Elder Law

Family Caregiver Contracts

When an ill or older relative needs help with daily activities and personal care, selecting an at-home caregiver can be a worrisome task. Who will provide care? How will they be compensated? What if the older relative needs not just occasional, but full-time care? To alleviate these concerns, a growing number of adult children are becoming caregivers for aging parents.

Although many adult children or grandchildren feel a strong sense of duty to provide care for their loved one, being a caregiver can be extremely time consuming. Providing care to an aging parent may make it difficult for the caregiver to meet other commitments, and may even result in sacrificing employment in order to provide the necessary care.

Medicaid Program – Partial Repeal of Wisconsin Act 20

As of December 2013, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted a partial repeal of Wisconsin Act 20. The partial repeal is contained in Wisconsin Act 92, which adopts a modified version of the Uniform Trust Code and was enacted on December 13, 2013. In general, changes were aimed at allowing the State broader authority to recover funds paid on behalf of long-term care Medicaid recipients.

Medicaid and Long-Term Care Planning – Important Changes

Wisconsin’s 2013-2015 Budget passed as Wisconsin Act 20 on June 30, 2013 and was published on July 1, 2013. The new law contains sweeping changes to certain aspects of the Medicaid program for individuals who need long-term care. Many questions have been raised, not only about the content of the new law and its effect on individuals who will become eligible for Medicaid benefits in the future, but also about the effective date of the changes, and whether the new law will affect those individuals who are already receiving benefits or who have already used planning techniques that were allowed under the old law. Part of the confusion stems from a delay in the actual implementation of the changes.

Elder Abuse and The Law

Abuse of the elderly often goes unreported. Many victims do not think of elder abuse as a crime, and for those who do, they may not be in a position to advocate for themselves due to infirmities of aging. Sometimes the perpetrator is a family member or caregiver, leaving the elderly victim worried that they will be unable to care for themselves if they report the abuse.

Elder abuse can affect people of all backgrounds and social status and can affect both men and women. The following are common categories of elder mistreatment:

• Physical Abuse – Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.

Medicaid Myths and Truths

Many people want to know when Medicaid will cover nursing home costs, which can cost over $70,000 a year or more for skilled care. Medicare only covers a small amount of the cost of nursing home care in limited circumstances. Below are some common “myths” about Medicaid eligibility.

Myth: You have to give away everything you own in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Truth: If you need nursing home care for other than a short-term rehabilitative stay, you will be expected to pay the private pay rate unless your assets are below a certain threshold as follows:

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