PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: moving to a community of care? Read the agreement | Business
When you’ve finally made the decision to move out of your home for a level-of-care senior’s residence – or when you move to a personal care / assisted living community – you and your family may not be in the mood. to read legal agreements.
The type is usually small and you think you have no choice anyway. There is too much to deal with. Between the movers’ schedule and cleaning the house, remembering to pack everything up and filing a change of address, the to-do list can seem endless.
Nonetheless, I would suggest that when the documents need to be signed, you should take a closer look or ask your attorney (you have one, don’t you?) To do it for you. If you or your attorney does not understand the responsibilities, you may want to check with a senior lawyer who can help you.
Here are some examples of what to consider.
• What type of community are you moving to?
When moving to a continuing care retirement community or life care community, applicants may see documents that look like real estate transactions, but they may also have provisions regarding health insurance, expenses for entry, deposits, costs if you upgrade to a higher level of care, refunds and estate arrangements. We review many community retirement care agreements, as do other elder law attorneys. If you need help understanding the agreement, there is help to be found.
When you enter assisted living, which in Pennsylvania is called personal care, the documents you need to sign can include everything from laundry policies and pharmacy selection, financial information and bills of rights. residents. Not all papers to be signed are of equal importance, but there should be some understanding of what is being signed.
When visiting a nursing home that accepts Medicaid, you and your agent should be aware that nursing homes that take Medicaid cannot require adult child admission payment or power of attorney out of their own funds. . However, Pennsylvania has child support provisions called “filial responsibility”. If you cooperate with the nursing home or get the help of an elderly lawyer to properly complete a Medicaid application and comply with the rules, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Here are some other legal issues to consider before signing.
When adult children or spouses say they only need to fill out certain forms, sometimes I worry about what they might sign. There are specific questions that the trained eye looks for that are usually not obvious to the person filling out the form.
• For people other than the admitted person – are you guarantor, surety, person in charge, agent or just a family member?
When someone signs a legal document other than the person receiving the services, it is natural to say, “What am I agreeing to? Sometimes it depends on how you sign. A guarantor or guarantor usually agrees to pay even if it means from their own funds once the resident’s funds are exhausted. This kind of agreement is not common but sometimes happens.
On the other hand, responsible party usually just means who the community should contact to deal with business matters. It does not mean responsible for your own funds.
All agreements will state that the requester, i.e. the person receiving the services, is responsible for payment from their own assets. It’s obvious. If you are an attorney, you must be responsible for their property, and as long as you are and do not give or dissolve it, you should not be personally responsible. Besides, there is an easy way to manage the signature. When possible and appropriate, ask the person receiving care or who is admitted to the community to sign for themselves. Alternatively, if you need to sign, sign “as power of attorney only”.
• How to be protected
First, seek legal advice ahead of time if there is any confusion, as it is better to settle financial liabilities than to dispute them later. Second, when the person moving into the facility is competent and able to do so, they can sign the forms. Third, if you need to sign, indicate as “power of attorney only” or “as agent only”. Finally, know your rights, check that the bills are paid, ask for help. You can agree.
Janet Colliton, Esq. is a Chartered Elder Law lawyer and limits her practice to Elder Law, Retirement and Estate Planning, Medicaid, Medicare, Life Care and Special Needs at 790 East Market St., Suite 250, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19382, 610-436- 6674, [email protected]. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and, along with Jeffrey Jones, CSA, co-founder of Life Transition Services LLC, a service for families in need of long-term care. Tune in Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on WCHE 1520 radio, “50+ Planning Ahead,” with Janet Colliton, Colliton Elder Law Associates, and Phil McFadden, Home Replace Senior Care.