South Carolina's source for Elder Law and Special Needs Planning
Call Us at (803) 329-8656
We were able to show Mrs. Jones how she could restructure her assets to obtain Medicaid benefits to help with her husband’s care. In the end the total cost of Mr. Jones’ nursing home care was approximately $500.00 per month. Well within Mrs. Jones’ ability to pay.
Will we lose the family home?
Mrs. Tompkins and her husband reared their three children in a modest home. The home sat in the middle of a 40 acre farm Mr. Tompkins inherited from his father. When Mr. Tompkins died 1999, he left the house and farm to Mrs. Tompkins. Last year Mrs. Tompkins had a fall and broke her hip. Her condition worsened and she had to be placed in a nursing home. Her children paid for her care for a while, but then her money began to run out and the nursing home told them they needed to apply for Medicaid. The children had heard horror stories about this. They did not want to lose the family home, but they were told they would have to turn the home over to Medicaid, if Medicaid paid for mom’s nursing home care.
We were able to alleviate a number of the children’s concerns. We walked them through the Medicaid process, explained what it covered and how much their mother would have to pay. We were able to show them that with a relatively small investment of their assets or a bank loan, we could in fact save the family farm.
Mom’s Memory is Failing.
Janice brought her mother to see us. Mrs. Thomas had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease about a year earlier, and now the effects of the illness were really beginning to show. The last time Mrs. Thomas had been to see a lawyer was about 15 years ago, before her husband died. At the time she did a basic will and a power of attorney. Janice was willing to help with her mother’s care, but wanted to be sure she had sufficient assets to cover her needs, and that she could access those assets to provide for her care. Mrs. Thompson wants to stay in her home as long as possible and Janice wants to do what she can to accomodate her mothers needs, but is concerned about the effect this will have on her family, financially and emotionally; not to mention Janice's job.
Fortunately, when we met with Mrs. Thomas she still retained sufficient capacity to reasonably discuss her affairs. She told us she wanted Janice to be able to do whatever she thought best, and that she trusted her completely. She also wanted the house she and her late husband had purchased in 1946, after he came home from the war; to go to her children if that was possible. We were able to determine her current Power of Attorney was not sufficient for Janice to do all that she may need to do to provide for her care. We revised the power of attorney to correct the problems. We then assisted Mrs. Thomas in restructuring her assets so that she could obtain Aid and Attendance benefits from the Veteran’s Administration. With the help of the Aid and Attendance money, the use of the local Adult Day Care Program, and family pitching in; Mrs. Thomas was able to stay in her home for several years; and in the end, her children did inherit the home she and her husband had been so proud of.
I need to protect my daughter and grandson.
Bill Johnson was just uneasy. His daughter Pam had been married to a young man for about three years, and while Mr. Johnson never said anything he is just uncomfortable about the situation. While a nice enough guy, he was always losing his job. Pam provided most of the family income, and they had asked for several loans from Mr. Johnson. Pam has an eight year old son from a prior marriage that the Johnson’s adore, and Mr. and Mrs. Johnson frequently care for the child so Pam can work. If anything were to happen to he and his wife, Mr. Johnson wants to be sure their assets go to Pam, and that ultimately anything left will go to their grandson.
We were able to show Mr. Johnson, that a trust could be used to protect his daughter and grandson. Under their estate planning documents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson established a trust for their daughter and grandson. Under the terms of the Trust, Pam received the income from the money and could access the principal to pay for her support and the support and education of her son. However, because the assets will be in trust they will never become marital assets of Pam and her husband, and cannot be attached by her husband in the event of divorce. Further, the assets cannot be seized by creditors should Pam and her husband continue to suffer from financial problems. At Pam’s death whatever is left in trust will go to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson’s grandson.
My child has a substance abuse problem.
Joe has three kids. He is proud of them all, but there is a problem. His youngest, Gail, is in college on a full scholarship, and doing well. His middle child, Jake, has graduated from undergraduate and graduate school and has a successful career. But Joe, Jr. is floundering. Arguably the brightest and most engaging of Joe’s kids, Junior could never seem to get it together. He dropped out of high school, got married and had a kid; and that is the good news. Junior has a drug problem. Every time he seems to be getting it together, he falls off the wagon. His can’t hold a job. His wife pays the bills. There is constant talk of divorce, and Joe is very worried about their daughter, who is in first grade and adores her father. Joe knows that if he leaves part of his estate to Junior it will be squandered on drugs. He hopes for the best, but suspects the worst.
We were able to structure Joe’s will to create a trust for Junior’s share of the inheritance. We appointed Jake the Trustee of that trust, with instructions to use the trust as needed for the support of Junior and his daughter, and to provide for the granddaughter’s education. If for any reason, Jake cannot act as Trustee, Gail will become trustee. In order to eliminate the risk of conflict between Junior and his siblings we also appointed an independent “trust protector.” The trust protector can remove Jake and Gail as trustees and replace them with a bank or trust company, if that becomes necessary to avoid family conflict. Junior benefits from the lower cost of having a family trustee so long as he cooperates with his siblings.
My child is disabled.
Jane is 75 and has three children. The youngest, Tom, was born with Down’s Syndrome. Tom, is now 40 and has lived with Jane all of his life. Jane knows that when she dies or can no longer care for Tom he will need to live in a supervised environment, and may need nursing home care. She knows his health will continue to deteriorate. She had been told by friends not to leave Tom anything under the will, because he will lose benefits, and the house or any assets left to him are likely to be lost to health care costs.
We were able to show Jane how she could establish a special needs trust for Tom, to provide for his care after she was no longer able to do so without loss of his public benefits. I this case, Jane left her house and cash to the trust. Under the terms of the trust, Tom was to live in the house so long as there were resources to care for him. If he had to go to an institution, the house was to be sold and the assets placed in the trust, for Tom’s needs not otherwise covered by public benefits. At Tom’s death the balance in the Trust goes to Jane’s other children.
My mom needs care, but I can’t get my brothers to help.
Mrs. Smith had fallen several times. Her Doctor had told her family that she could no longer live alone, and that she needed to either go to a nursing home or live with a family member. None of the three children wanted mom to go to a nursing home. Her daughter, Sally, agreed that Mom could move in with her, but that she could not quit her job and the other siblings would need to help. Unfortunately every time Sally needs help, no one else seems to be available. Sally has now had to miss several days of work and feels her job is at risk. Mom’s only assets are her house and a small bank account. Her only income is Social Security of about $1,200 month.
We were able to show Sally how through the use of a local Adult Day Care Program, paid for by Medicaid, and home care services partially paid for by Medicaid and partially from mom’s income, she could keep mom at home and still work. Ultimately as mom became progressively worse, Sally decided she needed to devote full time to taking care of Mom. At that time we were able to work out a family care agreement, so that Sally would be compensated from Mom’s house for giving up her job. We also structured mom’s assets in such a way that if she ultimately had to go to a nursing home, her house would not be lost to Medicaid, and would remain available to compensate Sally.
The forgoing are a just few examples of the many situations Payne, Black & Pickelsimer, LLC has been engaged to handle on behalf of clients. There are many more. We will show case some of these cases in our Blogs or on this page. SO KEEP COMING BACK TO OUR SITE. And if you have any questions or feel you may need our services Contact Us through this web site or call us at the number above.
A few of the other issues we have assisted clients with are as follows:
1. My brother stole my mother’s money. What are my options?
2. My sister convinced mom to change her will. What can I do?
3. My son is filing bankruptcy, should I cut him out of the will?
4. I am in a high risk business; I could be sued at any time. How can I protect my family?
5. My disabled daughter just won a law suit, will she lose her Medicaid?
6. I need to help mom with her finances but the bank will not discuss her accounts.
7. Dad is incompetent, but I don’t have a Power of Attorney, What can I do?
8. My spouse left me nothing in his will. What are my rights?
9. My son took all of the money out of our joint account. What can I do?
10. How can I stop dad from driving?
11. Mom had Alzheimer’s disease at the time she signed her will. Is it valid and can I challenge it?
12. My sister and I do not agree on Mom’s care. What can I do?
13. Will my children owe taxes when I die?
14. My son cannot manage money, what can I do to protect him when I'm no longer here?
Do not rely on this information for any action or inaction as you may not fully understand all aspects of these topics. If you need help in these areas seek the assistance of a competent, experienced attorney. This not intended as legal advice.
The following are examples are illustrative of how Payne, Black & Pickelsimer, LLC, may be able to assist families like yours.
My Husband Had a Stroke.
Mrs. Jones was frantic. Her husband was in the hospital following a stroke. The doctor had just told her Mr. Jones would need to go to a nursing home, and was unlikely to ever come home again. The bill would be almost $6000 a month. How could she possibly afford this on the limited income she and her husband received? Would she be left destitute? Would she lose her home?
I need information on:
Staying Up to Date
from Payne and Black
Content copyright 2015. Mitchell C. Payne. All rights reserved.