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Elder Law

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

When Should You Plan For Long-Term Care?

Planning for Long-Term Care Should Be Done A Long Time Before You Need It

52% of all adults over the age of 65 are projected to spend time in a nursing-home or need some other form of long-term care in their lifetime. We work with clients who want to proactively plan for the cost of long-term care without sacrificing their quality of life to pay for it.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 7, 2017

Protect Your Loved Ones From Abuse Online


When you read the title above, what was the age of the person that came to mind? If you are like most people, the first person you thought of was a child. However, older adults are just as vulnerable as children online.  


Financial losses from elder fraud and abuse are estimated to total more than $36 billion per year. More and more of that fraud is happening online.
Read more . . .


Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Known Unknown


“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

-Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

This is the quote that sprang to mind when the Government Accountability Office’s Read more . . .


Monday, September 26, 2016

Increased Demand for Medicaid Lands Sick Children on Waitlist


Q: Can I qualify for Medicaid assistance to keep my medically fragile child at home instead of in a hospital or residential care setting?

When people think of Medicaid planning, they often picture low-income individuals over 65 who need medical assistance or nursing home care. But Medicaid’s medical assistance benefits are not just for the elderly; they are for the disabled, blind, or low-income families and children who qualify for the joint federal-state program. And in one particular NC waiver program some very sick children can qualify for Medicaid help regardless of their family’s income.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Threatened Reform of North Carolina’s Model Medicaid System


Who will be affected by proposed reforms to Medicaid law in North Carolina?

There is no shortage of political jokes, especially in an election year like this one. Politicians and government officials are often blamed for accomplishing nothing or criticized for enacting unpopular legislation. But the most frustrating thing is when a potentially disastrous change is proposed to a system that’s working fine—actually better than fine.

Such is the case with the proposed reform of North Carolina’s Medicaid law. Medicaid provides medical care to the poor, the majority of whom are children.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Elder Abuse on DOJ's Radar


What is the government doing about elder abuse.

Back in May, we reported on the growing problem of elder abuse in all its forms, physical, emotional and financial. Many have termed this the crime of the 21st century, and now elder abuse has become a concern for the federal government. The U.S.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The “Epidemic” of Insufficient Retirement Savings Among Baby Boomers


Will I have enough money to live on after I retire?

If you’re a Baby Boomer facing retirement and aren’t sure if you’ll have enough money to support yourself for the rest of your life once you stop working, you aren’t alone. In fact, even if you think you’ve planned well for retirement, you may have underestimated. No one likes to think about getting older, becoming disabled, or dying, but it’s imperative to have your financial and legal affairs in order before retiring.

Financial experts suggest that retirees will need to replace 70% of their pre-retirement income to live during their retirement. Retirement income sources may include savings, investments, 401(k)s, IRAs, social security benefits, pensions, etc.


Read more . . .


Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Name a Trustee


What are the obligations of a trustee in managing an estate?

A well designed estate plan often requires putting a revocable trust in place which can help to avoid probate and specify how your beneficiaries will receive the assets. Once the trust is established, you will be named as the trustee so that you can continue to manage your assets during your lifetime. However, you will also need to designate a successor trustee who will be tasked with managing your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated or distributing assets to your beneficiaries when pass away.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones from Elder Abuse


Have you ever seen the movie Happy Gilmore? It’s an Adam Sandler comedy about a wannabe hockey player that takes up professional golf in order to make enough money to save his beloved grandmother’s home from foreclosure. While Happy is out playing on the PGA tour, his grandma is placed in a nursing home with a manager that is verbally abusive, and runs a sweatshop in the arts and crafts room.

Elder abuse is such a taboo topic that the comical portrayal of it in Happy Gilmore is one of the only representations of it you will see in pop culture. It is a topic that is swept under the rug and ignored despite its growing frequency.

For example, last year alone, 21 people were convicted for scamming elderly North Carolina residents out of more than $91 million.


Read more . . .


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Avoiding a Family Feud After Your Death


What steps can you take to decrease the risk that your loved ones will fight over your estate?

It happens all too often. A person dies and their children go to war over the estate. One claims she was promised the silver and another stakes a claim for an antique piece of furniture and things spiral out of control.


Read more . . .


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hybrid Long-Term Care Policies

How can I plan for long-term care?

Given the fact that people are living longer, the cost of medical coverage during their older years is a matter for individuals to consider as part of their estate planning. Long-term care for nursing home patients can cost as much as $90,000 per year, according to some estimates so long stays can easily deplete a retiree's estate.

What is a hybrid life insurance policy?

Many individuals have traditionally planned for long-term care by purchasing stand alone insurance policies. However, these plans are expensive and it is common for premium costs to rise. In response to these shortcomings, financial and estate planning professionals are informing their clients of a relatively new option -- hybrid policies. Hybrid policies are essentially universal life insurance policies or fixed annuities that are bundled with coverage for long-term care. These policies provide for medical care by retaining a certain amount of cash which can then be used to pay for long-term care benefits.

For example, in a well-designed hybrid life plan, an individual can pay a single premium of $100,000 and be entitled to $400,000 in payments for long-term care after a certain period. These products not only provide life insurance and long-term care funding, but can also be tapped for other reasons (depending on the circumstances) and passed on to heirs. However, most hybrid plans have "surrender periods" that put the money off limits for a certain number of years and impose a penalty if funds are withdrawn during that time.

Who Can Benefit from Hybrid Polices?

According to the insurance industry group Limra, sales of hybrid insurance products have risen dramatically since 2008 to more than $2.4 billion in 2015. Stand alone long-term policies, on the other hand, account for $300 million in annual sales. Moreover, the number of insurers offering hybrid products is limited because of higher costs associated with these policies.

Hybrid insurance is not for everyone, especially individuals who do not have large assets, because insurance companies get a lot of money upfront, which they hold onto and manage. The surrender fees are designed to make it difficult to withdraw funds. Some advisors recommend these policies for clients with half a million to $2 million dollars in assets. This is because individuals above this threshold may be able to self-fund their long-term care, while those who fall below that asset level may be able to "spend down" their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.

In the final analysis, hybrid plans are complicated and, require the assistance of an attorney with expertise in estate planning and long-term care.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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