Why should a Financial Planner contact an Elder Law Attorney?
Financial Planners (FP) are in a very good position to identify elder care issues for their clients. Typically, the FP meets with or speaks with the client several times a year. At a minimum, the FP reviews the client’s portfolio based upon market changes and that provides the FP with the opportunity to discuss any changes in the health or well-being of family members. Here are several situations which would suggest that the client or family member is in need of elder care services:
1. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or some other chronic illness.
2. Client or client’s family member enters a nursing home, assisted living or otherwise in need of long-term care.
3. Client or client’s family member becomes incapacitated.
4. Someone who needs elder care planning and has a child with special needs.
5. Client expresses an interest in making sure his assets are left for his family members.
6. Someone is turned down for long-term-care insurance.
7. Person lost Medicaid benefits due to an inheritance, gift or personal injury award.
8. Person is anticipating receiving an inheritance or personal injury award and wants to be proactive so as to not lose Medicaid benefits.
9. Medicaid and/or the Court is requiring an accounting of trust expenditures.
Elder law attorneys can help your clients and their family members protect their assets from the catastrophic cost of long-term care. The nationwide average annual nursing home cost is $90,000. In the New York Metropolitan area, the annual cost can exceed $200,000. These costs are generally not covered by Medicare and can devastate a family from an emotional and financial perspective. While referral to an elder law attorney may not result in a direct financial benefit to you, it is the right thing to do for your client. The client will be very appreciative of the fact that you cared enough about him to recommend someone who can assist him in accomplishing his goals of protecting his assets for his family. This will strengthen your relationships with the client and other family members and be good for your practice in the long run. It doesn’t cost you anything and it can save the client a lot of money. A win-win situation for all.