There are many living options available for seniors, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) have become one of the most attractive. Many retirees consider such communities because they typically provide a range of services in one location, including independent living, adult care facilities and nursing home care. This setup allows seniors to “age in place,” staying in the same community as their needs change. Typically, residents pay an entrance fee (which may be refunded) and monthly charges.
However, consumers should consider the contract terms and other aspects of the community carefully, as there are potential risks involved.
Residents of a California CCRC have filed a class action lawsuit against the company that owns it, claiming misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty. The community, Vi at Palo Alto, charges a high entrance fee that is refunded if the resident moves out or passes away. The refunds naturally become part of the estate plans of the residents. However, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that the company has no reserve fund to pay refunds and has moved money from entrance fees to a parent company that has no responsibility to pay refunds. For its part, the company says the refunds will be paid, and that it follows standard business practices.
The dispute is a reminder that consumers should be fully informed before entering into any long-term care contract. For more information about CCRCs in Virginia, visit the Virginia Division for the Aging, at www.vda.virginia.gov/ccrc.asp.
The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center assist Virginia families with will preparation, trust & estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. To learn more, visit http://www.hooklawcenter.com/ or call 757-399-7506.