Westchester County Elder Law Attorney Anthony J. Enea Offers Insights on Long-Term Care Planning for Aging Parents

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According to new research from Georgetown University published in Medical Care Research and Review, out-of-pocket nursing home fees in New York State grew 21.8 percent between 2005 and 2010. With the cost of long-term care continuing to rise – faster than the national inflation rate and, in many cases, overall medical care – Westchester County elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea, member at Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP in White Plains and Somers, N.Y., advises adult children to broach the topic of protecting their parents’ assets sooner rather than later.

Elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea, member, Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP

If you’re unsure as to whether your parent has done any planning, it’s a good idea to raise the issue promptly. When a direct approach doesn’t work, there are some creative measures that can be taken to help a reluctant loved one.

According to new research from Georgetown University published in Medical Care Research and Review, out-of-pocket nursing home fees in New York State grew 21.8 percent between 2005 and 2010. With the cost of long-term care continuing to rise – faster than the national inflation rate and, in many cases, overall medical care – Westchester County elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea, member at Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP in White Plains and Somers, N.Y., advises adult children to broach the topic of protecting their parents’ assets sooner rather than later.

For many, approaching a parent about estate or long-term care planning can be an uncomfortable and intimidating task. The lack of knowledge about a parent’s finances can become problematic if he or she is taken ill, rendered incapacitated and/or unexpectedly passes away. In these circumstances, the family is often hampered in its ability to gather the necessary financial information and documents to apply for Medicaid, and/or take the necessary steps to protect their loved one’s assets from the cost of long-term care.

“If you’re unsure as to whether your parent has done any planning, it’s a good idea to raise the issue promptly,” said Anthony Enea, who has spent 35 years protecting the rights of seniors, the disabled and their families. “When a direct approach doesn’t work, there are some creative measures that can be taken to help a reluctant loved one.”

Enea recommends educating aging parents by providing them with articles and other materials on the costs of nursing home and home care, how a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust can be used to protect assets from said costs, and current Medicaid eligibility requirements. “It’s not unusual for a parent to be poorly informed about the devastating impact that long-term care costs can have on his or her finances if they are unable to become eligible for Medicaid.”

“Talk to your family and friends about any issues they have faced when a parent and/or grandparent has been taken ill or been diagnosed with dementia,” Enea continued. “This is especially relevant if they have a family member that needs home care or nursing home care. There’s often nothing better than real life stories by a member of one’s family or friends to motivate a parent into taking action.”

Sometimes, Enea noted, offering to pay for an initial consultation with an elder law attorney is enough to get the ball rolling. If the parent is still reluctant to create and fund a Medicaid trust, begin gifting his or her assets, and/or consider purchasing long-term care insurance, however, a positive step that may prove very useful is the execution of a durable general power of attorney with broad provisions that allows the agent to engage in Medicaid/long-term care planning if needed.

A strong leader in Westchester’s legal community, Anthony J. Enea is chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Section and president of the Westchester County Bar Foundation. He was named Westchester County’s Leading Elder Care Attorney at the Above the Bar Awards and Best Lawyers’ 2019 Trusts & Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in White Plains. A past chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section, Enea’s practice areas include elder law; Medicaid asset protection trusts; Medicaid applications (home care and nursing home); special needs planning; guardianships (Article 81 and 17-A); and wills, trusts and estates.

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is located at 245 Main Street in White Plains, N.Y. with additional offices in Somers, N.Y. Elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea can be reached at 914-948-1500 or a.enea(at)esslawfirm.com. For the latest news, visit Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano online at http://www.esslawfirm.com.

About Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP
Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is an AV preeminent rated elder law firm with offices in White Plains and Somers, N.Y. The practice concentrates on Elder Law; Medicaid Planning; Nursing Home and Home Care Applications; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Guardianships; Estate Litigation; Supplemental Needs Trusts; and Special Needs Planning. Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP serves Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Queens and is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to seniors, the disabled and their families. Visit the firm online at http://www.esslawfirm.com.

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