ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Accelerated Benefits and Long-Term Care Planning

Long-term care expenses are generally not covered by health insurance such as Medicare.

These expenses can be extremely large. Additionally, many senior citizens do not have long-term care insurance or the savings to pay for extended periods of long-term care. These seniors may not be eligible for Medicaid because of Medicaid's income, resource, and transfer of assets rules. There are, however, other strategies that may be available to pay the long-term care expenses for chronic illnesses.

Seniors that own life insurance policies may have an Accelerated Benefits Rider. This rider provides for payment, during the lifetime of the policy owner/insured, of a portion of the death benefits when the policy owner/insured has a terminal illness or suffers from a chronic illness. The lifetime benefits paid during the life of the policy owner/insured reduce the death benefit payable under the policy.

Virginia Administrative Code 14VAC5-70-40 regulates the use of accelerated insurance benefits in Virginia. The insurance benefits can be paid upon the occurrence of a single qualifying event. Qualifying events include one or more of the following:

-- A medical condition that would result in a drastically limited life span as specified in the contract, for example, 24 months or less.

-- A medical condition that has required or requires extraordinary medical intervention, including, but not limited to, major organ transplant or continuous artificial life support, without which the insured would die.

-- Any condition that usually requires continuous confinement in an eligible institution as defined in the contract if the insured is expected to remain there for the rest of his or her life.

--A medical condition that would, in the absence of extensive or extraordinary medical treatment, result in a drastically limited life span. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

----1. Coronary artery disease resulting in an acute infarction or requiring surgery;
----2. Permanent neurological deficit resulting from cerebral vascular accident (stroke);
----3. End stage renal failure;
----4. AIDS; and
----5. Other medical conditions that the Virginia State Corporation Commission shall approve for any particular filing.

-- A condition where a qualified healthcare provider or court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the insured is no longer to perform at least two of the following activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, continence, eating, toileting, or transferring.

-- A condition for which a qualified healthcare provider or court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the insured requires direct supervision by another person during the majority of each day to protect the health and safety of the insured or any other person.

-- Other qualifying events that the Virginia State Corporation Commission shall approve for any particular filing.

The insurance benefits paid under an Accelerated Benefits Rider can qualify for a limited income tax exclusion ($260 per day in 2007) if the payments are received for costs incurred for long-term care expenses, and certain tests are met.

Speakers

If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

Visit us on the world wide web

Our websites contain information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. and an archive of our newsletters and other estate planning, estate administration, and elder law articles and resources.

http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com

Distribution of This Newsletter

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Elder Law News, then please e-mail us at office@chroniccareadvocacy.com, telephone us at (703) 243-3200, or fax us at 703-841-9102.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

Copyright © 2006-13 by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.