Our Elder law practice area is focused on enhancing the well-being of older adults and persons with special needs. It is broader area than traditional estate planning because an elder law attorney can assist you and your loved one with your estate plan and settle your estate and also assist you with long-term care planning, planning for incapacity, guardianship, and assist you with obtaining Medicaid.
We represent persons involved in guardianships. Guardianship is the legal relationship which gives a person legal authority to be a substitute decison-maker. There are limited and full guardianships. The guardianship can be for guardian of a person, guardian of the estate or both.
Given the high cost of health care and cost of services, the financial pressures of long-term care are a significant concern for many seniors. Medicaid does not pay for custodial long-term care expenses such as those typically needed by older adults after a serious fall, or those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is the sad reality that regular health care insurance policies and Medicaid do not cover these expenses and the cost can use up any person’s lifetime savings quickly.
There are a variety of options to use when planning for long-term care needs. Preparation and legal planning can help clients alleviate financial concerns and uncover ways to pay for necessary services. We help clients identify and evaluate their options and find ways to pay for long-term care. We also prepare customized estate planning documents to plan for incapacity.
For those who cannot afford to pay the high costs of long-term care in a nursing facility or in their homes, Medicaid is way to pay for necessary services if the eligibility requirements are met. We help clients determine if they meet the Medicaid requirements and advise them of alternatives. In order to qualify, a person must be medically and financially needy and also meet the income and resource limits set by state and federal laws.
We help clients prepare Medicaid applications and represent them at hearings. Medicaid is a very complex area of the law and the government may seek recovery against the estate under certain conditions. Persons or couples who have assets or income should contact an elder law attorney get advice before applying.