. All clients who will be eligible for Medicaid benefits within a few months of their initial engagement with The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC pay a flat fee. Clients who plan in advance of a crisis, generally, pay hourly fees. The average fee most clients pay is below the cost of two months in a nursing facility.
How do I get a Power of Attorney for my loved one?
The first step in obtaining a power of attorney for another person is to contact The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC. It is important to understand that a person cannot “get” a power of attorney for another person. The person who needs a power of attorney must want to make the power of attorney without any influence from another person. If a lawyer is contacted by a person to obtain a power of attorney for another person, the lawyer must visit the person making the power of attorney and tell him or her that they are free not to use the attorney’s services, and they are also free to make or not make the power of attorney.
Will the nursing facility take my house?
Many people, especially older people, think that nursing facilities can take their homes. This is not the case. At The Grodberg Law Firm, LLC, we enlighten our clients with what we call the fast food analogy of nursing facilities and it is quite simple. Take any thought you had about paying a nursing facility, and pretend you are in a fast food restaurant. If you went to buy a hamburger and the person behind the counter told you that you can buy the hamburger but only if you give your house to the fast food restaurant, what would your response be?
There are of course horror stories about people giving their homes to a nursing facility but here is how that really happens. Assume a person is single and has no relatives. The person owns their house and has some money in the bank. If that person needs long term nursing care, he or she will go to a nursing facility. For the first couple of months the person may be alright because he or she will have the funds to pay the facility. When the money in the bank runs out, the person will have to sell their house. Now imagine how long it will take a person in a nursing facility to have their house cleaned out, put up for sale, and sold without anyone in the world to help. After two years maybe the house will be sold, but by that time, at the rate of $10,000.00 a month, the person will owe the nursing facility $240,000.00 which may be the value of the house. Of course, if that person had known to apply for Medicaid benefits during the time it took to sell the house he or she would not have owed the facility, nor the State of New Jersey, anything and would have had their entire sale proceeds to use for their care.