Gainesville Estate Planning Law Blog

A parent is forgetful: Does that mean mental illness is present?

Many Georgia residents are adult children of aging parents. While some are helping their loved ones with long-term care planning issues, others are doing their best to help their mothers or fathers transition to assisted-living facilities. There are also many adult children who are dealing with the ravages of mental illness in the very people who loved and cared for them their whole lives.

A certain degree of mental decline may be expected with age. However, there are numerous issues that may make an older man or woman more prone to certain types of mental illness, such as depression or dementia. Moving from an independent living environment to assisted living is one of those issues.

Where to seek support for long-term care planning issues

Older Georgia residents may currently be facing complicated issues regarding Medicaid, annuities, insurance issues or other elder law problems. When long-term care planning problems arise, elders and adult children who may be trying to help can feel overwhelmed and unsure how to obtain support. Such issues can often have immediate and far-reaching repercussions on nursing home care or other assisted living situations.

A key factor in solving long-term care problems often lies in how well those involved understand the differences between certain issues, such as Medicaid, which is a public program and other private options. Coverage limitations, regulations and costs vary between programs. Just because an elder may not be eligible for one particular program does not necessarily mean he or she is not eligible for another.

Many situations can keep older adults from staying in the home

When it comes to living situations for aging adults, there are usually a variety of options available. In some cases, older adults can remain in their home in their golden years. Typically, in order to do this, retired adults will require support from family members or their community for chores and activities they can no longer perform alone.

For those with minor medical issues or who can no longer maintain a home, it is sometimes beneficial to live with children or other family members. For those with serious medical conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other progressive and degenerative diseases associated with aging, residency in a nursing home may be the only safe option for the future.

Will your nursing home kick you out if your Medicare runs out?

Many Georgia elders are currently implementing their long-term care plans. This often includes paying for nursing home care. A lot of older people run into legal complications regarding Medicare and its qualification process. A ruling was recently handed down on a case in another state that may be of interest to those in this state who are facing similar problems.

This situation occurred when several nursing home patients claimed they were assaulted and robbed outside the facility where they had been residing. The reason they were on the outside outside is because facility administrators evicted them when their Medicare provisions ran out. These people had no means of income and thus, were "kicked to the curb."

Understanding the ABCs of Medicare

Georgia residents who are age 65 or older often encounter challenges related to their estate plans or other long-term care planning issues. Many elders also have trouble understanding the various facets of Medicare, often because the programs change from year to year. In some situations, an older man or woman may suffer an incapacitated condition, necessitating support from a younger, healthier loved one to carry out long-term care plans.  

A brief review of the basic ABCs of the Medicare program can provide helpful information for elders or adult children who are doing their best to help their parents. Hospitalizations under in-patient status are what is mostly covered in Part A of the Medicare program. If a person is listed under observation as opposed to in-patient, Medicare may not cover the cost.  

Learning from your parents' estate planning

You're part of the sandwich generation, thus named because you have young kids of your own and you are also taking care of your elderly parents. No matter where you turn, someone needs help and assistance.

It's not easy. You love your family, but you run into all sorts of challenges. What can you learn from this experience? Can taking care of your parents help you discover some things about your own estate planning tactics?

Estate planning pitfalls Georgia elders will want to avoid

As life expectancy has greatly increased in Georgia and throughout the nation, it is quite possible that an elder may live beyond 90 or 100 years. The estate planning process is a valuable tool for elders who wish to protect their assets and also provide for their own long-term care. There are several issues to keep in mind to avoid some of the most common errors people make when filing the documents of their estate plans.  

Many elders implement living trusts. However, some fail to fund the trust, which can create problems down the line. If the trust is not made the legal owner, assets may ultimately be subject to estate tax and probate. 

Mental illness: What are the signs in the elderly?

As people age, they may experience any number of daily life challenges, from those relating to mobility to cognitive, emotional or other health conditions. Mental health is a main concern for the elderly as well. It is critical to know how recognize signs of mental illness, especially for those who have been tasked with managing long-term care for a parent or other loved one. Georgia residents currently dealing with such issues will want to read this post.  

The most difficult part of diagnosing mental illness in the elderly is that symptoms often mimic those associated with the normal aging process. For instance, it's typical to experience minor memory problems in as one ages. However, there is a difference between occasionally forgetting someone's name or having a tough time recalling the specific date of an event that took place years ago and not being able to remember simple instructions that were just given or always having to ask for help to find one's personal belongings.  

Georgia senior citizens often face these issues

A brief survey of Georgia residents age 65 and older would likely result in similar answers if participants were asked about the benefits and downsides of aging. Some would like say that they are more comfortable in their own skins and do not worry about many things that caused them stress when they were younger. Then again, many may also relate to various challenges senior citizens often encounter, from physical mobility problems to legal issues such as estate planning or long-term care.  

If you are an elder who has an adult child or children helping you plan for your future, they may be a great asset, especially if a time comes when you must transition to assisted living or nursing home care. You may also face problems regarding Medicaid, Medicare or asset protection. Various state or federal laws may have an impact on your situation.  

An "in terrorem" clause could prevent Georgia estate challenges

Protracted probate court battles do not only result from multi million-dollar estates. Smaller estates, even those with carefully laid estate plans in place, could end up subject to contentious and expensive probate proceedings as the result of dissatisfaction on the part of heirs or beneficiaries.

Many different factors can contribute to whether an heir decides to contest a last will or estate plan. Common issues include one heir receiving a larger portion of the estate than others or the remarriage of the deceased leading to a second spouse receiving a significant portion of that person's assets.

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