The elder law lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. work tirelessly to protect the rights of loved ones of advanced ages. It is all too common for unscrupulous individuals and corporations to take undue advantage of those who are of limited capacity due to advanced age.
Likewise, our state and federal governments are likely to require our elders to spend down their hard-earned life savings to pay for care and treatment that is supposed to be covered by government programs. Our elders are to be revered not exploited and the Illinois Department on Aging describes elder rights. Let the skilled elder law lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. fight for the legal rights that our elders so richly deserve.
Please call our office today to schedule a free consultation with an Illinois elder law attorney who can answer questions and provide personalized details. You can also read on for a description of some of the topics in this legal practice area.
However, there is another very critical component to Illinois estate planning: Addressing incapacity. If you are unable to make decisions because of a medical condition, there is no one to act on your behalf. Your loved ones would need to go to court and request that a guardian is appointed to manage your medical care and assets. The process can be time-consuming and costly, but there are alternatives that reduce the hassles for family members. The Illinois elder law attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. can advise you on:
Power of Attorney for Health Care
By executing this document, you name someone as your agent for medical purposes. Your agent can consent to treatment, apply for benefits, work outplacement in an assisted living facility, and take on many other tasks. You will also be able to include instructions on what types of care you do or do not want, including life-prolonging treatment in the event of a terminal illness.
Power of Attorney for Property
This document works in a similar fashion, except that the subject is your real estate and personal property. You will name an agent who has the power to manage your assets, just as you would if you had the capacity. Unless there is someone to take on these duties via a power of attorney, your property is subject to waste, deterioration, and destruction.
Long-Term Care Considerations
Many people underestimate the costs of long-term care, so some figures may be shocking. The average monthly cost of an assisted living facility in Illinois is almost $4,600, though this could vary significantly based upon the level of care necessary. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care, and the premiums for long-term care insurance can be astronomical.
Another option for paying for long-term care is Medicaid, but you may be aware that this is a needs-based program: You may not qualify if your income and/or assets are above a certain threshold. There is the temptation to sell off or give away assets to gain eligibility, but Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) anticipate this move. Any transfers for less than fair market value within 5 years before applying for Medicaid are subject to the “lookback” rule, making you ineligible for benefits.
However, with proper planning, it is possible to protect your assets and take advantage of programs to support long-term care costs. Our Illinois elder law attorneys at Bruning & Associates P.C. can explain options that may be available based upon your personal and family circumstances, such as Medicare trusts, gifting, personal care agreements, and many others.
Elder Exploitation and Abuse
Keep in mind that you may be in the position to identify and take action in the presence of mistreatment, since the elderly may suffer from memory issues and other weaknesses. Get in touch with Bruning & Associates, P.C. immediately if you have concerns about:
- Physical injuries
- Failures with necessary medications
- Unexplained charges or withdrawals from accounts
- Changes to estate planning documents
- Signs of neglect, including a lack of personal hygiene
- Dirty living conditions and bed linens
You Can Rely on Our Illinois Elder Law Attorneys to Advise You
Bruning & Associates P.C. has offices conveniently located near you in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake, Illinois. Please contact one of our Illinois elder law lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. for a free elder law consultation.
Serving elder Law clients in Northern Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, McHenry County, Lake County, Will County, Boone County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, LaSalle County, and Winnebago County.