Elder Law, Special Needs & Medicaid Planning

Walker Lambe’s Elder Law, Special Needs & Medicaid Planning practice encompasses a wide range of services. Our experienced attorneys can help your family navigate the complexities of Medicaid regulations, plan for a family member with special needs or assist you with the unique issues facing veterans and their families. Particularly as family members age, it is important to plan for future health issues. Planning ahead enables you to protect your family’s assets from the devastation that serious illness can cause. As more and more Americans face the need for some sort of long-term care, medical costs can quickly eat away at the wealth families have spent a lifetime building. Planning ahead is also important for family members with special needs. A good plan can enable you to protect your loved one’s future quality of life, as well as setting aside funds for future medical care. If you have questions about Medicaid law, have a family member with special needs or wish to discuss plans for your own future, our attorneys would be glad to assist you.

For a more specific look at our services, click the headings below.

Asset Protection

Asset Protection encompasses a variety of areas of law and can be helpful for many different kinds of clients. It can include estate tax planning (reducing the burden of estate taxes upon your death), long term care planning (planning for long term care needs in advance through Medicaid planning or through the purchase of long term care insurance policies), establishment of pre and post-marital agreements (protecting your assets in the event of the dissolution of your marriage, or ensuring that assets pass in the manner that you choose at your death), or protecting your assets from potential litigation or other unforeseen events.

Long Term Care Planning

Long-term health care is the single largest out-of-pocket expense for the elderly and may account for as much as 81 cents out of every dollar spent on health care. Studies show that we stand a forty percent chance of needing long-term care at least once before we die. Therefore, everyone should take into account that at some point residency in a nursing home or an assisted living facility may be needed.

However, the substantial cost of nursing home care for an incapacitated person can wipe away a family’s nest egg and the inheritance planned for surviving family members. It has been reported that one-third of married couples with one spouse in a nursing home will be destitute within 13 weeks. Half will be impoverished in one year. It’s even worse for those who are single. Long-term custodial care is the greatest financial challenge of our later years.

With the increasingly high cost of long-term care itself, many middle-class and even affluent Americans are resorting to Medicaid to help them afford this costly medical care. Therefore, it is not surprising that over the years, our clients have expressed a number of major concerns about how to adequately plan for potential incapacity and the impact of their incapacity on their life savings and Medicaid benefits. If you have questions about Medicaid eligibility, be sure to call sooner rather than later, as the timing of the decisions families need to make will have a dramatic impact on whether or not someone can actually qualify for this type of support.

As more and more Americans need long term care, we can expect that it will become increasing difficult to qualify for Medicaid. In most states, Medicaid is the second biggest item on the budget, and in a handful of states it is the biggest. The purchase of Long Term Care Insurance is a relatively new, but rapidly growing option for many of our clients.

The complexity surrounding this constantly changing area of the law can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. We are here to help answer your questions about this difficult area. People are living longer these days and the importance of making certain they don’t outlive their money has never been as vital as it is today. Planning in advance is extremely important to ensure not only that you are cared for during old age or disability, but that the wealth you have worked so hard to accumulate over the years might be passed on to your family, rather than spent on long term care.

Medicaid Planning

For many families, Medicaid is an important component of planning for the future and paying medical expenses. More and more individuals require long-term care, but this can rapidly deplete a family’s savings. Proper Medicaid planning can help prepare for this possibility and protect your family from financial peril later in life. Walker Lambe Rhudy Costley & Gill, PLLC has the experience and expertise to guide your family through this confusing and complicated process. Whether you are looking to the future, presently navigating the Medicaid rules, or simply trying to understand new regulations and how they might affect you, Walker Lambe can help you achieve your goals and protect against the financial burdens of long-term medical care.

Special Needs Beneficiary Planning

Planning for the care of loved ones with special needs certainly tops the list of emotionally-charged and potentially complex topics. If untimely death or disability strikes, who will care for your children? The question is difficult to confront, but the peace of mind parents gain from a well-designed estate plan can more than compensate for having to plan for the unthinkable.

How a Special Needs Trust Works
A Special Needs Trust allows a parent, grandparent or guardian to provide funds for a disabled child without disrupting the child’s eligibility for government aid. Setting one up is a fairly simple process. Important points to remember while investigating the use of this estate planning tool are:

  • Decide on an appropriate guardian for your child.
  • Determine who would be a suitable trustee(s) to manage the trust’s assets and supervise your child’s finances.
  • Outline instructions for your child’s education, housing and other personal needs

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