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What is Elder Law in Missouri?

Americans are living longer than ever before. At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was about 47 years. But during the 20th century, life expectancy has almost doubled. As a result, we face more challenges and transitions in our lives than those who came before us. Our Joplin and Springfield firm’s focus on Elder Care has brought us into contact with many families questioning how to care for an elderly loved one.

Most people who decide to move to a nursing home do so during a time of great stress. Some have been hospitalized after a stroke or broken hip; still, others have progressive dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, and can no longer be cared for in their own home. At these times, it is vital that you pause, take a deep breath, and understand that there are things you can do. Useful information is available to help you make the right choices for you and your loved one.

Elder Law attorneys, like the experienced team at The Law Office of Christopher W. Dumm, are specialized in the legal preparations needed to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are observed in your golden years of life.

The Law Office of Christopher W. Dumm can assist you or your aging loved one in Elder Law services, including:

  • Long-Term Care Planning
  • Medicaid Qualification Planning
  • Medicaid Crisis Planning
  • Veterans Planning for Long-Term Care
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Guardianships and Conservators

As we age, we face several challenges. It can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with the cost of care for aging seniors in Missouri. Elder planning is vital if you want to properly prepare for you or a loved one’s future care. The earlier you establish a plan, the more options you will have for elderly care. Procrastinating on elder law planning may result in problematic outcomes that drain your finances and/or lead to being unable to make your own choices in the future.

Missouri Long-term Care Planning

Elderly residents of Missouri may, at some point in their lifetime, require additional care options, like in-home care or nursing home care. This type of care, known as long-term care, can be costly. Establishing a plan for how you will pay for long-term care can help you and your family avoid spending all or most of your hard-earned assets.

Nursing Home Planning in Missouri

As you age, you may find yourself in need of a Missouri nursing home or in-home care. In order to protect your assets from the high cost of care, it is essential to establish a plan for managing payment. Medicaid coverage is often available to supplement the cost of long-term care but applying and qualifying for Medicaid is a complicated process. Without the support of Missouri Medicaid coverage, you will be held accountable for covering the full cost nursing home care in Joplin, Springfield, and surrounding Missouri areas.

Missouri Annual Median Cost of Care (2019)

Homemaker Services $50,336 Adult Day Health Care $21,320 Semi-Private Room $60,736
Home Health Aide $50,336 Assisted Living Facility $34,566 Private Room $68,255


Establishing Powers of Attorney and Guardianship in Missouri

As we enter our later years unfortunate events can occur, leaving you incapacitated and unable to make decisions on vital matters. Failing to appoint powers of attorney or guardianship can lead to your home, savings, or both becoming at risk, potentially leading your loved ones into a legal battle during an emotionally vulnerable time.

Selecting someone that you trust to act as your agent under a power of attorney or as your guardian can help you and your family navigate your care and financial matters if you become unable to do so yourself. Advance medical directives, powers of attorney, and guardianship define exact directions for determining your health, financial, and legal next steps. Establishing a power of attorney document can protect your loved ones from petitioning the courts for guardianship. These documents can be drafted and won’t go into effect unless you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own behalf.

Understanding VA Planning for Missouri Veterans

For wartime veterans or their surviving spouse, you may be eligible for government veteran benefits without realizing it. These benefits can include nursing home care costs, in-home care costs, and assisted living facilities. The Special Monthly Pension benefit is available when a veteran is over 65 years of age, is permanently disabled, unable to work, homebound, or in need of regular care from someone. There are some requirements you or a loved one must meet to qualify for veterans’ benefits. In the confusion of all these VA benefits rules and regulations, The Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm is here to provide clear guidance and peace of mind when planning for your future.

The Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm helps you and your loved ones understand Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Probate, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning, Tax Planning, and Business Planning. We welcome you to contact our Joplin and Springfield, Missouri offices to learn more about how we can help meet your Elder Law needs.


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