Elder Law: Long-Term Care

More and more, elders and their families are painfully aware that the need for even a few months in a nursing home or other care facility could be a devastating financial setback.

People with very substantial assets can manage this cost — and those with very little money can often take advantage of federal resources (i.e.  Veterans Aid and Attendance) or state resources (i.e. Medicaid). Families whose circumstances land them somewhere in the very large “middle” of this equation need counsel on their options.

Elder Law: Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Trusts (also often referred to as “Supplemental Needs Trusts”) have long been used by one person to set aside funds for the benefit of another person who is disabled. Parents often do this for disabled children, whether through life or through testamentary plans (i.e. their will or revocable trust).

Elder Law: Guardianship & Conservatorship

Guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult (the “guardian”) and a person who because of incapacity is no longer able to take care of his or her own affairs (the “ward”). The guardian can be authorized to make legal, financial, and health care decisions for the ward. In many states, a person appointed only to handle finances is called a “conservator.”

Legacy Plans: Wills

Wills are powerful, legally binding estate planning documents that can protect your loved ones and your assets after you pass away while ensuring that your final wishes are carried out. Whether you have a small or larger estate, or you are relatively young or are older, devising a will now is critical for the future.

Legacy Plans: Revocable Trusts

The primary advantages of the RLT include: (1) providing for the management of grantor’s assets upon his mental or physical disability thus avoiding conservatorship proceeding; (2) reducing costs and time delays by avoiding probate; (3) reducing the chances of a successful challenge or election against a will; (4) maintaining confidentiality by not having to file a public will; and (5) avoiding ancillary administration of out-of-state assets.

Elder Law: Medicaid and Veterans Asset Protection Trusts

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT) can be a valuable planning strategy to meet Medicaid’s asset limit when an applicant has excess assets. Simply stated, these trusts protect a Medicaid applicant’s assets from being counted for eligibility purposes. MAPTs enable someone who would otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid to become eligible and receive the care they require, be that at home or in a nursing home. Assets in this type of trust are no longer considered owned by the Medicaid applicant.

Elder Law: Financial Matters

Elder Law related Financial Matters encompasses important areas including:

    • Employment and Retirement Advice, including pensions, retiree health benefits, unemployment benefits, and other benefits.
    • Housing Counseling, including reviewing the alternatives available and their financing such as: renovation loan programs, life care contracts, home equity conversion, reverse and other mortgage options.
    • Advice on Insurance Matters, including analyzing and explaining the types of insurance available, such as health, life, long term care, home care, COBRA, medigap, long term disability, dread disease, prescription coverage, and burial/funeral policies.

Elder Law: Litigation, Administrative and Resident Rights Advocacy

The elderly and disabled communities are particularly vulnerable populations. Elder Law attorneys are capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older and disabled persons or their representatives with respect to abuse, neglect or exploitation of the older or disabled person, insurance, housing, long-term care, employment, and retirement.

Probate Court: Probate and Estate Administration

Probate: the court process to ensure that an estate is properly settled and all property is distributed to beneficiaries.

Estate Administration: the process undertaken by a specifically named individual to handle all of the details of settling the estate such as ensuring all assets are accounted for, distributing assets and paying all outstanding debts/taxes, etc., on behalf of the deceased.

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