How to make sure your loved one gets proper care in a nursing home

TIPS TO ENSURE PROPER CARE IN A NURSING HOME

TIPS TO ENSURE PROPER CARE IN A NURSING HOME

Over the years we have met with many families who face the difficult step of having to place a loved one in a facility. We routinely counsel families and help them protect their assets so they can afford the cost of these facilities. Excellent documents and structuring assets to protect the client and the family are vital.

However, that is only one part of my job. My cases are not transactions - they are people.

There is always a box of tissues in my office. Why? Because this is one of the most difficult and heart wrenching decisions a person will have to make. We are talking about someone’s husband, wife, mother, or father. We are talking about taking this person out of their home, where they thought they would spend their final days, and placing them into a strange facility, surrounded by strangers. There is a tremendous amount of guilt and doubt that comes with making that decision.

Making this decision is hard enough. Once a person finally makes the decision to place a loved one in a facility, they begin experiencing a whole new range of concerns.

One of the top concerns of family members is the care and safety of their loved one in the facility. These concerns are common:

“Is my mom being mistreated when I am not there?”

“Is the facility doing all it can to try to prevent my dad from falling?”

“Is my mom being neglected?”

Maybe, and hopefully, you do not notice a clear-cut possible sign of abuse such as bruising or physical injury. These are some of the common doubts we hear from clients that MAY point to the possibility of lack of good care:

“My husband’s dementia just advanced really quickly”

“I don’t know why the nursing home waited so long to take mom to the hospital”

“I don’t know why the nursing home waited so long before calling me and telling me mom was hurt, fell, etc.”

“My dad just went downhill really fast”

There are things you can do to try to ensure your loved one is treated well in a nursing home or facility.

There are things you can do to try to ensure your loved one is treated well in a nursing home or facility.

Statements like these can alert you to serious problems that have happened to your loved one in a facility. If you think this could be the case….

There are some simple things you can do to try and make sure mom or dad get proper care. In a perfect world, this would not be necessary but we don’t live there - we live in reality. In my opinion, anything you can do to TRY to ensure your parents or loved ones are well taken care of is well worth trying.

PRACTICAL TIPS

Here are some tips:

  • 1- Visit at different times. If the staff knows you always visit at 5 p.m. they may only clean mom up right before 5 in preparation for your visit. Try not to let your schedule become predictable and “pop” in during different times of the day.

  • 2- Bring food or treats for the staff. You can bring the nurses cake, pie, bagels, etc. This is common sense but people notice and remember kindness.

  • 3- Try to visit for more than two hours. Certified nursing assistants are required to check in on their residents at least every two hours. Are they doing that? Observe how the staff treats mom. The staff will also see that you are involved.

  • 4- Keep a log of your visits and take detailed notes of anything that rubs you the wrong way. Take pictures of dirty linens, unclean rooms, etc. If mom has actual physical signs of injuries or neglect, take pictures, and find out what happened immediately. Ask for the director of nursing or the nursing home administrator. Remember NOT to take pictures of any other residents as that could be a HIPAA violation. The bottom line is to keep good records.

WATCH OUT FOR…

Bed sores

Falls

Poor hygiene

Infections

Changes in loved one’s health

In our office, we have been blessed with families who fiercely protect their loved ones. We hope these practical tips help ensure your loved one is getting proper care.

If you need help or guidance, call us at (954) 233-0682 or email at info@mypklaw.org.

Estate planning for your digital wallet

Have you considered what will happen to your digital assets when you pass away?

Have you considered what will happen to your digital assets when you pass away?

If you have invested your hard-earned money in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or similar crypto-currency, it is vital that you take this into account when estate planning. There are several unique factors that apply to digital assets that do not apply to more traditional assets. 

As with any estate planning, the sooner you plan the better. But unlike real estate, bank accounts, and life insurance policies, crypto-currency is inherently secure, requiring passwords, encryption, private keys, and multi-factor authentication in order to access your information and assets. This means that an investor in crypto-currency risks losing these assets forever without proper estate planning. The good news is that estate planning techniques have already been developed to deal with the area of crypto asset planning and inheritance.

Doing the work to ensure that your crypto-assets can be passed on to your loved ones may seem like a daunting task, but you shouldn’t put it off and we are here to help. You will never regret taking the time to plan now, and your loved ones will be thankful that you did.

Call us now to make sure your digital currency is protected (954) 233-0682.

Checking on our older loved ones

Use this time to check up on older loved ones.

Use this time to check up on older loved ones.

The holidays are a time of many get togethers. Many people travel to spend the holidays with their family. Those who are lucky to have family close by are busy planning dinners and get togethers with loved ones.

This is a good time to check up on loved ones, especially those that are elderly. Unfortunately, many people take advantage of the elderly. We see this often. We have heard so many stories of caregivers, neighbors, and supposed “friends” who take advantage of older people. This can happen for a few reasons. First, an older person can suffer from diminished capacity. Maybe they are not as sharp anymore and some people prey on that. Another reason this can happen is because older people can get very lonely and they start thinking that they do not want to alienate whoever is paying attention to them. Regardless of the reason, it happens way too often and we need to be vigilant with our loved ones.

Pay attention to what your elderly relative says. Are they mentioning new names you have not heard before? Are there new people coming by their house?

We had a client who was a lovely man. He was a veteran whose kids lived out of state. He had a live in caregiver. He starts to tell me that the caregiver’s son had suddenly moved into his house and that he felt bad so he was helping them. Then he starts saying that he was paying for some of their bills, and so on. This is how it starts. Sadly, our client passed away and when his kids came for the services they discovered many valuables had just disappeared from their dad’s house, including his many war medals. WWII medals that should have been a priceless heirloom given to children or grandchildren to remember their grandfather were gone.

Maybe this could have been avoided had a family member stepped in to monitor that situation.

Incapacity can happen at any time. This is why it is imperative that your loved ones have valid documents in place so that you can step in and take care of them. Documents like powers of attorney, health care surrogates, wills and trusts ensure that we can protect our loved ones with no court involvement.

The holidays are a time for family and friends. Make sure your family is taken care of. If you need help, call us. We are here.

What happens when a non-U.S. person passes away while owning real estate in Florida?

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South Florida is a great place to live with its sunny beaches, warm people and year-round warm weather. These are some of the reasons that draw many foreigners to purchase real estate in Florida. Many of these foreigners are from Hispanic countries.

Many people do not realize exactly what happens to that real estate when they pass away. The tax due when a person dies is called an estate tax.

In the United States the rules for estate taxes are very different for U.S. citizens/residents and non-U.S. persons (also called Non-Resident Aliens.)

 

Simply speaking, if a U.S. Citizen dies, they will owe no federal estate tax if they have not given away or own more than $5.43 million dollars (adjusted annually for inflation.) The rules are TOTALLY different when you are not a U.S. Person. The amount you are allowed to own before an estate tax is triggered plunges down to only $60,000.00!

What does this mean in plain English?

Unfortunately, many foreigners and their families are taken by surprise when they find out they owe this 40% tax. Plan to avoid it!

Unfortunately, many foreigners and their families are taken by surprise when they find out they owe this 40% tax. Plan to avoid it!

It means that if you are not a U.S. Person and you bought a condo in South Florida in your own name for US$300,000.00, when you die you will only have an estate tax exemption of $60,000.00, and anything over the $60,000 exemption will be taxed at 40%!

In the previous example, this means there will be a tax liability of approximately US$96,000.00!

Unfortunately, this comes as a surprise to too many people – and it is often too late to avoid this tax. Everyone should plan to protect their assets but it is imperative that non-U.S. Persons plan BEFORE they acquire assets in the United States to make sure they protect their families and their investments.

The best time to plan to avoid these taxes is BEFORE you purchase the property. However, there are actions we can take to avoid or minimize this tax. 

Call us to make sure your property is protected (954) 233-0682.