What’s Your Legacy?

Attorney Yvette E. Taylor


I was reading an article recently in an AARP publication that experts now estimate a couple aged 65 will need nearly $250,000 in addition to Medicare, to pay for future medical costs.This amount is much higher if nursing home care is ever needed.More importantly, if planning is not done, children could be held responsible for their parents’ long term care debt.

Approximately 25% of seniors will spend some time in a skilled nursing facility and Medicare benefits for these services are conditional and time limited.Therefore, the options for payment are, private pay (if you have the money), long-term care insurance (if you purchased when younger and healthy) or Medicaid.Medicaid is only available to those eligible for the benefit.An individual or couple is required to spend down assets to apply for Medicaid.

In a recent case, the court held that a son was liable for his mother’s nursing home bill under Pennsylvania’s Filial Support law.This law is not new but was rarely used to go after children.Financing healthcare and protecting your estate can be complex. Minimizing your risks requires planning and proactive action that should start with a comprehensive estate plan.