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Long Term Care Planning: The 4 Essential Documents You Need

Long Term Care Planning: The 4 Essential Documents You Need

Anyone faced with care-giving responsibilities should have long term care planning documents that allow them to act on behalf of the ill or incapacitated person. Without such documents family members and even spouses can be prevented from accessing or managing financial accounts. It also gives peace of mind that someone can act for you. By naming that person before you need them you avoid unnecessary delays for the decision makers and the possibility of family power struggles. In addition, having the proper documents can make long term care planning, and qualifying for public benefits such as Medicaid possible.

Long Term Care Planning Documents

Durable Power of Attorney

– Should contain special provisions that allow long term care planning by family members such as setting up a qualified income trust, contracting for services, sale of homestead, or gifting.

– Allows you to limit the authority you give the agent.

– Durable means it is effective even if you become incapacitated.

Advance Health Care Directive

(a/k/a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and/or Living Will)

– Names a “Surrogate” to make decisions for you IF you are unable to communicate your wishes.

– Can allow access to physicians and medical records.

– Can contain living will provisions that specify your thoughts regarding end of life decisions.

Last Will and Testament

– May need special needs trust provisions for an ill spouse or for a disabled child. Assets that pass via a Last Will and Testament will go through probate if titled in the deceased persons’ name alone.

Trust

-A Revocable Living Trust holds ownership to your assets with you as the trustee during your lifetime. At death it becomes irrevocable meaning your wishes must be followed with regard to the disposition of assets unless amended by the court. There is no probate for your assets as long as the trust is “funded,” meaning your assets have been retitled into the name of the trust.

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  • "In October 2009, my fiancé (and future wife) and I wanted to have estate documents prepared. Upon the recommendation of friends, we contacted an elder law firm in Sarasota, FL. We were assigned to Teresa K. Bowman, an estate planning and elder law attorney. Over the course of several months, she helped us to develop and refine our documents to our exact specifications and requirements, with our complete satisfaction. During the next few years, various modifications to our documents were required, and she helped us to implement these changes, always with absolute professionalism and precision, and with a warm, friendly manner. Incidentally, Teresa Bowman, serving in the role of Justice of the Peace, presided over our wedding ceremony in May, 2010. It was the first wedding ceremony she had ever performed, so we trust that it is just as memorable an event for her as it was for us. In 2014, when Teresa Bowman established her own Estate Planning and Elder Law practice, we, of course, transferred our accounts to her new firm. She has since implemented additional modifications to our estate documents, with the same high level of service that we have come to expect and appreciate. We would have absolutely no reservations in recommending Teresa Bowman and her firm to anyone who has need of the services she renders." - Robert G. and Judith L. Hores

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    I have been lucky enough to work with Teresa and her team with several clients and find her service and advise to be consistently of the highest of standards. She is a pleasure to deal with and nothing is ever too much trouble for her. I cannot recom...

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    Teresa is easy to talk to and is understanding of the situation brought to her. I would highly recommend her for your legal representative.

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    Teresa and Paula have been helping us with setting up a POA and all of our mother’s paperwork and will be filing for Medicaid for her for us. They really are very helpful and explain things in laymen’s terms.

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    Great team to work with. Questions answered in layman's terms!

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    Teresa Bowman and her entire team were very easy and pleasurable to work with. Every question was answered in an non-condescending manner and discussed thoroughly in layman's terms.

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