Elder Law

The Commission on the Certification of Attorneys and Specialists describes Elder as:

"The legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and their representatives about the legal aspects of health and long term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision making, older persons legal capacity, the conservation, disposition and administration of older persons' estates and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters, giving due consideration  to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise."

Of particular interest in the area of Elder Law are the specific issues that arise when others initiate or become involved in the planning process for the elderly person because of real or perceived physical or emotional disability, dependents, reluctance, procrastination, or other impediments on the part of the elder.

Elder Law is most discussed in the area of two major need-based programs for the elderly, being supplemental security income, which is federally administered, and Medicaid, which is state administered within federal guidelines. There is no means test for Social Security, Medicare or Social Security Disability. The current law affecting Medicaid became effective on February 8, 2006 and had a major impact on eligibility for Medicaid.  One obvious impact is that the look-back period for transfers of resources is now sixty months and that the penalty for transfers made on or after February 8, 2006 begins to run from  the later of:

1. The first day of the month during or after which assets were transferred for less than fair market value; or

2. Date on which the individual is eligible for medical assistance and would otherwise be receiving long-term care service in a                  long-term care facility, based on an approved application for such care but for the application of the penalty period.

This makes the need for Medicaid planning as soon as possible all that much more important, especially for those clients with substantial assets.

The lawyers at Hanlon, Estadt, McCormick & Schramm Co., LPA understand the need for Medicaid planning, understand the rules and regulations governing Medicaid planning such as the spend down provisions and the passport program for individuals.

They are especially cognizant of the fact many individual do not need to do expensive plans to qualify for Medicaid.

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