As someone who is getting older, you've probably started to think about your estate plan. One thing that's important to have is an elder law power of attorney (POA). An elder law power of attorney isn't quite the same as a typical POA.
Normally, a POA gives appointed agents the right to make legal, financial and business decisions for you if you are unable to do so due to incapacity. Having a POA saves you money and time, since the judge doesn't have to hold a proceeding to appoint a guardian.
This kind of POA is only for disability planning, because it expires once you die. Comparatively, an elder law power of attorney helps protect you from excessive nursing home costs. It allows the agent to make gifts of any amount to others in order to help save on nursing home costs. Since nursing homes cost $12 to $18,000 monthly on average, it's a good idea to find any possible way to reduce costs.
When you enter a nursing home, you can only have $14,850 in assets at most and still qualify for Medicaid. If you do no planning and have $200,000, you'll have to pay out of pocket until that limit is reached. On the other hand, if you have an elder law power of attorney, at least a portion of that money can be gifted to another party, saving it for the beneficiaries.
If you're interested in an elder law power of attorney, your attorney has more information on how it can help. Learning more now could save your family thousands of dollars.
Source: Record Online, "Bonnie Kraham: Plenty of value in having elder law power of attorney," Bonnie Kraham, accessed Nov. 09, 2017