Life Becomes More Complicated, a column authored by Attorney Mikael Hooker, is a wealth of information. He covers everything from living wills to nursing home costs. We are happy to provide copies of his articles here.

 

Estate planning: You need three basic documents: Will, Power of Attorney (POA) and Health Care Proxy (HCP).The POA is often more important than the Will. It gives power over your finances in the event you are disabled.

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What happens when an elder reaches the point where he or she can no longer live independently and be safe at home? Must he/she move in with a son or daughter or vice versa? What if that is not feasible? What options exist to provide in-home support so the elder can “age in place”?

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Who pays for in-home care when an elder has no long term care insurance and insufficient assets to pay out of pocket? Medicare only covers skilled care and is not the answer. While some benefits exist under the VA Aid and Attendance program, the program is helpful to a point, but certainly not the cavalry to the rescue.

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A well-crafted estate plan considers the possibility that you or your spouse may not simply die, but might become incapacitated late in life and need long term care. Who would pay for such care? The federal government under Medicare? Generally not. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Medicaid/Masshealth?

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If you have read my prior columns you know that there are three essential documents a person for the bare minimum estate plan: a will, a power of attorney and a health care proxy.

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