Osofsky & Osofsky offers crisis-engendered legal options when your spouse has already become incapacitated.
Harry and Joan have been married for fifty-one years. Last year, they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. They’d accumulated a modest “nest egg” over their working years, but a tragedy common to growing old in America seems to be looming. Joan has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, albeit in its early stages. Harry remains in relatively good health, and is currently able to provide adequate home care for Joan; for instance, he’s patient when she misplaces her toothbrush or the house keys, but he worries about the progression of his wife’s deteriorating mental capacity. He has other anxious moments. What if he develops a chronic illness, or worse, what if he dies before Joan? As a responsible husband, he wonders if there is any way that he can create a plan that would address the special needs of Joan if he should die before her, or if he suddenly became incapacitated.
He’s heard about something called a Special Needs Trust that would allow Joan to receive government benefits supplemented by their accumulated savings. He’s also been warned by well-meaning friends that a “Living Trust” can have a downside. He needs answers. Fortunately, he and Joan live in California’s East Bay in close proximity to the law offices of Osofsky & Osofsky. He calls the law office and hears the pleasant voice of Gene L. Osofsky, a leading Elder Law Attorney and co-author of The Consumer’s Guide to Medi-Cal Planning. Is there some other way to protect Joan?
“Yes, there is,” Gene says, “There is a way that couples can provide for the survivor in this situation. It requires special planning. Instead of relying upon a ‘Living Trust’ as the primary estate planning device, you should consider creating a plan which relies upon a specially designed Will which contains Special Needs Trust Provisions for Joan. Your plan should be coordinated in a special way with the Will.” Gene tells the suddenly reassured Harry, “If you die before Joan, the Will – not the Trust – will help protect Joan and provide for her needs.” “That’s wonderful,” Harry says. Gene offers his expertise as this is an urgent matter. “Your situation requires special skill and knowledge about government benefits, especially Medi-Cal benefits. Our firm may be able to help.”