Ask the Expert

Lawyer Lisa

Sponsored - Question: I’m worried my parents might not be able to afford to pay for the care they need. What should I do?

Answer: It’s important to understand that there are a variety of options when planning for long term care costs. Aside from how much money they actually have, the biggest problem most people face is poor or late planning. Families who create a long-term care plan well in advance of when they need it generally have the most options and save the most money. In the alternative, those who engage in crisis planning only have a couple of options available to them and generally are not able to keep nearly as much as the advance planners do.

As a general rule of thumb, the best time to meet with an elder law attorney is at least 5 years before skilled care becomes necessary. This means scheduling a check-up before your parents need assistance with their finances or living situation, before hospitalizations, and before any cognitive impairment interferes in their day-to-day activities or capacity to sign legal documents. A comprehensive long term care plan, like those we create at LawyerLisa, will incorporate their specific assets, income, debts, physical and mental condition, and family dynamics to best plan for achieving their long-term care goals. Obviously not everyone has a crystal ball to see 5 years into the future and incidents could occur before that time period is up. Having an expert law team in your corner allows you the peace of mind knowing that we will have come up with a back-up plan to implement as the next best option when life pivots.

Many families do not have the financial resources to pay the increasing cost of in-home caregivers or facility costs and could greatly benefit from a Medicaid asset protection trust. Medicaid planning is a very complex area of the law that if done correctly can result in saving hundreds of thousands of dollars while allowing the government to pay for the cost of skilled long-term care should it become necessary. Our team takes the burden of the Medicaid application process off your shoulders and guides you every step of the way.

Remember, each situation is unique.  You will need to utilize the plan that is best for you and your family.  But one thing is true for everyone, having a plan in place before you need it can make a world of difference.

If you would like to learn more about planning for the future with your situation, visit our website at  If you are ready to schedule a meeting to reach your long term goals, give us a call at 803.563.5163 or email

Lawyer Lisa