Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rough Waters


You may have missed this on NBC's nightly news. I am focused like a chicken on a June bug about this now and yesterday after I shared what I've learned about the Aid and Attendance pension, I heard from so many of you that are facing the same things we are with aging parents. This benefit is virtually unknown and has been around for a long time. My father-in-law served his country for 25 years, starting in the Army in WWII and retiring from the Air Force in the 1960's. After retiring he started another career and worked until his late 60's. Even then he had the desire to volunteer and after moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas his love for his country led him back to the military, to the local VA Hospital where he volunteered 17 more years. At 90, he now resides in the Fayetteville  VA nursing home.

It seems like my life these days revolve around parents, the same way I felt when the kids were little and needed us. Sometimes I am very tired when I lay my head down at night. But I have to tell you, I'm learning some valuable information that might just help others who are going though this with parents. 25 years ago when Daddy was in failing health, my Mom struggled to care for him on her own. She found the strength somehow and they had the savings to meet his rising medical bills. That was then, when costs were merely high, not astronomical. Mom's dementia/Alzheimer care has depleted their savings and she is now a Medicaid patient. 6 years of nursing care, all the planning done years ago with a trust and 2 Elder care lawyers guided us through very rough waters.

I'd like to share another link today, to an Elder care lawyers' website. I don't know him, so it's not a recommendation, but his articles on planning are so straightforward and clear that it will help you guide your parents and give you the education that it's taken me years to learn. He explains long term health care insurance (who should buy it as well as who shouldn't), the pro's and con's of Revocable Income trusts and covers the Veterans Aid and Attendance pension in detail. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy; we plan everything else about our lives, but often are sorely unprepared when we reach our senior years. Read and learn at  http://markalbertson.com/.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for the information. This is most timely in my life as well. I hear you when you say laying your head down at night you are very tired.

    I am afraid things are rapidly moving forward or downward whatever you want to say here. It's tough.

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  2. Even though it is too late for my folks. It is time we started some estate planning. I don't want to lose everything we have worked for building our businesses just to lose them b/c of poor planning. Thanks for this.

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  3. Thank you again for this info, I am saving it all. xo

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  4. Hi Joyce, thanks for posting the information and for posting a comment on my elder law blog. Each day I spend most of my day with folks in similar situations to you (I am going through it myself with my father). Hopefully your blog is a source of information and comfort to all who read it.
    Mark Albertson
    www.markalbertson.com

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  5. I am on the other side - but while going through it - was ROUGH!

    sandie

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  6. The financial part is the hardest for most people...care is so expensive! Thank goodness for the va hospital for my dad....we are going to take care of him at home until the end but I feel so bad for the people that don't have anybody. I see so many old men when we go to the hospital that are alone waiting to see the doctor...I just think where are their kids...somebody...anybody. I really don't see how they manage...

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  7. Valuable information, thanks for shraing something so important.

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  8. Hubby and I have been very lax with estate planning. I'm so grateful my Dad had everything taken care of, when he and Mom passed away, or my Sister and I would have been lost in all his financial stuff.

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  9. As one person said, I too am on the other side, this would have been great to know, great post, I'm sure it will help a lot of people.

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  10. you are doing a great service posting this info Joycee.

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  11. Thanks, Joycee, for all this!

    I went to Mark's website and read the information he posted about revocable living trusts. We had one set up several years ago but the attorney we went to failed to change ownership of our assets from us, as individuals, to the trust and this, according to Mark, is a major flaw. I'm going to set about getting this fixed and I am grateful to you and to Mark for this valuable information.

    Old age scares me in that, the only child we have that is really smart and would be able to handle all this easily, is untrustworthy. The one that we trust will need help wading through things.

    I'll be getting our trust re-written and the assets in it's name and then have Spike come over and teach him what he needs to know.

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  12. I know you guys think I'm a broke record on this subject, but regardless of whether you are facing this with parents or planning for yourself, this is valuable information. The information at Mark Albertson's website would cost you in the neighborhood of $2,000 if you consulted with a lawyer. I know this because we have hired two lawyer to help with planning. He is doing such a service by advising us, it's right there in black and white! Illene, the same thing happened to us, the trust was not prepared completely and I ended up finishing the work that needed to be done. An accredited Eldercare lawyer, one with experience can guide you.

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