Many seniors will be faced with the need for long-term care. The costs of long-term care can be devastating to the spouse living at home, depleting the savings accumulated over a lifetime in just a few years. Medicare only fully covers 20 days of skilled nursing care after a three day stay in a hospital. After the first 20 days, Medicare pays only a small part of the skilled nursing bill for another 80 days. Medicare pays for hospice services such as counseling and pain management medications, but not for hospice room and board. As you can see, Medicare benefits run out quickly, resulting in a shift to Medicaid. However, Medicaid limits how much one can keep and still qualify for benefits. Because Medicaid is a program to provide health care to the poor, one must be poor to qualify.
Should you use online legal document services? In 2014, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a will drafted with online legal document company E-Z Legal Form did not say who should get property not specifically listed in the will. Instead, the will only specifically left everything to a sister, then a brother. The Court also ruled that a handwritten note written and signed by the decedent was unenforceable under Florida law. Therefore, all property owned by the decedent passed to the decedent’s nieces, although neither of them were named in the will. While the will and handwritten note appeared to favor leaving everything to her brother in this particular situation, the Court was forced to resort to the Florida intestate statute to determine who was to receive all property not listed in her will. One of the justices commented that this case of using pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” See the opinion and a related article:
A will is a document that sets forth how a person's probate property will be distributed upon death. To be valid, a will must meet the following requirements: the person making the will must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind; with some limited exceptions, the will must be written and signed; and the will must be witnessed by at least two persons.