Elder Law Crisis Planning with Power of Attorney


Sometimes the inevitability of long-term care sneaks up on a family and their loved one is close to needing a nursing home, or the loved one is already in the nursing home. In this “crisis situation” families often panic, wondering what will happen to their loved one and how long it will be before money runs out. In this context, there are several elder law tools and strategies available to provide significant protection of assets. When one no longer has the luxury of planning ahead and making it through the 5-year waiting period before needing nursing home care, this focused and timely planning strategy safeguards as much of your (or your loved one’s) assets as possible. Consulting with experienced legal counsel, particularly an attorney who manages Springfield power of attorney issues, can make all the difference.

The most important thing to remember is you and your loved ones DO have options available, rather than just spending down and ultimately losing all the assets (for which you or your loved one has spent a lifetime saving) in a short period of time.

“Crisis Planning,” in the elder law context, involves tailoring a plan to work for you or your loved one’s specific situation to ensure maximum protection of assets. No two crisis plans are alike. Each person’s marital status, income, cost of care, types of assets, value of assets, among other factors, determines the best way to execute the crisis plan. Our team of experienced crisis planning attorneys work with families to design the best plan to fit their immediate needs and long-term goals. The protected assets can be used, first and foremost, to supplement the care of the individual in the nursing home or provide for the spouse who is not living in the nursing home. Once that person in the nursing home passes away, the protected assets can then go to the person’s beneficiaries, ensuring they receive the inheritance intended for them.

Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney

An important point in the context of “Crisis Planning” is to make sure you or your loved one’s Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney contains the appropriate language empowering the agent to plan on behalf of the disabled individual. If no Financial Power of Attorney is in place, a guardianship and/or a conservatorship is often needed. This process is lengthy and expensive, and it requires the involvement of the probate court. People can most often avoid this court process by executing a thorough Durable Power of Attorney document before reaching a point of incapacity with the help of a Springfield power of attorney lawyer.

Consulting with an attorney who practices in this area of elder law is crucial, prior to making any “gifts” or doing any type of planning. Oftentimes, families believe they are protecting assets by “gifting” them away, but in reality, they are doing more harm than good. This “gifting” could cause a person who otherwise qualifies for assistance to be penalized for assets given away. This penalty period (amount of time one does not receive assistance) could be any length of time, a few months to a few years, depending on the amount given away. The family then has to find a way to self-pay the nursing home until the penalty period has run, causing great financial strain for all involved.

Set up a Free Consultation with a Springfield Power of Attorney Lawyer today!

At Parks & Jones Attorneys at Law, we never charge for the initial consultation with an elder law attorney. We want you to contact us to find out what options are available to you. We can also assess your existing Financial Power of Attorney or help create a Financial Power of Attorney to allow for this type of planning if it is needed.

Please contact our Branson or Springfield power of attorney lawyers for a FREE, no-obligation consultation to see what type of planning is right for you. As a law firm devoted to protecting clients in the area of elder law, we look forward to helping you and your family.