Collin County Living Well Magazine November/December 2017 - Page 23

A Holiday Heart-to-Heart D By Leu & Peirce, PLLC uring the holiday season, we are reminded that the gifts we cherish the most don’t come wrapped in a box. Rather, it is the time we spend with loved ones that makes the greatest present of all. As you cel- ebrate the holidays with friends and family, sit down with the seniors in your life to discuss their plans for the future. There is more to planning for the future than just an estate plan, and informing your loved ones about Elder Law topics will put them in control and give them peace of mind. After all, Elder Law is first and foremost about empowering seniors. Elder Law is not a new type of law, but it is a relatively new way to bring sev- eral areas of law together to benefit a particular group of people––older adults. Elder Law services enable you to make your own choices and deci- sions about managing life as you age. Everyone wants to have some control over the future, and Elder Law helps you do just that. The main areas of Elder Law include planning for your living arrangements, financial well-be- ing, healthcare options, and ultimate disposition of assets. Helping seniors learn about these Elder Law issues may be the most valuable gift you give this year. Opening a conversation about aging and care can be overwhelming. Consid- er starting with these important topics: Housing – No one knows exactly what the future holds, but the key to feeling secure is to keep all of your op- tions open. There are a wide range of living arrangements for seniors, from retirement communities to assisted liv- ing facilities to skilled nursing facilities. Some people want to stay in their own homes as long as possible and bring in outside help to make that possible. Others want the freedom from home maintenance that a senior residence community offers. Elder Law services can help you weigh all the options and make sure you have the right plans in place for the future. Finances – Money matters can be especially complex for seniors. It’s important to plan carefully and pre- serve your assets for when you need them most. Will your Social Security, pension, or other retirement fund be enough to pay all of your expenses? Will you be eligible for public benefits such as Medicaid or Veterans ben- efits? Have you designated individuals to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters through a proper Dura- ble Power of Attorney so your finances can be protected if you cannot act for yourself? Elder Law encompasses all of these decisions within the context of planning for long-term care. Health – Healthcare in the United States has become one of the most confusing and uncertain issues we face. If you have private insurance that covers medical expenses or long-term care, you need to be sure that chang- ing laws and regulations won’t affect your coverage. If you rely on Medi- care and a Medicare supplement or, alternatively, a Medicare advantage plan to pay your healthcare costs, do you know what your benefits will cover when you need them? Elder Law includes these issues, and can help you outline your wishes for health de- cisions through a Medical Power of At- torney and Advance Directives. Disposition of Assets – Elder Law includes estate planning issues such as wills, trusts, special needs trusts, and property transfers. As time 76W2@6&7V7F6W26vRB2gFVV2ЦW76'FR6vW2FW"0F6G&FRF76FbW"2Ч6WG2GW&rW"ƖfWFRBgFW"P72gW'FW"FWVFrWFRvbЦW&VB&VVfG2f"v6R&PVƖv&R6vW2&RVVFVBFV7W&RW"rFW&FW6&W2&RWBVFW"r66FW'2FR'F6R`rF&W6W'fR76WG2BЧFVƖv&ƗGf"V&Ɩ2&VVfG22F2ƖF6V6&6W266FW"frV'BFֆV'BvFW"fVBW2&WBFW6R'F@VFW"r77VW2FRV6Rb֖@f"W"f֖ǒv&RFRvgBF@VW2vfrf"V'2F6R&WRW&V&6RW&V6BW&6fW&&RVFW"rGF&W2vFWRbV&6R2FW6&R&V6VBBs"ӓb#SC4Ĕ4TEƗfrvVvRdT$U"DT4T$U"#p#