Elder Law Group - Empowering Senior Futures

July Newsletter 2018

How Do I Prepare For Long-Term Care?

By Lynn St. Louis, Managing Partner at Elder Law Group PLLC

Elder Couple in the Park

Elder Law Group PLLC helps clients preserve family assets while obtaining the Medicaid benefits they need.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-Term care is medical care or personal assistance provided by a caretaker or a facility for a period of weeks or months (or longer). Neither the level of care nor the length of time is subject to exact definition. “Long-Term Care” refers instead to the condition of extended or permanent dependence on care from another person.

Long-Term Care can be provided in nursing homes, adult family homes, assisted living facilities, congregate living arrangements, adult day care centers and in a person’s own home or apartment. This list of Long-Term Care settings is arranged roughly from more restrictive to less restrictive settings, though seriously impaired individuals might be cared for at home in surroundings that mimic more institutional settings, and some institutions (especially adult care homes) may be homelike and inviting.

How much does Long-Term Care cost?
The cost of Long-Term Care varies widely by geographic region, level of care and individual facilities and caretakers. Costs vary tremendously, with larger metropolitan areas and eastern states generally seeing higher costs than smaller communities in the south and west.

In Washington, the average statewide rate for skilled nursing is $9,525 as of January 2018, according to Medicaid. In practicality, however, the rates charged often are $10,000 to $12,000 per month.

Adult family homes and assisted living facilities typically charge about half of the skilled nursing rate. The actual cost is dependent upon the care provided and the facility. Care in the home may be the least expensive or most expensive, depending upon the level of care a person needs.

Who pays for Long-Term Care?
Care provided by family members without formal payment accounts for the largest share of Long-Term Care provided. More formal Long-Term Care arrangements in the home and in institutions are paid for by the person’s income and savings, Long-Term Care insurance, and government benefits, such as Veterans benefits, and Medicaid.

Medicare does not pay for Long-Term Care, except for a limited exception of up to 100 days of rehabilitation. Medicare limits its Long-Term Care benefit in skilled nursing facilities to exclude “custodial care”. Thus Medicaid pays for rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, but not for facility costs if rehabilitation care is not being provided.

How can I protect my assets from the cost of Long-Term Care?
A Will with an Asset Protection Trust protects assets for a surviving spouse or any beneficiary. To allow for flexibility, funding of the Trust can either be mandatory or contingent. If contingent, upon the death of the first spouse, a decision will be made at that time made whether to protect assets through funding the Asset Protection Trust for the surviving spouse with the deceased spouse’s assets. Importantly, the Asset Protection Trust shields assets from unnecessary depletion. Assets in the Trust are not considered “countable” by Medicaid or other government needs-based benefit programs. Thus a Will with an Asset Protection Trust helps you avoid depleting funds unnecessarily, and is especially useful if expensive Long-Term Care is needed by the surviving spouse. Couples can protect 50% to up to 100% of their estate from Long-Term Care expenses, creditors, and the State.

A Will with an Asset Protection Trust not only protects assets for the surviving spouse but also for other beneficiaries should they need asset protection at the time they inherit. Furthermore, assets that remain in the trust ultimately will be distributed according to the wishes of the first spouse to pass, thus avoiding “unintentional disinheritance” of your beneficiaries due to unforeseen future events, such as remarriage.

For guidance on your Estate Plan, Long-Term Care planning, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families, CALL ELDER LAW GROUP TODAY!

Lynn St. Louis, Esq

Lynn St. Louis, founding partner, believes that no one is more deserving of dependable and compassionate support than our seniors. She experienced first-hand the unique challenges facing those in need of Long-Term Care by providing care and guidance for her own aging parents. She founded Lynn St. Louis Law Office PLLC, now known as Elder Law Group PLLC, so that others could benefit from her knowledge, personal insight and experience.

  • Lifelong Washington Resident
  • Licensed to Practice Law in Washington and Idaho
  • Bachelor’s Degree – University of Washington – 1982
  • Juris Doctor Degree – University of Washington – 1985
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Idaho State Bar Association
  • Spokane County Bar Association
  • Spokane Estate Planning Council
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • Washington Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (WAELA), Board Member, former President, Member of the Year (2008)
  • Rated “Superb 10.0” by Avvo – an attorney-rating site that evaluates experience, reputation and professional conduct. Learn more here.
  • Ranked “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell and one of only 5% of female attorneys to be selected for Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers – the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Have questions? Ask us directly! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

Spokane Events

Estate Planning Workshops

Join Lynn St. Louis, Attorney and Managing Partner at Elder Law Group PLLC, on the south side of Spokane this month to learn how Estate Planning can protect your assets. 
Planning Ahead Workshop
Southside Senior Activity Center
3151 E. 27th Avenue
Spokane, WA 99223
Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m  


Tri-Cities Events 

Estate Planning Workshops

Join Attorney Elizabeth Wallace to learn how you can protect your assets from the costs of Long-Term Care.
Estate Planning for Seniors
Amazing Grace Adult Family Home
2211 N. Rd 80
Pasco, WA 99301
Wednesday, July 18 2018, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m  


More Senior Events in Washington

In addition to attending one of our events, you may want to check out a Farmers’ Market

Spokane Farmers' Market

or one of these wonderful opportunities below!


Arbor Crest Summer Concert Series
May 3, 2018 – September 30, 2018
Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday
Arbor Crest Summer Concert Series
Cliff House, 4705 N Fruithill Rd
Spokane, WA 99217
(509) 927-9463
Time: 5:30 PM
$5 Thursday; $10 Sunday

Wheatland Bank Free Horse and Carriage Rides
Wheatland Bank
June 1, 2018 – July 27, 2018
Recurring weekly on Friday
Wall Street Downtown – 211 N Wall
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 456-0580
5:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Taking Charge of Your Digital Identity
Three Rivers Convention Center
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Click here to read more!

Alzheimer’s Series: Caring for Late Stage Dementia
Kadlec Healthplex
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Click here to read more!

We are happy to help.

Have a question or need to find a resource?
Check out our 
resource page for assistance.

Still not sure what to do?
Give us a call and let us guide you (509) 468-0551.

Empowering Seniors’ Futures
At Elder Law Group we empower seniors’ futures through Asset Protection Estate Planning™. We make sure our clients’ voices are heard and their assets protected.

Whether you are at the beginning of retirement and planning for the future or need assistance with long-term care, Elder Law Group provides guidance and resources to help you have the best quality of life possible.

With the complexities of the social and financial world we live in today, a traditional estate plan cannot protect you against long-term care costs. Let Elder Law Group help give you the peace of mind you deserve through an Asset Protection Estate Plan.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to the viewer or user. Use of this newsletter and its contents does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege of any nature between the user and owner.

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