There are many legal uncertainties that impact the care and well-being of the elderly and their families. Our elder law attorneys are dedicated to providing solutions, and we specialize in developing prompt and powerful actions to resolve these complex legal problems. We also believe it is essential to provide the clear and simple communication necessary to properly understand your situation and the legal options available to you.
- Caregiver Contracts
- Elder Abuse
- Estate Planning
- Medicaid (Medical Assistance)
- Medical Directives
- Nursing Home Planning
- Special Needs Trusts
While many individuals are willing to voluntarily care for a loved one without any promise of compensation, a growing number of families are entering into Caregiver Contracts. A Caregiver Contract is a formal agreement among family members to compensate a person providing care.
Our attorneys can also assist with petitions to the probate court for the voluntary appointment of a “conservator,” if an individual determines that he or she is unable to manage his or her financial affairs, but has the capacity to make the decision to have a conservator appointed.
Our elder law attorneys can discuss the legal avenues available if you or someone you love is the victim of physical, emotional or financial abuse, as well as assist you with obtaining access to resources and support.
Our estate planning attorneys have the knowledge and experience to provide you with a wide assortment of estate planning and family business planning services and products. From the simple to the sophisticated, whether your estate is of modest size or is substantial, we have the expertise to achieve your estate planning objectives. Our estate planners keep up-to-date with all aspects of the constantly changing transfer tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to take advantage of favorable planning strategies.
Nursing Home Planning
The process of nursing home planning is the formulation of a plan that provides for a loved one’s nursing home care while preserving their assets for either their spouse’s use or their beneficiaries’ inheritance. Our attorneys will work with you to formulate a plan that considers your individual circumstances and that is designed to meet your particular needs.
Medicaid (also called Medical Assistance) is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, it covers care in a nursing home for those who qualify. Our attorneys have specialized knowledge of the Medicaid resource and income rules, transfer penalties, spousal protections, liens and estate recovery.
Medicare is the federal government’s principal health care insurance program for people 65 years of age and over. Coordination of Medicare and Medicaid benefits is very important when a loved one is faced with the need for nursing home care. Our attorneys are familiar with the conditions and rules for obtaining Medicare coverage for nursing care and are skilled at coordination of benefits for both in-home and institutionalized care.
If a loved one becomes incapable of making responsible decisions due to infirmities of aging or a mental disability, the court will appoint a substitute decision maker, often called a “guardian.” We can assist you with the legal documents and court appearances necessary to obtain a guardianship.
If you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself, you can designate someone to make those decisions for you with a Power of Attorney for Health Care. You can also give instructions to your health care provider, through a living will, to withdraw life support if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state. We can help you decide which documents meet your needs and assist you with the document preparation. Our attorneys can also provide you with a wide variety of other estate planning services. See Estate Planning and Probate.
We can assist you in preparing a revocable living trust and other documents that may be used to transfer property to your beneficiaries without probate. Also, our attorneys have extensive experience in handling probates of all sizes, both formal and informal administration, and of summary settlement techniques, when such procedures are necessary.
Special Needs Trusts
Supplemental needs trusts (also known as “special needs” trusts) allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, inheritances or other funds and yet not lose eligibility for certain government programs that may pay for nursing home care. We can assist you with preparing these types of trusts and insure that the trust is drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining eligibility for public benefits. We can also provide access to “pooled trusts” which pool the resources of many disabled beneficiaries, and have the added advantage that at the beneficiary’s death the state does not have to be repaid for its Medicaid expenses paid on behalf of the beneficiary.