We understand the issues that the elderly face and are here to advise you on all of your needs. Our elder law attorney will ensure that your plan addresses all of them.
Heritage law is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and serves clients across Nebraska and Iowa, as well.
John Diamantis, founder of Heritage Law is an elder law attorney who specializes in advising seniors on the many intricacies of Medicaid planning and estate planning. He will help you understand the benefits accessed through Medicaid and what legal rights you are entitled to. Choosing us as your elder law attorney can also help you plan your estate and establish powers of attorney so that someone will be able to take care of any decisions on behalf of your loved one if necessary.
An elder law attorney can provide many helpful services to seniors. As you age there are often common problems and legal issues that people face, specifically finances, long-term care situations, health-related legal issues, and housing.
There are several important benefits an elder law attorney can provide for you:
As your legal representative we will help you understand the benefits of Medicaid for your or a loved one as well as what legal rights you have with regards to care. An elder law lawyer will also be able to provide resources so that your family member knows where to go for Medicaid assistance.
As you get older, there are many things to consider. For example;
Do you have a will in place?
What would happen if you were unable to make decisions for yourself?
Do your children know what the plan is if something should happen to you?
These are just some of the questions that elder law attorneys help with. In this blog post, we explore the 5 benefits of having an elder law attorney on your side!
Elder law attorneys are lawyers who specialize in laws pertaining to senior citizens. They can help you with a variety of legal needs, from wills and trusts to tax advice. Here are five benefits of hiring an elder law attorney:
A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person, or multiple persons if jointly prepared, to manage and act for an individual.
A durable power of attorney is the most common legal document to be prepared in advance for an individual’s future needs. It has risen in popularity as people are living longer and it becomes more difficult to predict what will happen down the road.
An elder law attorney can help prepare an estate plan and identify assets that may be sheltered from spend down or creditors. They will also be able to help you make decisions about what should happen if anything were to ever happen to you. They will want to know who is listed on the assets in order to organize things so your loved one has access to them when they need it
A well-experienced elder law attorney will have a lot of knowledge on issues that many seniors face. Using this experience an elder law attorney can assist by providing guidance on issues that may come up in the future. These situations can be related to chronic illness, Alzheimer’s, or dementia.
In many cases, families have not had to deal with putting a loved one in a long term care facility, but with a certified elder law attorney like John Diamantis, you can be sure that all bases will be covered, from the type of care required to staying in a nursing home or a long-term care facility. Another benefit of working with John is that he can also use his estate planning knowledge to protect your assets in the case of a long-term care situation.
Heritage Law can help you with questions or give guidance on Medicaid planning. We assist you and your loved ones with guidance on how to become or remain eligible for Medicaid benefits.
An elder law attorney can also help with applications for Medicaid, to make sure that the person is eligible. The application process will depend on what state you live in and who has assets as well as income. We are here to answer any questions or concerns regarding your eligibility.
It’s important to consider that not all lawyers are trained or have the experience to provide solid legal advice for aging clients. At Heritage Law, we always act as your fiduciary. That means that we will always act in your best interest.
An elder law attorney will provide you with the best possible outcome and an overview of your legal rights. An elder law lawyer will also be able to provide resources so that your family member knows where they should go for assistance with their health care needs.
We can also discuss the legal rights and responsibilities between you and your health care provider. Laws change all of the time so it’s important for you or your family member to know this information beforehand.
An elder law attorney can help you understand what your loved one’s legal rights are in regards to healthcare providers. They will be able to explain Medicaid planning and eligibility, as well as the responsibility that caretakers and medical staff have in providing you with care.
Planning for Medicaid is just as important as planning for your own retirement. Families must have a plan for how they will care for their parents or themselves after they’re disabled or if they need long-term care. Heritage law can provide legal counsel to help determine the best way to spend down assets so that you or a loved one can continue to receive Medicaid benefits.
70% of Americans over 65 years old are expected to need some type of nursing home or assisted living facility in order to remain independent for as many years as possible.
The average stay in a long-term care or assisted living facility is 3 years and the average stay in a nursing home is 2.3 years.
Approximately 75% of single individuals and 50% of couples will only have enough savings to last them for one year in a nursing home.
Many people do not know that their life’s savings could be exhausted within 12 months after entering the nursing facility, leaving thousands of dollars more spent per month on top of other expenses.
When planning out your Medicaid we suggest if possible to use a proactive approach. Using the proactive approach is best suited for those who are in a good state of health and who do not anticipate a long-term care event in the near future.
Below are some strategies to compare to help guide you in taking a proactive approach towards your long-term care.
Medicaid crisis planning can be a useful way to qualify for Medicaid during a time of high stress and unplanned events all while avoiding ruining your financial estate. Long-term care costs are quite high, and having an event where immediate need to qualify for Medicaid is not uncommon, it’s always best to talk to a qualified elder law attorney before things come to using (often limited) last-minute options.
If this case does arise, say a catastrophic event or a sudden illness or disability, there are still options to help use existing assets to help pay for care and in turn allow your loved one to qualify for Medicaid in a time of need. Medicaid is still one of the best options available to provide assistance for long-term care.
There are many reasons to consider Medicaid planning, such as those mentioned above, but if you’re still unsure, talk with an estate planning attorney in your area today! They can help you understand the process and create an estate plan that works for your family.
Medicaid is the number one most common form of long-term care available for older adults. One of the biggest myths is that all seniors are eligible for Medicaid regardless of income or assets. They aren’t!
So, how do you qualify for Medicaid?
If you have less than $2000 in assets you can qualify for Medicaid. If you have more, then it really depends on the state that you live in. Some states allow an exemption from assets if all of your income is spent on medical bills and those are paid through Medicare or private insurance. You should also check out whether or not the nursing home will accept Medicaid for payment. Many nursing homes will, but it’s often worth doing some comparison shopping before deciding on a home.
If you qualify based on income and not assets, then the spend down comes into play to see if you have enough money to pay for your care. The spend-down is based on medical bills and other expenses you have that can be paid from your income. If the state determines that you don’t have enough income to pay for your care in a nursing home, then they will look at whether or not there’s an alternative placement available (basically another less expensive option).
Medicaid only covers very low-income seniors. If you have higher assets or if you’re in a nursing home, then it’s best to talk to your elder law attorney about paying for the care out of pocket.
There are a few ways that this can be done officially such as by using long-term care insurance, which is often an excellent way to pay for a nursing homestay.
There are also reverse mortgages available where you’re not borrowing the money but it is helping you to pay for your home or property and at the same time lowering the value of that property making you eligible for Medicaid.
It’s important to have an advanced directive in place. Advanced directives are legal documents or instructions that tell your family, doctors, and other healthcare providers what you want to happen if you become unable to make decisions about your medical care. These instructions can include many things, including whether or not you would like life-sustaining treatment to be given and what kind of treatment you do or don’t want.
Sadly, in some cases seniors are not taken care of in a responsible way in nursing homes. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 defines nursing home neglect as “failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness.” This definition is a bit broad and can apply to many cases of neglect that may happen in a nursing home. The best thing for anyone who has experienced or heard of a loved one being neglected is to report this type of behavior to the authorities immediately. If you suspect a loved one is being mistreated then it’s important to take action immediately.
If you feel that neglect or abuse is occurring in a nursing home then the best thing to do is file a complaint with your local state health department. You can also work with an elder law attorney who will be able to help bring this to the attention of the authorities as well as pursue justice for you and your loved ones.
A guardianship is an arrangement whereby one person, the guardian, represents or takes care of the property and personal needs of another person, called a ward. A guardian is appointed by the court to make decisions regarding a person’s healthcare or finances.
A guardianship allows someone trusted as a responsible party to help make decisions on your behalf. It gives a lot of seniors peace of mind to know they will always have someone looking out for them when they need help with day to day tasks. Keep in mind guardianship does not take the place of medical care.
There’s no greater frustration or heartbreak for a senior than having to spend their life savings or the legacy that they worked so hard to leave behind. Fortunately, there are many options available to help you protect your assets and provide the level of care you need. They include estate planning, disability planning, long-term care insurance, and asset protection.
We look at all the issues that come into play when solving a problem. From legal matters to financial concerns and family dynamics, we work with you to solve all of your problem areas. We also have extensive experience in the Medicaid system and have established relationships with all the agencies involved in the process.
At Heritage Law, we have the experience necessary to get it done right!
We are based in Omaha, Nebraska, and serve clients across Nebraska and Iowa, as well. Call us today at 1-402-915-1039 if you would like to learn more about how we can help you protect yourself or a loved one after retirement. We do not charge for consultations.