Elder Law Planning
Whether for yourself or for your aging parents, you want to make the best financial, medical, and legal decisions that come with growing older. We can help you develop a comprehensive plan to ensure your wishes are honored in the future, and protect you and your assets if you become incapacitated and require assisted-living or nursing-home care.
Thanks to healthier lifestyles and enhanced medical technology, life expectancies in the U.S. are at an all-time high.
But that also means more seniors will require some form of long-term care and will need to figure out how to pay for it.
Studies show that nearly two-thirds of families will run out of money within the first two years of moving into a nursing home. Unfortunately, most private health insurance plans and Medicare do not cover long-term care costs, which are averaging roughly $8,000 per month depending on where you live and what level of care you require.
With such exorbitant costs, it is heartbreaking for seniors to see their entire life savings – and the inheritance they worked so hard to leave their family – unexpectedly go toward outrageous long-term care expenses instead of their family. Fortunately, with the proper planning in place, you can know that you and your loved ones have the proper safeguards in place to keep you at home as long as you desire, cover the expenses of your care, and ensure you receive the maximum quality of care available.
You may even be able to enjoy governmental benefits without “spending down” all of your assets, although only if you have the right strategies in place.
Navigating the complex elder law landscape can be a daunting task.
We know that having an experienced lawyer who is familiar with long-term care planning can be invaluable for ensuring not only the security and care of your loved ones, but also your peace of mind.
Read on for more…
What We Do
We help you to create a personalized plan that includes elements of all of the following, depending on what is best for you and your family as you age. We have thoughtfully packaged what we do into customizable options for you and your family, and all of our fees are flat-rate and agreed to in advance so there are no surprises.
Disability and Special Needs Planning
Long-Term Care Planning
Guardianship and Conservatorship
Retirement and Medicaid Planning
Assisted Living Asset Protection
Elder Abuse Prevention
Trust Administration After a Loved One’s Death
You Don’t Want End Up A Statistic
U.S. Adults Turn 65 Every Single Day
Of the 70M baby boomers, 10,000 turn 65 every day, meaning that our medical system will soon be overburdened with aging individuals needing care. Expect – and plan around – an exorbitant increase in medical costs year over year.
Is The Average Monthly Cost For Long-Term Care
Without any planning in place, you can expect to spend $8,000 per month directly from your bank account to cover a private nursing home room. Your inheritance is quickly spoken for at that rate, instead of left to your family.
Is What A Demented Senior Paid To A Fraudster
With age comes not only increased medical costs, but also an uptick in fraudulent schemes targeted at you. No matter your savviness, fraudsters can be savvier, and you want a plan to ensure your family can intervene on your behalf.
About Ashley L. Thompson
Hello, I am your neighborhood Personal Family Lawyer.
What I know is that your estate is not meant to be spent entirely on the last few years of your life to nursing homes, hospitals, and the health care industry. As your trusted advisor, I help you make the very best legal decisions for your family as age approaches, with the kind of guidance usually reserved for only very high net worth individuals.
Our life and legacy planning model covers not just what happens with your assets, but sets you up to pass on what matters most to you: Your values. Your priorities. Your relationships. Your life. Your legacy.
Schedule Your Free 15-Minute Consult
With our life and legacy planning model, we help you confidently make legal and financial decisions so you know you have a plan to keep everyone you love out of court and out of conflict after you pass. Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Elder Law Planning
In short, very likely yes, you can own a fancy car even if you are on Medicaid. In certain states, you are permitted one automobile regardless of value even if you are on Medicaid. This said, as with all governmental regulations, the rules are strict about how you use the vehicle, who has access to it, and more. Because regulations change over time and could drastically impact your personal situation, we always advise you work directly with an attorney to ensure your long-term care and estate plan remaisn up to date and the most protective for your family possible.
Absolutely – elder law planning is broad-ranging and if done improperly, could have devastating effects on your tax liability, the exposure of your assets, and the decisions made on your behalf when you cannot communicate your decisions made for yourself. We would not recommend you go this alone because in the world of elder law planning, the best outcome for you, your family, and your loved ones will be achieved only by working with a lawyer who encounters elder law planning situations daily. You have worked your whole life for what you have and the relationships you have created. Unfortunately, some families collapse after the death of a loved one because they either did no planning at all, or if they did, it was through an online platform that knew nothing about their family or circumstances and that ultimately failed them when their family needed help the most. We encourage a lifelong relationship between you and your elder law planning attorney so that you have a lawyer for life to be there for your family when you cannot be.
Every plan is different and every plan is tailored to your specific circumstances. We know the topic of cost is a sensitive one when it comes to choosing a professional to guide you, and we have designed our fees on a flat-fee basis only so that you know exactly what you are committing to – and there are no surprises. While we cannot quote fees online or over the phone, we invite you to check out our upcoming educational events where we uncover our unique meeting process and fee schedule so that you know exactly how to take the next steps at the best time for you and your family.
A Medicaid trust is an irrevocable trust that you can setup to protect your assets from being seized by Medicaid even though you might receive Medicaid benefits. When a trust is “irrevocable,” that means you relinquish your ownership and control over those assets, although in some cases when drafted properly you can continue to receive the benefits of assets you move into an irrevocable trust. For example, if done right, you can move your home into a Medicaid trust and continue to live in your home. Nevertheless, you never want to hastily establish any type of irrevocable trust without knowing exactly why (and whether) you need it, how it works, what it means for assets moved into it, whether there are any pitfalls to be aware of, and how the assets ultimately pass to your heirs. We encourage you never to do this type of planning on your own.
Elder law is a specialty area of estate planning, so it is both included in proper estate planning depending on your situation and age, and not a substitute for traditional estate planning. With elder law planning, your lawyer helps you plan for retiree benefits, healthcare and long-term care, Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and home care and nursing home care. Ultimately, your elder law planning team of trust advisors includes your lawyer, financial planners, CPA, insurance agents, and other professionals depending on what is appropriate for your situation, and your elder law plan includes both traditional estate planning to avoid probate as well as advanced planning to help protect your estate and legacy as you age.
There really is no right or wrong age to start exploring how elder law planning can benefit you. This said, presume that by age 60 you should start the planning process. The longer you wait in life, the more you run the risk of your assets being exposed unexpectedly, going to the medical industry instead of your family. You may even encounter an unexpected health issue where you lose capacity immediately, meaning your family will start planning for you, if they are able. Each day is a gift, and we cannot predict the future but we can plan for it, so the sooner, the better.
Avoid The Six Mistakes Most Families Make When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney
Did you know that many families fly in the dark when it comes to securing their legacy for their loved ones? You can avoid these mistakes today by discovering exactly what to consider when hiring the best estate planning attorney for your family.