Meeting The Legal Needs Of Senior Citizens
Elder law does not emphasize giving your money to your kids so the government doesn’t get it. The primary focus is on preserving your assets so that your level of care will be enhanced for as long as you live. For many of our clients, providing a legacy for their children is very important. With proper planning, both goals can be maximized.
The elder law practice of Weems, Schimpf, Haines, Shemwell & Moore (APLC) helps clients preserve their assets while planning for good quality care in a nursing home or long-term assisted living facility. Please call our Shreveport office at 318-674-4977 to schedule your initial consultation.
Comprehensive Elder Law Representation
The practice of elder law starts out with a good estate plan. A sophisticated will is usually required. A simple will can be a simple blunder because there are so many things it doesn’t cover. Next, Medicaid planning involves arranging your financial affairs to qualify yourself for Medicaid benefits in order to preserve your assets and supplement any governmental benefits. Doing so will allow you a higher level of care than would be available if you were forced to expend all of your assets and rely totally on the minimal benefits available through such programs as Medicaid. Additionally, a good plan almost invariably allows you to leave more to your children or other beneficiaries. This planning usually involves transferring your assets to your children – directly or in trust – in order to reduce your assets to the point where you qualify for Medicaid. Hopefully, your children will pay expenses for you from the gifted funds when the need arises; however, they cannot legally be required to return funds to you.
Additionally, for qualified veterans and their surviving spouses, VA Aid and Attendance benefits may be available. This little-known program can provide up to $1949 per month in benefits for a married veteran and up to $1056 per month for the widow of a veteran.
If you are successful in planning, the government will pay for your nursing home care and your estate will pass to your children. Medicaid planning is highly technical. The law has changed often, and the mistakes can be very costly. The new law can penalize you for making gifts, even to your church, and the government will refuse to pay for nursing home care unless you have planned for it properly.
Our law firm also assists clients in establishing guardianships and conservatorships (called interdictions in Louisiana) to provide the day-to-day assistance many elders need to manage their financial and personal matters during a period of incapacity.