While good planning is important at all stages of life, it is a must for the elderly. The legal problems of the elderly are often linked to the aging process and can include problems of incapacity and long-term health care issues. Our attorneys assist clients in:
– Planning for possible long-term care needs
– Locating the appropriate type of care facility
– Coordinating private and public resources such as Medicaid, to finance the cost of care
– Advocating to ensure our client’s right to quality care
Our elder law attorneys go beyond conventional issues and offer practical assistance to our clients in a number of areas, including:
- Drafting durable powers of attorney. These documents allow individuals to name a legal agent to assist them with day-to-day management of financial affairs and health care needs. Medical and financial durable powers of attorney provide an inexpensive means of ensuring seniors’ wishes are known and followed, even when they can no longer advocate for themselves.
- Health care and end-of-life directives. Through advance health care directives, one can formally state his or her feelings concerning artificial life support.
- Fiduciary representation. We represent guardians, conservators, trustees and agents under power of attorney who are responsible for a senior, minor or disabled adult.
- Litigation. We represent litigants in a broad range of court proceedings, including guardianship and conservatorship cases, will contests, trust litigation and contested estate administration.
- Public benefit counseling. We advise seniors and family members on public benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Veterans benefits. We also offer representation during administrative hearings and appeals.
- Medicaid planning. This may include assisting with an application for benefits, the creation of a disability trust, or other steps that would allow you to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care expenses.
- Estate and gift tax advice. Our attorneys can advise you on your options and reporting requirements.
- Special needs trusts. Establishing a special needs trust can help you exempt assets from consideration by Medicaid while providing needed financial support for an elderly parent or family member who has very little monthly income.
- Elder abuse. The elderly and disabled are susceptible to undue influence and abuse from family members, caregivers, nursing homes and fiduciaries who are entrusted with their care. We advise family members on how to recognize signs of elder abuse, including personal and medical neglect or financial exploitation.