About Elder Law
An attorney specializing in elder law helps older people and their families or caregivers with legal issues, estate planning and long term care planning.
Many of these attorneys spent a great deal of their time helping individuals or couples qualify for Medicaid and preserve assets from Medicaid spend down and recovery. Property ownership, special transfer allowances, application for hardship review, Miller trusts and family-beneficial use of spend down monies are areas where their services can protect family members and healthy spouses from undue hardship. Although they typically can't charge to fill out a Medicaid application, elder lawyers, through advice and guidance, can often accelerate the approval process saving the family a great deal of money. This often more than compensates for their fee.
On the other hand many elder attorneys do not just limit their practice to Medicaid planning but help elders and their families with all types of issues. Below is a partial list of what an elder or Elder Law attorney might do:
- Preservation or transfer of assets seeking to avoid spousal impoverishment when a spouse enters a nursing home
- Medicaid qualification and application and Medicaid planning strategies
- Medicare claims and appeals
- Social security and disability claims and appeals
- Supplemental and long term health insurance issues
- Disability planning, including use of durable powers of attorney, living trusts, "living wills," for financial management and health care decisions, and other means of delegating management and decision-making to another in case of incompetency or incapacity
- Conservatorships and guardianships
- Estate planning, including planning for the management of one's estate during life and its disposition on death through the use of trusts, wills and other planning documents
- Administration and management of trusts and estates
- Long term care placements in nursing home and life care communities
- Nursing home issues including questions of patients' rights and nursing home quality
- Elder abuse and fraud recovery cases
- Housing issues, including discrimination and home equity conversions (reverse mortgage)
- Age discrimination in employment
- Retirement, including public and private retirement benefits, survivor benefits and pension benefits
- Health law Mental health law.
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