What is Elder Law?

Elder Law in Hauppauge

What is Elder Law?

This is simply the use of strategies and legal documents aimed at protecting the health, quality of life and wealth of loved ones. It is very similar to Elder Law.

Both Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys try to save assets from loss to government agencies, including Medicaid.

For example, you might need a parent, spouse, adult child or friend who can legally sign your name and act on your behalf in case you cannot. This person is called “agent” or attorney-in-fact. You chose her or him in a Durable Power of Attorney. This document can be used to sign things or plan money transactions.

Estate Planning and Elder Law deal mostly with living persons, and often same persons after they die with or without assets.

But the whole idea is to do the right papers when the loved one is alive and able to do so.

Your concerns may be:

  • A Will or Last Testament if you die.
  • Making sure your home and assets are inherited by the loved ones you choose.
  • Nursing Home Treatment and Care paid for by Medicaid
  • Retiring in comfort

If you are over 50 years old and do not have at least four updated documents – a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will – you might be doing a significant disservice to your family and to your beneficiaries. If you become unexpectedly and seriously mentally or physically incompetent, end up in a nursing home or need a Legal Guardian due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or illness, everything you own can be lost or taken from the kids when they try to inherit it! The issue of Living Trusts, Medicaid Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts may be needed. They are costly. They are often not necessary.

Planning deals more than just Wills, death and Probate of a Will. There are many financial planning techniques for older or aging people. An attorney can suggest totally lawful strategies in which your home or hard-earned assets can be protected from being liened or docked by Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. If you end up in a nursing home without planning years in advance with legal documents (commonly called Advance Directives) the results could be tragic to you and your family.

Did you know that if you die without a Will your spouse gets the first $50,000 and onehalf of the balance and the other half goes to the kids? Is that what you want?

So if you have no Will, an old one, no Advance Directives or are putting off a life estate deed, I urge you to call me immediately for a free consultation. You are taking a very big risk of losing your assets if critical nursing home is needed. Or, your loved ones might not be able to touch your bank accounts without a court order following a long court delay in Guardianship.

Very often, a skilled attorney can help get home care paid for by Medicaid instead of sending someone to a Nursing Home.

Wills, Probate and Settlement of an Estate can be considered part of Estate Planning and Elder Law.

Dying Without a Will. Don’t worry if there is no Will. This is called INTESTACY (means no Will in latin). Just as in a will situation, the property will be passed.

Very often, an attorney can plan your property in such a way before you die that:

  • The property is distributed without a court involved.
  • There is no probate.
  • There is no intestacy court proceeding.
  • It’s done quickly.

However, you must be guided by an attorney BEFORE YOU DIE OR GET MENTALLY DISABLED.

When someone dies with property or debt, a family member or survivor has concerns. Who has title or ownership now of a house or bank account? How can it be transferred legally and with avoiding death taxes? How do you pay for a funeral? Who gets what of the property? Has a family member stolen the loved one’s money or taken advantage of the person during their life? Do I need to go to court?

Well, the answer depends on whether there are assets left, if there is a Will or not, and who is alive (family such as spouse, kids). The answers also depend on what account papers themselves say about account names and title holders.

So gather up all bank statements, 401Ks, CDs, house titles and other documents. Come to see Keith Weidman for a 100% free initial consultation.