Hamilton ElderLaw Attorney
Hamilton Elder Law Attorney
Many people view elder law as a concept that does not impact them directly, or at least not right now. However, even if you are not of advancing age, data on the elderly population in America reveals that you might be in a position to address these issues shortly. According to the latest US Census Bureau figures, the percentage of those 65 years old and older has spiked since 2010. This age group grew by 34.2 percent over the last 10 years, primarily driven by the Baby Boomer generation. The period from 2018 to 2019 alone saw a 3.2 percent surge in the 65+ sector, contributing to the national mean age going from 37.2 to 38.4 years old. No other age group experienced such an increase, so there will be more people questioning and wondering about elder law topics.
Whether you are growing older, caring for an elderly loved one, or need information on elder law concepts, you can rely on Scott Counsel, P.C. to provide solid legal advice. The range of topics impacting older individuals is extensive, but our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the laws and years of experience representing families. Please contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a skilled Hamilton elder law attorney who can offer personalized details. You can also read on for an overview of how we support our elder law clients.
Comprehensive Legal Services in New Jersey Elder Law
The focus of our elder law team is acting as advocates for elderly individuals and their families, helping them navigate the legal issues that come with advancing age. We are committed to advising you on a wide range of topics, including:
Retirement: Most older individuals who leave the workforce do not intend to return, so proper planning is critical for ensuring you have sufficient income and assets for retirement. We can consult with you on maximizing the potential of:
- IRAs and Roth IRAs;
- Profit-sharing plans;
- Business succession; and
- Many other retirement benefits.
Life Resource Planning: The average cost of a private room at a nursing home facility in New Jersey is almost 12,000 a month, while those at assisted living facilities pay around $6,600 monthly. Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care, so most residents must pay out-of-pocket or through insurance. There are strategies to avoid depleting your assets for long-term care, so our team will help you develop a Life Care Plan to optimize resources.
Medicare/Medicaid Planning: Medicare benefits start at 65 years old, covering hospitalization, skilled nursing care, in-home health care, and hospice through Part A. Medicare Part B includes medically necessary procedures and preventative services. Our lawyers at Scott Counsel, P.C. can answer the complicated questions that arise with Medicare and Medicaid, including:
- The difference between Medicare and Medicaid;
- Options for leveraging assets to qualify for Medicaid;
- Setting up a Medicaid funeral trust;
- The impact of the “Look Back” period, could lead to legal troubles if you make improper asset transfers.
Guardianships: If an elderly person becomes incapacitated and does not have a power of attorney in place, it will be necessary for loved ones to go through guardianship proceedings. Through this process, a court will appoint a guardian that steps into the shoes of the incapacitated individual. Guardianship addresses decision-making in two key areas:
- Health Care: A guardian has the power to seek medical care, order tests, discuss treatment with the ward’s providers, and handle other aspects of health and well-being. Other tasks may include choosing an assisted living facility and managing Medicare/Medicaid issues.
- Financial Issues: Guardianship cases also involve the appointment of a person to manage the ward’s real estate, personal property, and other assets. A guardian is empowered to pay bills, collect rent and other income, and apply for public benefits – such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Estate Planning and Elder Law
While estate planning issues are not exclusive to the elderly, they usually come to the forefront for people as they grow older. Our Hamilton elder law attorney at Scott Counsel, P.C. is prepared to explain your options and counsel you in making informed decisions about your estate plan. Numerous tools may serve your goals, including:
Your Will: The backbone of your estate plan is your will, in which you name an executor to manage your final affairs. This document also contains your directions on specific and general bequests to beneficiaries.
Durable Power of Attorney: If you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions regarding your finances, you can avoid the guardianship process mentioned above by executing a power of attorney. In it, you appoint an agent to manage your real estate and personal property on your behalf.
Health Care Proxy Directive: Incapacity also leaves you without someone to act or make decisions regarding health care. Advance directives are another option for avoiding guardianship, but they specifically apply to medical treatment.
Instructional Directive: Many individuals want their wishes known regarding end-of-life care and the provision, withholding, or discontinuing life-sustaining treatment. You might know the instructional directive as a living will.
Trusts: There are numerous reasons people opt to create a trust as part of estate planning, such as:
- You seek privacy regarding your personal, confidential affairs.
- You want to avoid the probate process by transferring assets to a living trust during your lifetime.
- You have concerns about younger or financially immature beneficiaries and want to retain some control over distributions.
- You seek to contribute to the care of a disabled loved one without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for public benefits, in which case a special needs trust may be appropriate.
Set Up a Consultation with a Hamilton Elder Law Lawyer
This overview is useful for explaining elder law topics and what we do at Scott Counsel, P.C., but we would also like the opportunity to provide customized details based upon your unique circumstances. For additional information and advice on specific issues, please call (856) 672-7248 or visit our website. We are happy to set up a consultation with an experienced New Jersey elder law attorney.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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