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What Can We Do If An Elderly Family Member Has To Go To A Nursing Home And They Do Not Have Any Plans In Place?


If an elderly family member needs to go to a nursing home, and they do not have any sort of plan in place, there are a few steps that will need to be taken. First, it is important to note, there is no legal requirement that you get involved. However, you will probably feel a strong moral obligation to help your loved one take care of their affairs—even if they should have done it themselves. If you find yourself in this situation, you should seek legal counsel and ask the court to appoint you as the guardian of your loved one. In absence of this appointment, you will not have the legal authority to take care of them. Furthermore, this could cause issues regarding medical care. Those providing medical care for your loved one are unlikely to be helpful and will probably not inform you of matters related to your loved one’s care if you are not the appointed guardian.

Seeking a guardianship is a major financial investment, as well as an investment of your time and effort. This is certainly a task that should not be entered into lightly. Once you are appointed as the guardian of your loved one, there is a high probability it will also be time for you to seek out a certified Medicaid planner located in the loved one’s state of residence. Certified Medicaid planners have the necessary knowledge and skill to guide you through helping your loved one maintain their independence, as well as some of their financial assets, for as long as possible. If the family has money set aside, there is a much higher likelihood the patient will have an enhanced quality of life, as they will be less of a burden on those who are volunteering to take care of them.

The Parents Of Two Young Children In Our Family Have Been Involved In A Serious Accident And They Are Unable To Make Decisions For Their Children’s Care. We Have Looked And Cannot Find Any Legal Documents In Place. What Can We Do To Assure The Children Are Cared For Right Away?

In the event of an emergency, to ensure the children are immediately cared for, someone in the family will need to seek court granted authority to make decisions for the children. In most situations, this will require retaining legal counsel and paying for the preparation of a guardianship case.

If there is an emergency, it is possible that a temporary legal guardianship can be put into place quickly. In non-emergency cases, it will take at least 4 to 6 weeks to see the judge for the first hearing. At the first hearing, there is a chance the court will appoint a legal guardian, however, there is also a chance the court will impose other requirements and will expect other people to be brought into the case.

It is important to understand the guardianship statutes in your state or hire an attorney who has the knowledge and skill to act on your behalf. Without a legal guardianship, or appropriate powers of attorney, you will not have the authority to take care of the children; even though the need is great, and you are the appropriate person to do so.

How Long Will It Take To Get Approved For A Nursing Home Medicaid Payment If My Elderly Parent Has No Plan In Place?

If an elderly parent does not have a plan in place, it will take weeks, perhaps months, before Medicaid starts sending checks to pay for a nursing home stay. However, upon Medicaid approval, Medicaid will back date the approval to the date of your application. Under some circumstances, Medicaid may be allowed to back date the approval before the date of the application. For example, if no one were to find out the patient was financially unable to pay until they had been in the nursing home for several weeks, there is a reasonable likelihood that, if the patient has both medically and financially qualified for Medicaid, that Medicaid could back date the approval to the beginning of the nursing home stay. Currently, this number in Oklahoma is limited to 3 months.

Please note, if the Medicaid application is improperly denied you should immediately file an appeal. If the appeal is not timely filed, the next Medicaid application will start the process anew as a fresh application. In other words, the dates covered by the first application are unlikely to be covered by the second application. If you are in a position where you recognize Medicaid is going to be needed, please seek out a certified Medicaid planner in the patient’s state of residence. This can save the patient a great deal of money and can save the family much unneeded stress.

Who Pays The Nursing Home While Medicaid Is Pending?

For the most part, nursing homes are usually fairly understanding when Medicaid approval is pending. Frequently, Medicaid has many cases and applications pending. Often times, Medicaid does not have the personnel to get the applications processed and approved in a timely manner. To combat this, Medicaid has the ability to back date approvals, not only to the date of application, but even earlier, if the patient is medically and financially qualified to receive Medicaid benefits. If you have doubts concerning your family member’s financial qualifications for Medicaid, it is wise to seek qualified legal counsel as soon as possible to prevent wasting valuable time and money.

For more information on Planning for Nursing Homes in Oklahoma, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 754-4166 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq.

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