The Law Office of William C. Wombacher
309-674-8125 888-365-0852

Peoria Estate Planning. Probate And Elder Law Blog

Here are some things to know about Social Security Disability

As you know, the Social Security Administration will pay disability benefits to people who qualify based on their medical condition. Their medical condition must make it impossible for them to work and be one that will last for at least a year and/or result in death.

Applying for Social Security Disability is a complex process, which is why many people choose to work with attorneys and advocates as they begin the process. A denial, which many people do receive, can add months or years on to the approval process, so making sure your application is accurate is essential.

3 red flags that indicate it's not the nursing home for you

You had a difficult conversation with your mom about looking for a nursing home. Though you and your family members have tried your hardest, the truth is that your mother is starting to need more care than you can provide. Though she isn't happy about it, it's time to find a nursing home that can provide the care she needs.

When you're placing a loved one into a nursing home, it's important that you take the time to get to know the facility and identify any red flags that signal that you should look elsewhere for care. What kinds of red flags should you look for? Here are three.

How to choose a nursing home for an elderly parent

Even if you're doing as much as you can to keep an elderly parent out of a nursing home, there may come a point when it's not enough. You need to do what's in the best interest of your loved one, and that often means moving them to a facility where they can receive all the care and attention they require.

Choosing a nursing home for an elderly parent is easier said than done, as there are a variety of details to take into consideration. Here are five things you can do to ease the stress of the selection process:

  • Consider the location: For example, it may make the most sense to choose a reputable facility close to your home base, as this will make it easier for you to visit your parent as often as possible.
  • Ask others for advice: Your parent's primary care physician can provide feedback on which nursing homes are best in the local area. Just the same, ask friends, family members and co-workers for feedback and suggestions.
  • Collect basic information: You can do this online or by calling the nursing homes you're most interested in. Basic information includes everything from the cost to the size to the staff to patient ratio.
  • Visit in person: Even if you're in a hurry to make a decision, it's imperative to visit a minimum of three to five nursing homes in person. Depending on their health, your parent may not be able to join you. Even so, it's critical to take this step as it allows you to see firsthand what each facility has to offer.
  • Ask questions: No matter what's on your mind, ask the appropriate person for clarification during your visit. It's better to understand everything than to make a decision and hope for the best.

It’s easy to make one or more of these estate planning mistakes

You have the best intentions when creating an estate plan, but no one would blame you if you were in a hurry to finish it off. While estate planning isn't the most exciting thing you'll ever do, it's critical to the current and future well-being of you and your loved ones.

It's easy to make one or more estate planning mistakes when you're not paying close attention to everything you're doing. Here are five to avoid:

  • Putting it off: You think you'll always have time for estate planning in the future, but then something bad happens. The sooner you create an estate plan, the sooner you'll give yourself and your family peace of mind.
  • Neglecting to update your estate plan: Creating an estate plan one time isn't good enough. You need to review it regularly and make changes as necessary. For example, if you recently had a child or are going through a divorce, it's likely to alter your estate plan.
  • Choosing the wrong executor or trustee: For example, with a will, you'll choose an executor to handle your affairs after your death. If this person isn't 100 percent on board with the idea of doing this in the appropriate manner, it can cause all sorts of problems.
  • Forgetting to plan for a disability: Your estate plan can protect you in the event of an incapacity, such as the result of a serious injury or illness. Disability planning is also a good time to think about where and how you'd receive long-term care should it be necessary.
  • DIY estate planning: The DIY craze is in full effect, but there's a big difference between painting your home yourself and creating your own estate plan. Estate planning is best left to the professionals, as they understand the process and are familiar with all applicable state and federal laws.

Most think estate planning is important but haven't done it

Do you think estate planning is important? Most people quickly say yes, almost feeling like it's obvious that they need an end-of-life plan. Everyone will, eventually. They know that they have to take that step and get everything in order.

That fact was recently backed up by a survey, in which people were asked if they thought it was important to write a will. A full 76% of those asked said that it was. It's surprising that it's not even higher than that, to be honest, but the survey still shows that the majority of people know how important it is.

SSD applicants in Peoria can expect quick processing times

While the average person doesn't know much about Social Security Disability benefits, they probably know that applicants often face rejection even for qualified claims and that people end up waiting months or even years to get the benefits that they need. Many people struggle to make ends meet for months before their application even goes through processing.

While the Social Security Administration will pay back-due benefits to the date of the initial application, people may have to wait quite some time to receive that money, all while going without any sort of income due to an injury or illness. It is common for disabled adults who aren't able to work to worry about getting the medical care they need or even paying for the basic necessities of life, like groceries and rent.

Why people choose to move their parents to nursing homes

Your parents have cared for you all your life. They’ve been there for every up and down in your life and you may feel that it’s your duty to return the favor later when they can’t take care of themselves like they used to. Caring for an aging parent is among the most noble acts a child can perform.

The reality is that caring for an aging parent often extends beyond driving them to the grocery store or the doctor. Worsening health can quickly make it difficult for you to properly care for your parent like you want. This situation can feel overwhelming but the thought of putting your parent in a nursing home may make you feel guilty.

Most Americans find estate planning confusing

Estate planning is a wise financial decision for those of any income level. Estate planning is for all parents, homeowners and business owners who want their children, home and/or business protected.

Unfortunately, this is unknown to 74% of respondents that took part in WealthCounsel’ s report studying how Americans view estate planning, its benefits and limitations. That 74% found estate planning more confusing than anything else, while 49% agreed that they don’t have enough assets to worry about an estate plan. A cited above, those 49% have been misguided.

What should I do if my SSDI claim was denied?

The physical, emotional and financial effects of a disability are widespread. They can prevent you from participating in activities you used to love. And you and your family could face significant medical expenses while you cannot work.

Social Security Disability Benefits offer a valuable source of income for families in this situation. But, what do you do if your claim for benefits was denied?

Why should you avoid a do-it-yourself will?

You may have heard about websites that advertise cheap estate planning tools. This may seem like an easy alternative to making a will with a lawyer. However, there are a number of things to watch out for concerning do-it-yourself (DIY) wills.

DIY wills often don’t account for complicated matters