The Elrod Firm

Ask The Pros

Relevant answers to the most common questions about estate planning and elder law.

Long-Term Care Planning

I Created a Trust—Now Am I Protected?

Justin, I recently worked with an attorney to create an estate plan centered on a trust. Can I relax? Am I protected now?

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Estate Planning

Why Is This So Frustrating?

Justin, I’m trying to close out my father’s bank account, but the bank won’t let me. I’m getting really frustrated—can you help?

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Tax Considerations

Did I Mess Up Our Tax Returns?

Justin, I just filed my father’s taxes and my own. After I sent in both returns, I stressed out that I might have left out something important. Last year my father gave me $30,000, but I didn’t include that on my return. Have I messed up?

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Long-Term Care Planning

Are The Stories True?

Justin, My mother is in a nursing home for rehab right now, but the staff is confident that she’ll stay for long-term care when rehab ends. To say my dad is worried is an understatement. He’s extremely concerned about being apart from mom, but he’s also in a panic about money. He was told they’d have to private pay until they’re broke before they can expect any financial help. What should I tell him?

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Medicaid Benefits

Should I Be Worried About Medicaid Reevaluation?

Justin, I helped my mother get Medicaid coverage for her assisted living facility about a year ago. It was a long and confusing process, but when we finally received the approval notice I thought it was over. To my surprise, last week we received a notice that she was up for reevaluation. Should I be worried she could lose her coverage?

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Veterans Benefits

What Went Wrong?

Justin, My father filed for VA Aid and Attendance benefits six months ago.  After waiting all that time, all he got was a confusing denial.  The letter he received referenced old accounts he no longer has and interest income that was generated by those accounts.  What could have gone wrong?

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Asset Protection

Is It Too Late To Protect Assets From Nursing Home Costs?

Justin, My mom has been living in a nursing home for the last half year, and she is depleting her savings at an alarming rate.   In six months she has spent over $35,000 on nursing home costs, and the spending is causing her tremendous anxiety.  She and my late father never spent a dime on themselves, and they saved all their lives.  Mom feels helpless now that her savings is getting eaten up so quickly.  Is it too late for her to hire an attorney to try to protect her home and savings?

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Estate Planning

What Exactly Is Elder Law?

Justin, I read your column every week, and I feel like I’ve learned so much.  Thank you!  You keep saying that your law firm practices Elder Law.  What exactly is Elder Law?

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Estate Planning

Can You Give Me Some Direction?

Justin, I want to get my affairs in order, but I’m not sure where to start. I did a will many years ago, but it’s outdated now. I considered deeding my home to my children to keep it out of probate, but my accountant advised against it. It seems like there is a lot to think about, but I don’t know all the right questions to ask much less all the answers. Can you point me in the right direction?

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Long-Term Care Planning

Is There Any Hope?

Justin, My mom has been a resident in a nursing home for almost a year now. We’ve spent about $60,000 on her care so far. As strange as this may sound, she’s doing fairly well at the nursing home, so this could go on for a long time. She owns her home and has some assets available to cover the costs for a while, but she’ll run out eventually. Is there anything we can do to be ready for when she’s out of money?

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