Estate PlanninG

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

When people hear the term “Elder Law Attorney”, they commonly think that of an attorney who focuses their practice on senior citizens.

That is just a small part of an Elder Lawyer’s services. Elder Lawyers also handle matters involving Veterans Benefits, Medi-Cal Planning, Special Needs Planning and Estate Planning. These plans are needed by people of all ages.

Veterans Benefits: Veterans or their spouses may qualify for a monthly, tax free stipend to pay for medical expenses with a Veterans Service Pension. Since this is a needs-based benefit the assistance of an experienced attorney is recommended.

Medi-Cal Planning: If your parents or you do not have long term care planning there are government programs to assist with paying for long term care. But without proper planning you may have to reimburse the government with your savings or by selling your home. If you qualify, an Elder Lawyer can help you prepare a plan to prevent you from losing your assets if you need long term care.

Special Needs Planning: There are also government benefits for special needs individuals, e.g. SSI and Medi Cal. But in order to qualify for these needs based benefits, the special needs individual has to be impoverished. An Elder Lawyer can assist in setting up a plan so that your loved one can maintain these government benefits and have a good quality of life.

Estate Planning: Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Anyone with families or assets should have an estate plan. A trust and will, are important documents, but a durable power of attorney is as important. This document designates an agent to manage your financial matters upon your incapacity. An Advance Healthcare Directive designates a health care agent to make personal decisions regarding your health.

If you become incapacitated and do not have these documents your family has to go to court and get a conservatorship. Conservatorships are expensive, time consuming and public.

And of course, having a trust avoids probate and protects your heirs from their creditors or judgments.

The Elder Lawyers of Santaella Legal Group, APC have experience in all of these planning areas and want to assist you plan to protect your family, assets and you.