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HighPoint Law Blog

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mom and Dad Are Failing—What Do I Do Now?

by Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

It starts when you’re home for the holidays. Mom and Dad are happy to see you and the family, but you sense something’s not right. Dad has lost a lot of weight; you find “snowdrifts” of unopened mail piled up on the kitchen table. A warning bell goes off in your head -something’s changed; Mom and Dad are slipping.

So you start “dropping in” on them more often, and you realize they’re struggling to keep up appearances, but their problems are getting more serious. Dad just forgets to eat, and there are unpaid bills in the pile of mail. A host of questions run through your mind:

  • I want to help out, but how can I manage with all my own family and work demands I have?
  • Will they let me help them?
  • Are they going to need a nursing home?
  • Is there a way to avoid that?
  • How much money do they have, can they afford to bring in help at home?

There is hope! A large part of our work at HighPoint Law Offices is with families in this kind of crisis. Having gone through it with my own parents, I can remember the stress of being a caregiver.  One way or another, in every situation we’ve faced, we’ve been able to help the family. Working with people who’ve been where you are gives you more confidence that you can handle the situation.

We can transform a looming financial disaster into a problem that can be solved. We bring legal strategies to bear that preserve assets for Mom & Dad’s quality of life, assets that otherwise would all be spent.

There is a world of difference between the anxieties a family in crisis has when they first meet with us, and the greater sense of confidence, control, and financial security they have once their plan has been put into place. The key to a successful outcome, however, is not so much in the particular legal or financial tools we use - what’s most important is to get time on your side, and not let it become your enemy. It never pays to wait, in situations as serious as these. Waiting costs money, whether paying for care at home or in a facility. But more than that, waiting takes away legal options that would have reduced the financial burden.

It’s also important that you work with advisors, legal and financial, who’ve been down this road before. When it comes to obtaining benefits from the Veterans’ Administration, or Medicaid, the rules are just too complex for someone who’s not experienced in this area. Not only that, but these rules change all the time – so your Elder Law Attorney needs to be working in this area routinely to stay on top of these changes.  


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HighPoint Law Offices assists clients with Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Medicaid Planning and IRA Preservation in Chalfont, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas including Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton Counties.



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