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After years of hard work and child rearing, one’s golden years are a much-anticipated time in one’s adulthood. Now that one has retired, in many cases, they have the time and finances to finally do things they previously weren’t able to. Whether this means travelling, taking up a new hobby, or indulging luxury items, as a senior citizen there is much to look forward to.

But nothing comes without some concerns. One’s golden years often coincide with the physical and mental limitations that can come from aging. At the beginning of retirement these effects might not be present, but as the years go by every senior citizen will start to feel the effects in some way or another. Though it’s not a topic that one wants to think about, having a long-term care plan is something everyone should have.

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Consider this: a health problem strikes. Suddenly, you can’t take care of yourself like you used to be able to. Alternatively, your loved one’s mental state declines. You know it’s not safe for them to be alone, but you can’t be there all day every day due to work.

If you or your loved one did not set up a long-term care plan, you will be overwhelmed by the cost of care. In Palm Beach County, the average cost of a nursing home is between $8,000 and $12,000 a month. Assisted living facilities can range between $2,000 to $7,000. Since this is handled by an aid and not a doctor, regular insurance does not cover it. These monthly costs can rack up to around $100,000 a year—a price the average family cannot afford.

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What’s worse, these costs are rising. This leads families to unfortunately have to liquidate their hard-earned assets—savings, retirements accounts, and even their home.

“The middle class fall through the cracks because they don’t fit the requirements for benefits, and they are not very rich,” Mark Shalloway, West Palm Beach elder law attorney, says. “They work hard—they could be teachers, or doctors, or journalists, or other good, hard working people who have saved and are facing Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, or have a spouse or child with special needs. They can face these diseases for years—for the rest of their lives—and that can impoverish you. If we can do Medicaid planning, that can help.”

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Working with an elder law attorney is the best way to set a plan that protects not only one’s assets, but their loved ones. Elder law is a relatively new area of practice, having only just ushering in its first class of attorneys in the early 1990s. What was once seen as another name for wills & trusts has grown to be so much more. People don’t just need assistance with getting their finances in order when they die—they also need help figuring out how to keep themselves comfortable during times of illness or incapacitation.

In most cases, Medicaid is the solution. Medicaid will pay for a nursing home stay, the care cost of an assisted living facility, and five hours a day of home health care, but without proper planning, families may have to spend down their assets before qualifying for it. An elder law attorney is the solution to that problem.

As one of the first certified elder law attorneys in the country, Mark Shalloway has seen his fair amount of change in the industry. Where areas of practice like corporate law and personal injury law are defined by a subject, elder law is defined by the people it serves. As a result, elder law has grown to encompass a broad scope of topics. On top of Medicaid planning and asset protection, Shalloway often finds himself assisting with guardianship, special needs trusts, probate administration, and veterans’ benefits.

Mark Shalloway and his West Palm Beach elder law attorneys at Shalloway & Shalloway are attentive to the needs of their clients. Long-term care is a topic no one enjoys breeching, and Shalloway’s staff does what they can to make it a little more palatable. They clearly outline everything one is entitled to so that the client is comfortable with what is to come.

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One Shalloway & Shalloway client regals the importance of hiring an elder law attorney:

“…My family was essentially in crisis. My 86… year-old mother had been in the hospital, transferred to a rehab facility and then the rehab facility, with 48 hours notice, was going to discharge her. The discharge date was on a holiday which made matters worse. We had nowhere to place here.

Sean… helped us navigate everything. As someone who works in higher education which has many rules and regulations- I can honestly say without Sean’s assistance not only would we have been lost, we would have made mistakes which I am sure it would have cost us significantly financially.

…He handled everything when it came to applying for Medicaid, provided us with references in our search for a long term placement for our mother. He was constantly reassuring us that we were doing the right things to ensure my mother’s care.”

Without one of Shalloway & Shalloway’s dedicated attorneys, the family would have faced far more hardship in what was already a highly stressful time.

Those who need assistance arranging their long-term care plan shouldn’t wait until crisis knocks. Planning pre-crisis is the best way to ensure everything moves as smoothly as possible when the need for said care arises. Work with the qualified professionals at Shalloway & Shalloway to be confident in your future.

Learn more by calling 561-686-6200, filling out this contact form, or visiting their office.

1400 Centrepark Blvd., Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401