For most seniors, the most important concerns about the future include making a retirement nest egg last and making sure you can be cared for in the event of a serious illness or injury. The job of an attorney focused on elder law and Medicaid planning is to help seniors to address these two most important issues. Elder law attorneys do not just help seniors; however, as anyone can benefit from getting comprehensive legal advice about achieving a financially secure future.
Zimmer Law Firm is a trusted elder law & Medicaid planning law firm based in Cincinnati and helping clients throughout Ohio. We provide assistance to people of all ages in building and protecting wealth, creating an estate plan, and planning for incapacity or long-term care needs. Give us a call today for details on how we can assist you and to get answers to questions including:
- How do elder law attorneys help clients?
- What is Medicaid planning and why is it important?
- How can a Cincinnati elder law attorney help me?
How Do Elder Law Attorneys Help Clients?
Elder law attorneys get their name because the field of elder law is focused on the legal issues that primarily affect senior citizens. These issues include planning for incapacity; asset protection; planning for long-term care; and planning to leave a legacy after death.
While seniors are most likely to need long term care, to become incapacitated or to pass away, the reality is that people of all age groups could find themselves facing an unexpected illness or injury that is deadly, that sends them to a nursing home, or that leaves them unable to communicate.
Elder law attorneys help people to plan for the risk that something will go wrong, as well as to plan for the certainty of an eventual death. This means assisting clients with:
- An incapacity plan: Who will manage assets if you cannot? Who will make medical decisions for you if you can’t speak for yourself? What kinds of medical care do you want? Your attorney will help you to use tools like living trusts and powers of attorney so these questions are answered.
- A long-term care plan: How will you get your nursing home costs paid for if you need to move to an assisted living facility? An elder law attorneys helps you to make a plan to ensure that going to a nursing home doesn’t bankrupt you or your family.
- An asset protection plan: How can you protect the wealth that you have acquired? An attorney provides advice on building a retirement nest egg, making it last, and using legal tools available to provide the maximum protection for your money and property.
- An estate plan: What will happen after your death? Your attorney will help address important issues in an estate plan, like who will inherit and how you can protect the assets that you leave to your family.
When you talk with an elder law attorney, your lawyer will discuss your specific concerns and goals for the future. A plan will be created that is custom-tailored to achieve your dreams and to make sure your wishes are respected, even if some day you are not able to communicate your desires.
What is Medicaid Planning & Why is it Important?
One of the most important things elder law attorneys do for clients is help them to determine how nursing home costs and medical bills will be paid. An illness or accident could result in a need for nursing home care, as could the affects of aging.
Unfortunately, nursing homes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are almost never covered by either private insurers or by Medicare. Medicaid is the primary payor of nursing home care- but this can be a problem because Medicaid is for people with few resources.
If you do not want to be forced to spend down your assets, you will need to create a comprehensive Medicaid plan. This involves structuring ownership of assets appropriately and making strategic transfers of assets so the money and property are not considered when determining whether you can qualify for Medicaid.
The sooner you create your Medicaid plan, the more assets you can protect. Medicaid looks back five years from the time you apply for coverage to determine if you have transferred assets, and a transfer of money or property can trigger a period of disqualification. If you have made your plans well in advance of needing nursing home care, this will not be a concern. This is one big reason why it is beneficial for young people to talk with elder law attorneys and make their plans well before they reach their golden years.
How Can a Cincinnati Elder Law Attorney Help?
Zimmer Law Firm provides advice to people of all ages on elder law issues, including Medicaid planning. Give us a call right away to get help creating your plan so you and your family will not have to worry about what the future holds.