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Elder Law and estate Planning Blog

Veteran's benefits: do i qualify?

July 23, 2021

Veterans and their spouses who are living at home, in senior living communities, assisted living facilities or nursing homes may qualify to receive Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance pension (“ VA A&A”) to help pay for their medical care. The VA provides this monthly pension to veterans who need assistance completing daily activities – both in their homes with a caregiver and in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The surviving spouse of a veteran may also qualify to receive A&A.

There are several components of eligibility for A&A. First, the veteran must have been honorably discharged from at least 90 consecutive days of active service, with at least one day being in a specified wartime period. The veteran (or their spouse) must receive help with at least 2 activities of daily living (ADLs). Finally, the veteran or spouse must have fewer than $130,773 in “countable” assets, have a monthly income that is less than their total medical care costs, and the veteran must not have made any gifts of assets within the last 3 years. The financial requirements are very specifically calculated by the VA—many people who think they do not qualify in fact do.  

Surviving spouses of veterans who qualify may receive up to $1,244 per month. Veterans who are not married may receive up to $1,936 per month, and veterans who are married may receive up to $2,295 per month.

If you or your spouse were a veteran, call Pitt & Emison today to set up a consultation to discuss your eligibility for VA Aid & Attendance benefits now, or to plan for your eligibility in the future.


June 25, 2021

7 out of 10 people will need long-term care at some point in their lifetime – whether that is in-home care, an assisted living facility, memory care or skilled nursing care in a nursing home. As the medical needs of a person increases, so does the cost of the care they require. In Kentucky, the average nursing home cost in 2020 was $95,265 a year! This cost is devastating for families who must choose between care for their aging family members and draining their assets. Especially when that decision has to be made quickly -- like after a family member has a fall at home and it is not safe for them to live alone anymore. 

The attorneys at Pitt & Emison have a depth of knowledge in Elder Law and Estate Planning with the goal of preparing you with a plan to address the high costs of long-term care. Our attorneys will analyze your financial picture, determine the most effective way to protect your assets and prepare you to navigate the confusing Medicaid eligibility process when and if the time comes. We can help your family avoid spending all of your family’s assets on long term care.

If you would like to learn more about how to manage the extremely high costs of long-term care, contact our office for a free consultation, and start protecting your assets now.

Medicaid Planning: How Do I Prepare for Nursing Home Costs? 

June 14, 2021

Medicaid is commonly known as healthcare the government gives to those who cannot pay for it on their own. There are numerous types of Medicaid – including Long Term Care Medicaid (“LTC Medicaid”). Long Term Care Medicaid is a complex system that subsidizes the extremely high cost of nursing home care for those who qualify and who are receiving skilled nursing care in a nursing home. 

The financial requirements for eligibility are strict and require a single individual applicant to have income below the income limit and fewer than $2,000 of countable assets to their name. Different rules apply for couples who are applying for Medicaid; and, Medicaid also has a 5-year “lookback period” for giving away most assets. Any assets that are given away within 5-years of your Medicaid application are penalized by a disqualification period. However, even if you exceed these limits or have given away assets within the lookback period, there are ways to strategically qualify for Medicaid and to avoid spending all but $2,000 of your assets on nursing home care.

The attorneys at Pitt & Emison are experienced in helping families navigate the intricate and burdensome Medicaid process. We can help you when your loved one is in a nursing home and needs Medicaid immediately.  We also help with “pre-planning” years before you need nursing home care, to prepare your assets to qualify for Medicaid when necessary. 

It is never too early to prepare for the future of your loved ones or yourself. Pitt & Emison can help guide you and establish a plan that helps you and your family feel ready for whatever the future may bring. 

Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at (502) 721-7139.

Estate Planning documents: what are they?

May 28, 2021
The three most common documents to have in your Estate Planning portfolio are a Power of Attorney, a Last  Will and Testament, and a Living Will. 

A Power of Attorney gives legal authority for a person to act and make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. Power of Attorney documents are very often used in medical settings (maybe your doctor has asked if you have a Health Care Power of Attorney?) and at financial institutions, which often require a Power of Attorney to access or discuss your family member’s accounts, even if your family member has asked or given you verbal permission to do so. There are several ways which a Power of Attorney can be drafted to meet your specific needs and desires.

A Last Will and Testament is the legal document that sets forth a person’s wishes for where their assets go upon their death. Again, your Will can be drafted in numerous ways to meet your needs. Having a Will ensures that when you do pass away, your family knows they are doing exactly what you wanted them to.

Finally, a Living Will states your wishes for end-of-life medical decisions: if you want to have a feeding tube, a breathing machine and if you’d like to donate your organs. 

These basic documents are crucial in maneuvering the decisions that come with life and aging, and allow you and your family to have peace of mind knowing you are well prepared for whatever may come.

Contact Pitt & Emison to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your Estate Planning documents at (502) 721-7139. 

Contract Signing

Estate Planning 101

May 18, 2021

Estate Planning includes determining how and to whom your assets will go when you pass away and strategizing how to do so with the most benefit to your family; appointing who would be the guardian of your children, and who would make critical decisions for you, if you were to become ill.

Having basic Estate Planning documents taken care of during a peaceful time in your life will make the less peaceful times easier with the comfort of knowing you and your family are prepared for the future! 

To discuss your Estate Plan, call Pitt & Emison to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We'd love to be a part of your family's preparation and comfort in facing whatever is to come.