Elder law is a legal practice addressing the needs of aging persons, their caregivers/ and their families. Ours is a multifaceted practice that includes Estate Planning, Probate, Life Care Planning, and Veteran’s Benefits in addition to the following:
Although we no longer have a litigation practice in the area of guardianship, we do provide consultation on guardianship issues. If we are not able to help our clients and their families resolve their issues and avoid guardianship, we do provide referrals to attorneys who practice in the area.
Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Medicare Advantage Insurance are all important planning tools. We do not sell these or any other products, but are able to discuss their differences and any concerns you may have about them.
Medicare is the federal government’s principal health care insurance program for people 65 years of age and over. Medicare is an entitlement program, meaning it is not based on financial need. For the most part, Medicare pays only for “acute” care. In other words, the program does not pay for most preventive care or unskilled care to treat chronic conditions in nursing homes. Your Medicare benefit does provide payment for both Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care. We are able to help you understand these benefits and help you assure that you or your loved one receives their entitlement to these benefits.
We help clients understand how to qualify for Medicaid Benefits in long term care nursing homes. These benefits are not an entitlement, but are means tested. The program’s rules are stringent; however Texas Medicaid allows for preservation of assets for the spouse at home. Many Texans do not realize that they do not have to divorce or impoverish themselves in order for their spouse to be cared for in a nursing home on Medicaid if/when they can no longer provide the care their spouse needs in the home they share together.
Medicaid Estate Recovery
We help clients protect themselves from Medicaid Estate Recovery, otherwise known as MERP. When a person receives Medicaid benefits for a nursing home stay, their estate is expected to repay the State for those benefits. We consult with clients regarding exceptions and defenses to this recovery.
Dementia can progress to the point that a family needs to seek hospitalization or memory care unit services for their loved one. We have experience and can direct our clients in this regard.
As a step in Medicaid planning, our firm prepares Miller Trusts to help clients qualify for Medicaid as to their income, in cases where their income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to privately pay for their own care.
Nursing Home Issues
We consult and help families care for loved ones while in nursing homes, consult on rules and requirements, and help with other issues regarding nursing home care.
Special Needs/Disability Planning
A major service that we as provide is the creation of Supplemental Needs Trusts. These trusts can be created as a part of a Last Will and Testament or as stand alone documents to protect assets for disabled individuals who otherwise would not be able to receive Medicaid benefits for nursing home or other care.
We consult regarding Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits and have attorneys we refer clients to who actually litigate appeals.