October 2017

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) - Reviewing the Contract

A CCRC provides several levels of care in the same facility. Instead of entering a standalone assisted living facility or nursing facility, CCRC's provide independent living, assisted living and nursing home care all within the same community or facility. This can be an advantage to a couple who wish to maintain close contact when one spouse needs additional care or for the peace of mind that knows all future care is planned and set.

The CCRC contract may be a lifetime agreement, requiring the individual or couple to pay an entrance fee which may be quite large in addition to a monthly charge. The large entrance fee is basically, for the expense of future long-term care needs.

Virginia law has a specific statute on CCRCs. The statutory definition of an entrance fee reads, 'A fee which in the aggregate is less than the sum of the regular periodic charges for one year of residence shall not be considered to be an entrance fee...' The concern about CCRC's is the large investment a person pays in the present for future needs. What if the CCRC goes out of business by the time the person needs the care? The Virginia statute doesn't insure the future care but instead requires the facility to provide a disclosure statement detailing information on its financial viability. The statement must detail operating expenses, anticipated projected costs and collateral assets pledged to the facility.

When considering a CCRC try and get the following questions answered:

  • What is covered in the contract and what costs extra?
  • How much is the entrance fee and is there any policy on refunds?
  • What provisions are there on increases on monthly fees and what notice of increase is required?
  • What is covered in the monthly fee and what happens if the resident is unable to pay it?
  • Is the facility for profit or not for profit and is it adequately funded? What specific financial information is available?
  • What types of care are provided, are there limits on care and who decides when care is required.

Edward Zetlin Law is experienced in Reviewing CCRC contracts and other issues involving Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. Don't hesitate to call if you face such an issue or if you have additional questions. Edward Zetlin Law would be happy to discuss. Please contact us at 703-379-0442 or e-mail at

Community Presentations - Edward Zetlin will be joined by other speakers at Langston-Brown Community Center in Arlington on Wed. Nov. 15 at 1:00 pm. The topic will be Considerations When Making a Move. Ed will be joined by an assisted living advisor Robin Edwards; Rocco Russo, financial advisor and Dawn Wilson, real estate broker.

Contact us at (703)379-0442;

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