Long-Term Care Planning
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Long-Term Care Planning Lawyers in Barrington IL

Experienced Elder Law Attorneys Serving Algonquin, Barrington Hills, Inverness, and Across the Area

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), who provides regulatory services at the state level, there are roughly 1,200 long-term care (LTC) facilities with 110,000 beds currently located in the state. At some point in life, we all may have a potential need for LTC; therefore, it is worth gaining an understanding of the factors involved and establishing a plan. The legal team at Lucas Law has been assisting clients for over 25 years in creating customized strategies relating to LTC, often as a component of their overall estate plan.

Defining Long-Term Care

The IDPH defines these sites as homes, county homes, buildings, or institutions, for the ailing and/or chronically ill that operate as either a for-profit or not. They may provide personal, nursing, or sheltered care; and they are also found within the IL Veteran Affairs Department. The Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA) has established the different types of care as follows:

• Skilled Nursing Care Facility (SNF)
• Intermediate Care Facility (ICF)
• Sheltered Care Facility (SC)
• Veterans' Home

The Importance of Preparation

Your options and plan should be reviewed periodically with help from an experienced attorney. In the event of an unexpected medical calamity, you and/or your family should be prepared. You are at a substantial disadvantage at that time if no such plan exists, or if the plans were last reviewed 15 years ago, when family and economic conditions may have been drastically different. Those who failed to prepare are often heard expressing thoughts such as "the nursing home is going to consume the value of my home and assets".

Illinois' Recognition of a Problem

The General Assembly acknowledged the existence of a severe financial problem involving LTC. Most individuals and their families are unable to absorb the financial cost of LTC services. Most of those in lower to middle income households facing LTC needs must liquidate all their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, which is the largest single funding source in the country. Unfortunately, Medicare does not sufficiently cover LTC expenses. The IL Long-Term Care Partnership Program was implemented to fulfill the following goals:

  • Create incentives for citizens to insure their own potential needs for LTC
  • Allow for Medicaid eligibility without having to deplete all available assets to qualify
  • Support availability of affordable LTC counseling services
  • Encourage individuals and the marketplace to develop private LTC funding solutions, rather than state dependency.

Potential Elements of LTC Planning

Everyone has a unique set of circumstances, which require determination of the best individual options for you. Life Estate Deeds (LED) may be an option for real estate owners, allowing property transfer to someone who assumes ownership after your passing. Similar to LEDs, Irrevocable Trusts transfer assets to allow for Medicaid qualification, but work with assets beyond just real estate. Providing gifts to family members is a common strategy, but has limitations based on tax consequences. Trusts can be established to facilitate transfers to children, and married individuals may benefit from spousal transfers in many cases.

For three decades, Lucas Law has been advising clients on effective long-term care planning solutions. If you have yet to establish a plan, call 847-381-8700 to speak with one of our lawyers today. You can also contact us online. From our Barrington, Illinois office, we serve clients in Inverness, Algonquin, Palatine, Cary, and all throughout the area.

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