Did you know there are financial assistance programs available to veterans who need assisted living care? Our veterans made numerous sacrifices to uphold the freedom we enjoy today while their families kept the home fires burning. They are entitled to many benefits in appreciation for all they endured for America.Veterans benefits for senior living are available for qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses, as long as the veteran served at least 90 days of active duty, including at least one day during a wartime period, and received an honorable or general discharge.Veterans Aid and Attendance for assisted living careOffered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Aid and Attendance is a monthly pension benefit that can help cover the costs of assisted living care. It is available for wartime veterans and their spouses who have limited income and require the regular attendance of a caregiver.Aid and Attendance is designed for individuals who need assistance from another person to complete everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and assistance with other daily activities. A veterans need for this benefit does not need to be the result of their military service.Funds received from Aid and Attendance benefits can offer a monthly benefit to help pay for assisted living and long-term care for a qualifying veteran and their spouse. The actual monthly benefit is determined by the veterans assets, income and medical expenses and conditions.Contact your local county Veterans Services office with questions on how to apply by visiting www.benefits.va.gov/vso.MedicareMedicare will pay for short-term care at nursing and rehabilitation facilities for seniors who need these services after an illness or injury that requires hospitalization. Medicare does not cover the cost for assisted living, home care or other senior living services.Long-Term Care BenefitsThe Veterans Administration provides both short- and long-term care in skilled nursing settings for veterans who cannot care for themselves. This benefit does not cover assisted living or home care.Housebound BenefitsVeterans confined to their homes and requiring assisted living care may be best suited to receive Housebound benefits. This program provides an increased monthly pension amount for those confined to their home due to a permanent disability.Applying for BenefitsThe Veterans Administration has regional offices that provide Veteran Service Organization representatives who may be able to answer simple questions about assisted living benefits, as well as provide free, basic advice on the application process.Many veterans seeking advice on applying for assisted living benefits hire a qualified attorney accredited by the VA or an accredited claims agent, who has passed a written exam about VA laws and procedures.The application process for assisted living benefits is often very lengthy. It is important to be thorough when completing the application and have all required documentation gathered and ready to submit.There are additional financial options to pay for assisted living care for individuals who do not qualify for veterans benefit. Click to find out more about financial options for senior living.Country Meadows offers affordable assisted living or personal care on its nine campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland. Our friendly co-workers are always available to help! Contact us today for more information.
One of the first questions many clients ask is whether they need a trust. Its a great question, but it leads to another: What do you want your plan to accomplish? Lets begin with a brief discussion of what trusts are and how they work. Then well explore their benefits, which should give you a better idea of whether a trust is right for you and your family.What is a Revocable Living Trust?There are many different types of trusts and they can accomplish a wide range of goals. However, when most people think about trusts, the one they have in mind is a Revocable Living Trust.A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that allows the grantor (the person who creates the trust) to take personal assets and transfer them to the ownership of the trust. While the trust technically owns the assets, the grantor can continue to use them as he or she normally would.When a Revocable Living Trust is established, the grantor names a trustee to manage the assets in the trust during the grantors lifetime. Most grantors name themselves as trustee, giving them complete control over the trusts assets. Typically, a successor trustee is also named to take over management of the trust and distribute trust assets after the grantor passes away.What are the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?One of the primary benefits of a Revocable Living Trust is that it enables assets held in the trust to avoid probate after the grantors death. This allows trust assets to be distributed to heirs quickly. The costs associated with probating the estate are also avoided. In addition, a Revocable Living Trust protects the privacy of the grantor (and beneficiaries) because the trusts provisions are confidential. A Last Will and Testament, on the other hand, is a matter of public record. Anyone can access information about the decedents assets, creditors, debts, and more.Another benefit of Revocable Living Trusts is they not only allow the grantor to control trust assets during life but also after he or she passes away. The grantor can stipulate when, how, and under what circumstances the successor trustee is authorized to distribute trust assets to beneficiaries. This is particularly important if the beneficiaries are not yet mature enough to manage an inheritance on their own, or in situations involving blended families. For example, the grantor could stipulate that children from a first marriage receive assets from the trust, not just the children from a more recent marriage.Revocable Living Trusts can also be used to protect the grantor and the grantors family from a stressful and expensive guardianship proceeding if the grantor becomes incapacitated.As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of trusts. If one of your primary goals is to protect assets from long-term care costs, creditors, lawsuits, and other threats, an Irrevocable Trust or an Asset Protection Trust may be a much better option then a Revocable Living Trust. If you have a loved one with special needs, a Special Needs Trust can allow you to create a fund for goods and services not provided by Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income while protecting eligibility for these vital programs. A Charitable Trust allows the grantor to set aside money for both a charity and beneficiaries, realize certain tax advantages, and generate an income stream.These are but a few examples of various trusts and what they can accomplish. If youre still not sure whether you need a trust, we welcome the opportunity to explain your options in detail and, if appropriate in your particular circumstances, design and implement the trust thats right for you and your family.
Youve taken the time to plan for the financial well-being of your loved ones and yourself. Youve created a customized estate plan to address your goals and concerns. Your plan includes one of the most powerful estate planning tools out there, the Revocable Living Trust, which allows your heirs to avoid probate upon your death and provide for management of your assets without interference from the court should you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated.All is well and goodunless you have not taken the steps necessary to fund your trust. Without proper funding, your trust is worth no more than the paper it is written on.Its hard to believe, but many families take the time to create a comprehensive estate plan, together with a Revocable Living Trust, then fail to properly fund the trust. And even though a Will may provide that all assets pour over into your trust for further disposition, this takes place only after said assets pass through probate, thereby negating one of the primary benefits of creating the trust in the first place.Another important factor to consider is that assets such as life insurance, individual retirement accounts and pension plans pass to designated beneficiaries. If the trust is not named as the beneficiary of such assets, they will not be held (and protected) by the trust. Likewise, assets held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship will go to the surviving joint tenant, not the trust. In addition, assets held in your name alone will not go to the trust until probate has been completed, which can take several months, a year, and sometimes even longer.Given all of this, it is extremely important for you to review all of your assets to determine which titles should be changed to your trust. Assets you will want to review, and possibly title to your trust, include all of the following:Bank accountsCertificates of depositInvestment accountsRetirement accountsStocks and bonds held in certificate formReal propertyTangible personal property such as art, rugs, jewelry, vehicles, etc.Promissory notesClosely-held business interestsWe can counsel you on the best strategies to employ so that your assets are correctly titled and your trust properly funded to achieve your goals and ensure your wishes are carried out.