The 2018 data is in. The cost of Skilled Nursing Home Care in Missouri according to Genworth is $5,543 per month for a private room and $5,019 per month for a semi-private room. That’s a cost of $66,516 per year for a private room and $60,228 for a semi-private room.
How does this cost compare?
Nursing home care is expensive. For 15 years, Genworth has developed the Cost of Care Survey to help families understand the costs of varying types of care across the U.S. The 2018 data is in and the median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States increased to $100,375 a year, up 3 percent from 2017. At the same time, Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $89,297, up 4 percent from 2017.
Alaska continues to be the costliest state for nursing home care by far, with the median annual cost of a private nursing home room totaling $330,873. Oklahoma again was found to be the most affordable state, with a median annual cost of a private room of $63,510.
So while the cost of skilled nursing home care in Missouri is expensive, it is among the least expensive in the country.
For more on Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, including costs in all 50 states, click here.
Law firms typically focus on specific areas of the law called practice areas. Our primary practice areas are Estate Planning (Wills & Trusts) and Elder Law (medicaid planning & asset protection). We’ve chosen to limit our practice areas to better serve our clients. After all, if you wouldn’t go to an orthopedic doctor for a heart condition. Likewise in the law, most people would think twice before having their divorce attorney prepare a trust.
The Missouri Bar has Rules of Professional Conduct which we follow. One of the rules (Rule 4-7.4) states that “a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist unless the communication contains a disclaimer that neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or specialist designations.” So most Missouri attorneys choose not to use the word “specialist”.
OUr PRactice AReas
What I will tell you is that for the past 5 years, my practice has been focused on two areas of law: estate planning and elder law. Often people refer to me as an “Estate Planning Attorney”. My firm is built to handle estate planning and elder law cases. You’ll notice that right away – it guides how we answer the phone, how we schedule appointments, and how work flows through our office. If you have another type of case (for example: a divorce) we’ll gladly refer you to another attorney in the area who handles that type of law. That said, if you are looking for an attorney to help you:
Get your affairs in order,
Prepare a Last Will & Testament,
Create a Living Trust,
Protect your life savings, or
Help you qualify for Medicaid
We are happy to help you. Just call to schedule an initial consultation.
On the door of my new law office, it says “Estate Planning & Elder Law”. It didn’t take long for someone to ask the question, “So what is Elder Law?”
Elder Law means that we strive to serve a broad range of legal issues that affect seniors including business succession planning, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection. Two examples will illustrate the type of issues that we help clients with on a day-to-day basis.
Recently I had a single client who owned an apartment building and a few other pieces of real estate. He needed a Limited Liability Company created for his real estate holdings, and then he wanted a trust to ensure that things were simple and easy for his two children. That’s more of a classic estate planning client. That’s one type of case we work on each day.
Another recent client was a husband and wife. The husband was 11 years older than the wife. Also, the husband’s family had a history of experiencing health issues about age 70. The husband’s father had required skilled nursing home care for several years and it had wiped out all of his parent’s savings except for his mom’s house. What this couple wanted, especially the husband, was a plan or strategy, so that if one of them went into a nursing home, the other would not end up broke. This is more of an elder law client. For them, we were able to use a trust as part of a strategy to protect their assets.
More and more, individuals are telling us that they want to be proactive and do what they can to protect their hard-earned assets. We can help you do that. Our clients often report how much they learned about strategies they didn’t even know existed during their initial consultation. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, give us a call at 573-334-5125.
The Law Office of Mark McMullin – Estate Planning & Elder Law
While trusts can be confusing at first to the lay person, trusts can be a valuable estate planning tool. Common types of trusts in Missouri include:
• Revocable Living Trusts. Becoming increasingly popular for Missouri residents because it allows families to avoid the court-supervised Probate procedure at death and provides for a faster and less-costly estate settlement at death. A Revocable Living Trust (RLT) can be extra beneficial if you own real estate in other states allowing your family to avoid multiple probates.
• Trusts for Minors. If there’s a chance your minor child or minor grandchild will inherit assets from you, then you need to make sure those assets will be placed in trust so the courts won’t need to supervise the minor’s assets and so that the minor will be protected from squandering the assets when he or she reaches the age of 18.
• Trusts to Minimize Estate Tax. Not as popular now since the estate tax exemption has increased from $600,000 to $5,490,000, but if estate taxes are a concern, you need to consider these irrevocable trusts.
• Special Needs Trusts. If you have a child or loved one with special needs, make sure any inheritance you leave that child is placed in a Special Needs Trust. This will help the child continue to receive government benefits (Medicaid and/or Medicare) while using the funds you put in their Special Needs Trust to supplement their care.
• Trusts for Blended Families. These are especially popular when a spouse has children from a prior marriage. A trust for a blended family is a way to make your assets available for your spouse after you die, but when your spouse later dies, the trust assets will revert back to your heirs, not your spouse’s heirs.
• Charitable Trust. A vehicle which allows you to transfer appreciated assets to a charity, have them sold with no tax consequences, receive an income off those assets for your lifetime, and at your death the remaining trust assets are passed along to your favorite charity or charities.
If you are interested in learning more about planning options for you and you loved ones, I’m happy to help. You can reach me at my law office in Cape Girardeau at 573-334-5125.
Recently I hosted an estate planning workshop for the community. In introducing myself I said that I focus my practice on estate planning and elder law. An attendee wanted to know what those terms meant: what does “estate planning” mean? What is “elder law”?
My simple definition for estate planning is this: planning so your property goes to who you want, when you want, and the way you want. The common denominator is doing what you want. Estate Planning is important because if you don’t plan, the state has a plan for you – and you may not like its plan. The common tools we use in estate planning are: wills, trusts (revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts), powers of attorney, and beneficiary deeds.
Elder law is concerned with helping you stay in control as you age – our focus is on intended consequences. That means we have a plan for how you handle everything from how you stay in control of your healthcare decisions to how you pay for a nursing home. Elder law encompasses all aspects of planning for aging, illness, and incapacity.
A survey by Martindale-Hubbell reports that 55% of all American adults don’t have a will. In fact, most people spend more time shopping for a car, than planning their estate. The result is that as they age they face unintended consequences, or when they pass away, their spouse or children face unintended consequences.
Staying in control is better. Planning is better. Intended consequences are better. Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys help make your life better.
The best part of my job is getting to meet and know my clients and their families. Occasionally, there is some icing on the cake when a client writes you a follow up thank you card or letter. Recently I received two. With their permission, I would like to share part of their comments with you:
Wanda S. writes: “I am so glad you helped me with my Will. I’m very satisfied with you as a lawyer. I want to thank you for helping me.” Short and sweet and very satisfying. Thanks Wanda.
George H. writes: “As we worked with you, we quickly realized this would be a pleasant experience… you were always prompt, very thorough, courteous, respectful and patient….” George’s note included several other kind comments. His note made my day!
I appreciate the kind words of my current clients. For potential estate planning clients, we offer free consultations in our Cape Girardeau office. Call to schedule an appointment where you can discuss wills, trusts, and asset protection with Missouri Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney Mark McMullin.