Many estate planning attorneys also focus on elder law issues. When you hear the term “elder law” you may wonder exactly where the focus lies.
In a general sense, elder law attorneys assist people who are concerned about legal issues that are of interest to senior citizens. Some elder law attorneys focus on legislation that impacts seniors. They may advocate certain positions.
Most elder law attorneys are involved in personal interactions with clients who want to prepare for the eventualities of aging.
The most pressing issue that an elder law attorney in Kew Gardens NY is facing at the present time is the matter of long-term care. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that the majority of senior citizens will need assistance with their activities of daily living eventually.
Fortunately, a lot of this care is provided by family members, friends, and neighbors. In many cases seniors who need help with their day-to-day needs can remain in their homes.
However, this is not always the case. A significant percentage of seniors ultimately reside in assisted-living communities and nursing homes.
These facilities are expensive, and they are totally out of reach for some people. Others could possibly afford it, but it would wipe out the assets that they always intended to leave behind to their loved ones.
Elder law attorneys focus in large part on Medicaid planning. Medicaid actually pays for most of the long-term care expenses that are incurred by elder Americans. This is because of the fact that Medicare will not pay for an extended stay in an assisted living community or a nursing home.
Medicaid rules are complex. Because it is a need-based program, technically you must be in possession of assets that do not exceed $14,550 (2014) if you want to qualify.
The good news is that some of your assets, such as your home up to $814,000 of equity in 2014, don’t count initially. This can be comforting, but Medicaid recovery is a factor. The Medicaid program could seek reimbursement from your estate after you pass away.
If you retained personal ownership of your home at the time of your death, it could potentially be lost to Medicaid recovery.
Elder law attorneys assist clients who are interested in qualifying for Medicaid without losing everything that they own in the process. If you plan ahead effectively well in advance of applying for the program, you may be able to keep a significant store of assets within your family.
Because of the fact that the population is rapidly aging the field of elder law is becoming more and more important. Seniors are looking for answers, and if you are among them you can become fully informed if you discuss everything with a licensed elder law attorney in Kew Gardens NY.