If you have an aging parent who is starting to need help managing her affairs, then it’s very important that she does her estate planning sooner than later. Preparing a revocable living trust will save you and your siblings lots of money, time and hassles when it’s time to administer your parent’s estate.
But as important as a living trust is, it may be even more important for your parent to execute a comprehensive durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney will authorize a loved one to manage your parent’s finances and assets if she is no longer able or willing to. Without a durable power of attorney, your parent could be subject to a very intrusive and expensive court supervised conservatorship.
If your parent needs skilled nursing care, it may be possible for her to qualify for Medi-Cal. If she qualifies for Medi-Cal, the state of California will pay for her care. The average California skilled nursing facility costs approximately $8,000 per month. Depending on your parent’s assets, it may not be easy to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, and it may take a good amount of planning. The earlier your parent starts the Medi-Cal planning process, the easier it will be to position her assets to qualify and preserve the family assets.