Updated: Sep 6
Adult children are often a parent’s named power of attorney (the “agent”). Some actually serve in this role. The reason is that their parents have reached the point where they can no longer manage their own financial affairs. Sometimes the agent has to hire the expertise needed to deal with certain issues that arise. Examples include CPAs, financial advisors, elder law attorneys, and business planners.
Protecting assets for Long-Term Care Medicaid qualification purposes is a very complicated area of the law. It is a niche practice based on systems and processes. The agent works closely with a paralegal who is supervised by an elder law attorney. They are highly trained and have a vast amount of experience in the trenches. The paralegal is in charge of carrying out the processes that result in assets becoming protected and getting the Medicaid application approved. Cooperating with the paralegal is mandatory and is a duty of care owed the disabled parent.
The driving reason for hiring an elder law attorney is to put in place a long-range financial plan so the parent can afford the care that is needed on a sustained basis. Care in a facility is very expensive. Hence, time is of the essence in achieving Long-Term Care approval.
Agents who inject themselves into the process for protecting assets due to ego, need to control, procrastination, chauvinistic behavior, need to compete, etc, ultimately cause a delay in getting the Long-Term Care Medicaid application approved. A delay in obtaining the approval costs the parent significant money (nursing home care in Delaware is in the range of $15,000/month).
There will be a day of reckoning for those agents who breach their duty and do not cooperate with the experts they hire.