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October 2018 Archives

What is the look back period for Medicaid eligibility?

Why is Medicaid/Medical Assistance Planning important? As we age, we may reach a point where it becomes difficult to care for ourselves. If so, it may be necessary to consider a nursing home. Affording a nursing home can be difficult. Unfortunately, many elderly people may need to become a resident of one temporarily or even permanently. Without proper planning, nursing home care can cut into one's savings, retirement funds and loved ones' inheritances. Pennsylvania residents might be under the impression that they can finance nursing home care through Medicaid, which may be true but is often complicated.

What is probate?

Probate - what is it? Much has been said on the Pittsburgh Elder Law Blog about the importance of creating a valid Will. Probate is the process through which the decedent's Last Will and Testament is filed of record with the Register of Wills office and authenticated. If the Will has been witnessed, usually by two (2) people, the witnesses may have to come in to authenticate the decedent's signature or to sign Affidavits and have them notarized. However, if the Will has been notarized, it is "self-proving," which means that the witnesses do not have to appear or execute Affidavits. Letters Testamentary are then issued by the Register of Wills to the Executor or Executrix named in the Last Will and Testament.

Healthcare proxies explained

Adulthood comes with decision-making. There comes a time in one's life when they are unable to make financial decisions or important medical ones for themselves. While many think this can only happen in old age, when an elderly person begins to slow down cognitively, this is not always the case-a sudden car accident can leave accident victims unable to make essential end-of-life decisions. In these instances, it is possible to create a power of attorney that delegates the power to make financial and medical decisions to someone else. In Pennsylvania, it is possible to combine a healthcare power of attorney with a living will in a healthcare proxy.

Spend downs can help you qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid/Medicaid Assistance planning may involve the spend down of cash and assets to qualify for eligibility. Pennsylvania residents trying to figure out how they will afford nursing home care may find themselves trying to figure out how their funds can be reduced. This is known as a 'spend down'.

What are the chances of needing a nursing home in old age?

Why is Long Term Care Planning important? As difficult as it may be to accept, there is a very real probability that many Pennsylvania residents, like their elderly counterparts across the country, will need to spend some time in a nursing home. About 14% of all people over the age of 64 have at least two chronic conditions that prevent them from living on their own. Five percent of people over the age of 65 will live in a nursing home or assisted living, and 25 percent of them will at least spend some time in a facility. Over the age of 65, the chances of staying in a nursing home increase 1.4% annually. Fifty percent of those above the age of 94 will be living in a nursing home.

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