Who Is a Typical Elder Law Client?
Elder law attorneys encounter numerous situations where they are able to assist families in obtaining much-needed benefits. Governmental programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and housing assistance are extremely complex. Unless one has a thorough knowledge of the system, its changing laws and regulations, and how to navigate the bureaucratic maze, something is likely to be missed. By consulting an elder law attorney, you can ensure that this does not happen.
Offering Comprehensive Elder Law Services in Texas
Services of the elder law attorneys at Wright Abshire include providing assistance in qualifying for governmental programs, preparation and executing estate planning documents, preserving assets, obtaining Medicaid eligibility, accessing disability benefits, providing for a disabled family member, initiating probate matters and planning for retirement. Because of the important benefits available through the Medicaid program, Medicaid planning is perhaps the most common service provided.
At Wright Abshire, we not only understand who is a typical elder law client but also know how to protect his or her best interests. We provide solid support to clients with elder law concerns in Texas and take every measure possible to help you. Contact our Houston elder law attorneys to learn how we can address your concerns and put the right legal measures in place.
Does Someone You Know Fit Into One of These Scenarios?
Here are some typical scenarios illustrating how elder law attorneys were able to help people obtain the benefits they needed, while preserving as much of their estates as possible. You may be able to relate to some of the problems faced by people in these scenarios.
Medicaid Planning to Help People Afford Nursing Home Care
- Planning ahead with a disabled adult child: Ms. Johnson is planning for nursing home care. She has a 42-year-old son who is disabled. She would like to set aside $200,000 for his future, instead of spending the money on private nursing home rates. However, she was told that if she does so Medicaid will not help with her nursing home costs. After contacting an elder law attorney, she learned that the entire $200,000 could be set aside for her son, and that she will be eligible for long-term care Medicaid as soon as she enters the nursing home.
- Preserving assets to avoid depleting an estate on nursing home costs: Mr. Jones has been living in a nursing home for two years, spending down his assets as he was told to do by the nursing home when he moved in. Mr. Jones’ daughter contacted an elder law attorney, who was able to preserve the last $40,000 of her father’s assets instead of spending all of the funds on the nursing home. Mr. Jones qualified for nursing home Medicaid in a few months.
- Qualifying for Medicaid for income earners considered over the wage limit: Mrs. Dobbs, age 78, needs nursing home care. Her monthly income is $2,600. She was told that she cannot get Medicaid to help with nursing home costs because her income is over the Medicaid limit. After discussing her situation with an elder law attorney, she found that there is a simple way that she can qualify for Medicaid, even though her income is over the limit.
- Modifying a trust to qualify for Medicaid: Mr. Goforth, aged 58, is in a nursing home and has applied for Medicaid. He was denied eligibility because of a trust he set up for himself several years ago, which Medicaid says disqualifies him for benefits. He hired an elder law attorney and learned that making only a few changes to his trust will qualify him for Medicaid. The changes were made and his Medicaid was approved.
- Qualifying for Medicaid to avoid paying private nursing home rates: Mrs. Stein entered a nursing home last month. She has assets of $75,000. She was told that she must pay private rates for almost two years before she can get Medicaid. Her family sought the advice of an elder law attorney and learned that Mrs. Stein can qualify for Medicaid in just a few months.
Life-Care Planning For Serious Medical Conditions
- Preserving assets when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s: Mr. and Mrs. Smith contacted an elder law firm because Mrs. Smith has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and will need to move into a nursing home. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are very concerned about their future and preserving their assets. Their estimated assets total $3 million, and Mrs. Smith has a monthly income of $1,200. With the help of an elder law firm, they learned that they could protect all of their assets and divert some of Mrs. Smith’s income to her husband.
- Planning ahead and dealing with ALS: Mrs. Doe has recently been diagnosed with ALS and is concerned about her future, her care and her assets. Knowing she will soon need 24-hour care, she decided to meet with an elder law attorney and discuss her estate planning documents and asset protection to determine if she will be able to have the type of care she wants and the funds to pay for it. She has an estate worth $200,000, and with the help of the elder law attorney she can preserve all of her estate.
- Protecting Medicaid eligibility from a personal injury settlement: Ms. Adams, aged 60, is disabled and on Medicaid. She will receive a personal injury settlement of about $300,000, which will disqualify her for Medicaid. She met with an elder law attorney and learned that the entire settlement can be protected and that her Medicaid benefits will continue.
- Qualifying for Medicaid to cover a liver transplant: Mrs. Bell needs a liver transplant. She had been receiving SSI and Medicaid but lost those benefits when she qualified for Social Security early age widows payments at age 60. She has no insurance. Without Medicaid, she cannot have the liver transplant and will die. After discussing this with an elder law attorney, she learned that she is still eligible for Medicaid under an obscure rule in federal law and that all she has to do is re-apply.
Medicaid and Exempt Asset Concerns
- Protecting beneficiaries from exempt asset concerns: Mrs. Blake is in a nursing home on Medicaid. She owns her home, which Medicaid treats as an exempt asset. She heard that even though the home is exempt, at her death the state can file a claim against the home for the amount of money Medicaid paid for her care. Her family contacted an elder law attorney and found that the home can be protected against such a claim if done so before her death.
Contact Wright Abshire Today
We understand the concerns you may have about Medicaid because we have extensive experience working with clients in similar situations. Our lawyers are committed to helping you qualify for Medicaid, while preserving the assets you need. Contact our law firm today for an initial consultation at one of our three office locations in Bellaire, or Carmine, Texas.