ELDER LAW: LEGAL ADVICE,
ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION
FOR THE ELDERLY CLIENT
We have received an increasing number of requests for help from spouses, sons, daughters and family members regarding a variety of support and estate planning issues - including issues of fraud and physical, verbal and mental abuse – for elder loved ones who have diminished capacity to handle their affairs and independently take care of themselves. In fact, the broad scope of these issues is a growing body of law to address such matters, now known as Elder Law.
Our firm is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and provides certified Elder Law assistance. Family members have reached out to our office in a variety of areas related to their elderly relatives. An estate plan, of course, is very important in situations where there is need for ongoing medical treatment, nursing care, or hospitalization. Our firm provides estate planning advice that addresses these issues, including, at a minimum, a revocable trust, durable healthcare power of attorney and pour over will, which provide basic protections of elder relatives. We also provide assistance with special needs trusts that can be very important in preserving assets for the benefit of a disabled person where public assistance benefits (such as Medicaid and nursing home services) are anticipated. www.medicaid.gov
Our Elder Law practice focuses on a number of areas, including advance medical directives, age discrimination, charitable giving, elder mistreatment (e.g., abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation), governmental benefits (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, and veterans benefits), guardianship and conservatorship, health care, housing, long-term care planning, nursing home rights and procedures, probate administration, and trust and estate planning.
Frequently there are issues concerning ownership and transfer of real property held by elder relatives. Failing to address these issues leads to costly probate proceedings that can "freeze” assets indefinitely. Moreover, this can impede financial liquidity at a time when funds are most needed to assist to defray mounting medical bills and long-term care costs. A well-considered estate plan that includes a revocable trust helps to minimize family conflict.