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Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Monday, June 11, 2018

Protecting Elders from Nursing Home Abuse in Illinois

Q: What can be done to protect elders from abuse?

In Illinois, a comprehensive estate plan involves much more than a simple last will and testament.

In addition to a will, people may benefit from trust documents that may help them transfer certain assets and avoid probate. When assets are transferred outside of the probate process which is a matter of public record, the transfer is generally faster, less expensive, and private.

Another important part of a comprehensive estate plan--especially for those of a more advanced age--is Medicaid planning. Proper Medicaid planning is essential to protect your nest egg from being wiped out if you need long-term care in a nursing home. A Medicaid planning attorney can protect your assets and safeguard the future of your family while maintaining your eligibility for Medicaid.

Another vital part of a comprehensive estate plan isn't focused on death but rather on disability. A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a trusted friend or family member to make medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated and unable to do so yourself.

Tragedy can strike anytime, even among the young, so having these documents in place prior to a tragic accident or the rapid onset of an illness or disability would ease what would surely be an emotionally overwhelming time.

Once a person becomes mentally incapacitated, it's too late to execute a power of attorney. In that case, a guardianship proceeding would need to be commenced in court asking a judge to grant that same authority. Guardianships cost time and money and there is no guarantee the person you would want to take care of your financial or medical decisions will be the one appointed.

Even with the power of attorney in place to provide protection for a physically or mentally disabled senior in a nursing home or similar facility, bad things can occasionally still happen.

Elder law attorneys frequently counsel clients who are concerned about the care a senior loved one is receiving in a nursing home setting. Elder abuse, which can be physical, emotional, or financial, is unfortunately common for seniors in and outside of nursing homes.

Another common problem involves dementia patients in nursing homes who, due to negligent supervision, manage to wander off only to be found injured or dead days or weeks later--resulting in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits by the resident or their surviving family members.

If you need help with an estate plan, would like to modify an existing plan, or have questions regarding elder law matters, the Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen can help you. Contact us today schedule a consultation.

From our office in Park Ridge, Illinois, we guide our clients through the estate planning process and develop a plan to provide our clients and their loved ones with the comfort of a secure future. We represent clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont, Illinois.

Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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