It was late when the phone rang, but Eric knew from the tone of his father’s voice that the news was not good.

“What is it, Dad?” Eric asked, afraid to hear the answer.

“Eric, I’ve had a car accident. I’m fine, but there is some damage.”

“Dad! That’s your 3rd accident in two months!” Eric blurted out, immediately wishing he could take it back. After a few more minutes of conversation, Eric assured his Dad he would come over in the morning to take a look.

Now wide awake, Eric thought it might be time for his father to get off the road. It was a tough situation. Dad still wanted and deserved his freedom, but now he was getting lost, getting side-swiped and even putting others in danger.

The next morning, Eric called a friend for guidance. She suggested that Eric learn more about senior driving options and to begin by familiarizing himself with elder laws in Missouri, where he lived. After some searching, Eric learned that elder law is the process of educating and presenting planning options that apply to a senior’s unique problems. Elder law planning can involve qualifying a client for government benefits to help them pay for long term care, such as benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help offset some of the costs of care, or arranging one’s affairs so that Medicaid can help pay for a nursing home stay.

Because he didn’t know much about government benefits for seniors, Eric was glad to learn that Medicaid and VA planning involve working with the laws to set aside assets to help pay for nursing home care, and to pay for things not covered by Medicaid such as caregivers, hearing aids, beauty shop visits, televisions, clothes, shoes, and other personal items, while at the same time preserving as much as possible for the person’s spouse and children.

“What a relief”, he thought.

Reading this information, however, helped Eric see that he had many important decisions ahead of him related to caring for his father. How would he manage them all?

The website offered encouragement, explaining further that elder law strategies often involve implementing advanced estate planning techniques, such as expanded Durable Power of Attorney documents, specialized Wills, and Irrevocable Asset Protection Trusts, and that the implementation of each of these strategies can effect potential benefits from each government program which may be helpful to you and your loved ones.

Now Eric understood that he wasn’t alone. Firms such as Quinn Estate & Elder Law could help him and his aging father to make the best decisions about the future. It was foolish to wait for his Dad to have a real health care crisis, because planning ahead meant Dad could be involved in all decisions, making the situation less stressful for both of them.

If you are caring for an aging parent and need help understanding elder law, please call Quinn Estate & Elder Law at 636-428-3344 to discuss a customized solution to fit your goals.