Our Practice Areas
Our Approach to Elder Law and Our Clients
Our firm takes an education-based, client-centered approach. We know that legal planning in the areas of long-term care planning, estate planning, and asset preservation can be confusing and unfamiliar for many people. Whether it is learning to navigate the Medicaid system, understanding laws that effect you or a disabled or elderly family member, or understanding documents we have prepared for you, personal attention to your case matters. You should feel comfortable with the options, the approach, and be an active part of the solution.
Long-Term Care Planning
Some people need home health services, while others need a long-term care facility for an extended period of time, perhaps years. It could be that you, or your loved one, needs a specific type of medical treatment, or custodial care, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and the need for other similar activities of daily living. What is the result? A drastic difference in the cost of care based on the circumstances of each person.
There is no concise way to describe Medicaid planning. Within Medicaid (called “MO HealthNet” in Missouri), there are a variety of different programs, and each has different criteria. One constant is that an applicant’s resources must be below $999.99 on the date of application (for a single person). But other variables, such as transfer penalties, income rules, and rules for spousal resources, vary between programs. The rules can vary further based on whether the person is single or married. Further, a person who is on Medicaid may be on other programs, such as HUD or Food Stamps, that have a completely different set of rules, and the rules of each must be considered when implementing a Medicaid plan.
Veterans Benefits Planning
There are several requirements to be eligible for Veterans Administration (“VA”) Benefits, and there are a number of different VA Benefits programs. This firm focuses on the planning aspects of VA Benefits prior to eligibility and primarily deals primarily with Aid & Attendance benefits, therefore, this page will focus on the VA Aid & Attendance Benefits and how to determine eligibility for those benefits.>
Creating an estate plan is not just about telling your loved ones who gets your property after you die. It encompasses decision-making during your lifetime, ensuring that those you wish to leave your property to are protected, and ensuring efficiency to save you and your loved ones time and money.
Special Needs Planning
If you are the parent or family member of a disabled person, it is important that you learn more about special needs planning and why it is so important for the disabled person. As you grow older, you may be concerned with who is going to help meet the needs of your disabled child when you are no longer able to help in your child’s care. And, after your death, you have options to protect the disabled child’s inheritance to make sure the child’s essential needs are always met.
Probate is necessary for all property that does not pass by other non-probate transfers after a person’s death. The two most common means to eliminate the need for probate of property include adding beneficiary designations to property and establishing a trust. But, if you are reading this page, you may already be in the circumstance of handling a loved one’s estate who did not do any planning, or where your loved one did some planning but perhaps missed a step or two along the way. And, as a result, you now have “probate asset.”
Settlements and Awards from Lawsuits
There are special considerations when the plaintiff in a lawsuit is disabled and anticipates receipt of settlement funds or judgment proceeds. The cash must not simply be delivered to the plaintiff. The type of benefits must be analyzed to determine if there will be a harmful effect if the disabled person receives the settlement or judgment, and appropriate steps should be taken to protect the disabled plaintiff’s benefits.