I recently met with a son and daughter; their father in the hospital and needing a transition to long-term care. When they first called to arrange the meeting, the purpose was to discuss how our team could facilitate a transition from the hospital to a nursing home, assist with protecting resources, and apply for Medicaid. Between scheduling the meeting and the day of, their father’s health deteriorated shortly after acquiring COVID.
For fear of being impolite, the family kept the appointment. We spent our time talking about their dad and their worries about his condition. We talked about care coordination and Medicaid planning. As our conversation progressed, the family became increasingly resigned that Dad simply would not live long enough to benefit from these services; particularly Medicaid. Unfortunately, they were correct. Regardless, we were still able to help and be useful.
Healthcare as one nears their end-of-life is complicated on its own. COVID has increased that exponentially. Gone is open visitation with loved ones in a nursing home. Gone is sharing a meal or an afternoon outdoors. And in most cases, gone is sitting at a loved-one’s bedside in their final moments. Fortunately for this family, our care coordination team, working with the nursing home, was able to facilitate visits from his family during his final days.
A similarly complicated concept, with which many lack familiarity, is Estate Administration – the process of probating the Will, collecting the assets, selling real estate, paying taxes, winding down trusts, etc. – when someone dies. This can often be a clumsy, time-consuming paper chase. Adding to this the grief of losing a loved one, often more quickly than expected, often intensifies an already arduous undertaking.
In consideration of what this family was facing, we were able to undertake streamlining their father’s estate. By restructuring assets, we successfully avoided the need for probate which, under COVID restrictions, is increasingly difficult.
When their father passed, administering his estate was much easier and less time consuming than it could have been otherwise. The family was grateful that they did not need to wait for the Register of Wills to reopen before starting the process. We were able to accomplish much of what was needed via telephone and regular mail.
If your loved one is facing deteriorating health, help is available to ease things for both you and your loved one. End-of-Life Care Planning is simple: Advocate for the best care and simplify estate administration as much as possible.