What is Elder Law?
As we get older and as we are taking care of loved ones, there are many legal issues that come up.
Elder Law advocates the rights and needs of the elderly/disabled as well as their families. Elder Law now covers a vast array of client issues, both financial and legal.
The elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of James C. Shields can guide everyone involved through the intricacies of situations that arise, protecting the welfare and rights of seniors and their families. Some of the issues an Elder Law attorney would be able to address are advanced directives, guardianship, conservatorship, wills and trusts, estate planning, power of attorney, Medicaid planning, and estate administration. (1)
When is the best time to start working with an Elder Law attorney?
Finding an Elder Law attorney who is both knowledgeable and skilled as well as current on policies and legal issues in their geographical area is important. Laws regarding the care of the elderly vary greatly by state.
Before seeking or hiring an elder law attorney, you need to prepare a list of the questions and concerns for the present and future. Be sure to ask relevant questions. The best time to start working with an Elder Law attorney is in advance of actual need. This will take the emotional side out of it and will help you focus on the actual needs.
What Elder Law attorneys can do for you?
From Last Will and Testaments to Power of Attorney, guardianship, living wills, living trusts, income cap trusts, advance directives, Medi-Cal planning and more, an Elder Law attorney can help you set your loved one's affairs in order so they can live a fun, reduced-stress life, knowing that things are under control.
What is an Income Cap?
In order to qualify for Medicaid, your income cannot exceed a certain amount (currently $2022). Regardless of how much your medical expenses may be, if your income exceeds this cap, you would not be entitled to Medicaid. However, with certain changes in the law, a person whose income does exceed the Income Cap will qualify for Medicaid if they set up a special trust known as an Income Cap Trust.
What is an Income Cap Trust?
Typically, a bank account is set up naming the Income Cap Trust. Pension and Medicare are deposited into the Income Cap Trust; the trustee spends the money in a Medicare-approved compliant manner, allowing the owner of the trust to apply and qualify for Medicaid assistance, (even if their income exceeds the Income Cap.)
Your Elder Law Attorney
The trustee of your estate has much to think about. Primarily, the elder law attorney prepares a spending plan for your loved one's income in accordance with the Medicaid guidelines, then submits the plan to Medicaid for approval. Establishing your loved one's Income Cap Trust ahead of time can ward off delays in receiving Medicaid benefits.
Summarily, don't leave your loved one's health and financial affairs fall by the wayside. Contact the Law Offices of James C. Shields today for a free, no-obligation assessment.