Recent Comments


    Elder Care Planning

    By Jay Greene, Esq., CPA–

    Elder care planning refers to the process of preparing for the care and support needs of elderly individuals as they age, especially in their later years. The goal of elder care planning is to ensure that the individual receives appropriate care and support, which includes physical, emotional, and financial support.

    Elder care planning typically involves discussions with family members, healthcare professionals, financial advisors, and legal professionals. It may include creating a care plan that addresses the individual’s healthcare needs, such as medical treatment and assistance with daily living activities. It may also involve planning for financial matters, such as long-term care insurance, estate planning, and managing retirement funds.

    The key is to ensure that the elderly individual’s wishes and preferences are taken into account, and that their care and support needs are met in a way that is compassionate, respectful, and dignified. By engaging in elder care planning, families can help to ensure that their loved ones receive the care and support they need to live out their later years with dignity and quality of life.

    Why do I need to know about elder care, and what do I need to know about it?

    There are several reasons why it’s important to know about elder care, even if you’re not an elderly person yourself. The following are just some of the reasons.

    • You may have elderly relatives, friends, or neighbors who need your support and care, and having knowledge about elder care, or knowing the resources available, can help you provide them with the assistance they need.
    • You may need to plan for your own future care and support needs, and understanding elder care can help you prepare for this.
    • As the population continues to age, elder care is becoming an increasingly important issue for society as a whole. Having knowledge about elder care can help you become a more informed citizen and advocate for policies and programs that support the elderly population, which will include yourself.

    Some of the key things you may need to know about elder care include:

    • The different types of care available for the elderly, including in-home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. We find that planning ahead provides clients with more options, protects more of their wealth, and offers more opportunities to stay home longer.
    • The costs associated with elder care, including healthcare costs, long-term care insurance, and other expenses. Planning ahead can significantly reduce the loss of assets, especially if you used asset protection trusts or well-thought-out planning strategies.
    • The legal and financial aspects, risks, and opportunities of elder care, such as estate planning, guardianship, and power of attorney.
    • How to communicate effectively with elderly individuals, including those with physical or cognitive impairments.
    • How to recognize signs of abuse or neglect in elderly individuals and how to report such incidents.

    Overall, understanding elder care can help you better support the elderly individuals in your life, plan for your own future, and advocate for policies and programs that benefit the elderly population.

    What documents are needed for elder care?

    The specific documents needed for elder care may vary depending on the individual’s situation, but here are some common documents that may be required:

    medical records – These documents may include information about the individual’s medical history, medications, allergies, and any chronic health conditions. They may also include information about recent hospitalizations, surgeries, or treatments.

    advance directives and power of attorney – These documents include a living will, a financial power of attorney, and a healthcare power of attorney, which allows the individual to express their wishes legally regarding medical treatment and appoint trusted individuals to make healthcare and financial decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so.

    financial documents – These may include documents related to income, assets, and debts, such as tax returns, bank statements, investment account statements, and credit card statements.

    insurance policies – These may include health insurance policies, long-term care insurance policies, and life insurance policies.

    estate planning legal documents – These may include a last will and testament and a revocable or asset protection trust.

    personal identification documents – These may include a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification.

    care plans – These documents outline the specific care needs of the individual and any assistance they require with daily living activities.

    It’s important to work with an experienced estate and elder law attorney and a financial advisor who specializes in elder care planning to ensure that all necessary documents  and planning are in place and that they are legally valid and up-to-date.

    What is the most important thing about elder care?

    The most important thing about elder care is ensuring that elderly individuals receive the care and support they need to maintain their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Elder care should be centered around the individual’s unique needs, preferences, and goals, and it should be provided in a way that promotes dignity, respect, and autonomy.

    This may involve addressing a wide range of issues, such as healthcare needs, socialization, financial planning, housing, and legal matters. Effective elder care should involve a team of professionals, including healthcare providers, caregivers, social workers, financial advisors, and legal experts, working together to ensure that the individual’s needs are met in a coordinated and comprehensive way.

    Ultimately, the goal of elder care should be to enhance the quality of life for elderly individuals and to support them in living as independently and as comfortably as possible. By focusing on the needs and wishes of elderly individuals, we can ensure that they are able to age with dignity, respect, and grace. Planning early is a key to maximizing your options and asset protection.

    How much does elder care cost, and why is it expensive?

    The cost of elder care can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the level of care required, the location and type of care facility or service, and the individual’s health and functional status. In general, however, elder care can be quite expensive, with costs ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per month, especially if a plan is not in place.

    Some of the factors that contribute to the high cost of elder care include:

    staffing and labor costs – Elder care typically requires a significant amount of staff, including healthcare professionals, caregivers, and support staff. The cost of hiring and training these individuals can be quite high.

    equipment and supplies – Elder care often requires specialized equipment and supplies, such as medical equipment, mobility aids, and personal care items, which can be expensive.

    facility costs – The cost of maintaining and operating care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, can be high due to factors such as rent, utilities, and maintenance.

    healthcare costs – Elderly individuals often require significant healthcare services, such as medical treatments, medications, and therapy, which can be expensive.

    geographic location – The cost of elder care can vary widely depending on the geographic location, with care in urban areas generally being more expensive than in rural areas.

    Given the high cost of elder care, it’s important to plan ahead and explore all available options for financing care, such as long-term care insurance, Medicaid, and other government programs. It’s also important to work with experienced professionals, such as financial advisors and elder law attorneys, to help protect your assets and navigate the complex financial and legal issues associated with elder care.

    How can an experienced attorney help with elder care?

    An experienced attorney who specializes in elder law can provide a wide range of services and support related to elder care, including:

    basic estate planning – An elder law attorney can help with creating a last will and testament or revocable trust and other estate planning documents to ensure that an individual’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.

    Medi-Cal and asset protection planning – An elder law attorney can assist with navigating the complex rules and regulations associated with Medi-Cal eligibility and can help individuals and families plan for and reduce out-of-pocket long-term care costs while preserving assets and income.

    healthcare planning – An elder law attorney can help with creating advance directives, such as a living will or healthcare power of attorney, which allow individuals to express their wishes regarding medical treatment and appoint a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so, and avoid additional costs and delays associated with court processes.

    financial planning – An elder law attorney can assist with managing finances and assets, including setting up trusts, managing investments, and creating a plan for long-term care costs.

    long-term care planning – An elder law attorney can help with evaluating options for long-term care, such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care, and can help with identifying sources of funding for these services.

    Overall, an experienced elder law attorney can provide valuable support and guidance to individuals and families navigating the complex legal and financial issues associated with elder care. By working with an attorney, individuals can ensure that they are taking advantage of all available resources and options to support their loved ones’ well-being and quality of life.

    Statements In Compliance with California Rules of Professional Conduct: The materials in this article have been prepared by Attorney Jay Greene for educational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individuals should consult with an estate planning and elder law attorney for up-to-date information for their individual plans.

    Jay Greene, Attorney, CPA, is the founder of Greene Estate, Probate, & Elder Law Firm based in San Francisco, and is focused on helping LGBT individuals, couples, and families plan for their future, protect their assets, and preserve their wealth. For more information and to schedule an assessment, visit:

    Trust Essentials
    Published on April 20, 2023