Hammonton Elder Law Lawyer
Hammonton Elder Law Lawyer
Senior citizens have unique legal needs, and elder law attorneys have the experience and training to help them navigate life’s complexities. At Scott Counsel, P.C., our team realizes that many complicated legal issues can arise in our golden years, and few people know how to solve legal problems on their own. Whether you are worried about the costs of long-term care or providing for your family after you die, you should meet with a seasoned Hammonton elder law attorney. Please contact our firm to discuss your situation.
Long-Term Care Planning
According to the Rand Corporation, 56% of Americans aged 57 to 61 will need to spend some time in a nursing home, and about 10% will spend over 3 years there. There are many legal problems associated with long-term care planning, and a seasoned elder law attorney in Hammonton is a good sounding board as you make difficult decisions. For example, we can assist:
- Choosing the right home
- Purchasing long-term care insurance
- Qualifying for Medicaid to pay for long-term care
Long-term care is very expensive. In New Jersey, one year of care in a nursing home averages over $100,000. Few people have anywhere near that amount saved. And if someone stays in a home for several years, the expenses balloon and will bankrupt all but the wealthy.
At Scott Counsel, we help many clients develop asset protection plans so they can qualify for Medicaid. As a means-tested program, Medicaid is only available to those with income and assets below a certain threshold. We might need to create an appropriate trust or another legal vehicle to shelter assets so they do not count against you, and the sooner we get started, the better.
A comprehensive estate plan should identify how to distribute your assets at death using either a last will and testament or a trust (or both). Without at least one of these legal documents in place, you will lose control over who receives your assets when you die.
Our legal team can draft a will and/or trust, while also naming a beneficiary for those assets that pass outside probate (like life insurance or investment accounts). We can structure the estate plan in such a way as to reduce probate costs and increase the availability of funds for your heirs to receive shortly after your death.
But a comprehensive estate plan includes more than a plan to distribute the fruits of your labor. We can also create advance directions like a living will, which allows you to determine which medical care you receive in an end-of-life situation, as well as an appropriate power of attorney. You are never too young or too old to begin estate planning.
Blended Family Estate Planning
Estate planning is different if you have children from multiple relationships, or if you are planning to remarry. Don’t think you are too old for another trip down the aisle! Remarriage for those age 55 or older is growing, and now close to 60% of those over 55 who are married are on their second spouse.
One common concern for clients is ensuring that children from a prior relationship are still provided for. They need to work around New Jersey’s laws, which allow a surviving spouse to receive a portion of the estate regardless of what is contained in the will. Let our attorneys discuss ways to ensure all your children partake meaningfully in your estate.
Medicare & Social Security
These two government programs are crucial pillars of support for most seniors. However, legal issues can crop up from time to time with either:
- Medicare might have rejected a claim or refused to pay what you are entitled to. An elder law attorney can help negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit.
- You might need legal assistance identifying when to claim Social Security or understanding your rights under the program.
- Social Security could deny you benefits you are entitled to, requiring a lawsuit.
Some seniors can no longer manage their affairs, so another person is appointed guardian. Guardianship is rarely the first choice for families—but it is sometimes the best choice when a senior is incapacitated or struggling mentally. We have met with concerned children to discuss seeking guardianship for an elderly parent who has no power of attorney document in place.
In New Jersey, a guardian of the estate has power over financial matters, whereas the guardian of the person can make decisions for medical and other personal matters. The court might appoint the same person to serve in both roles or appoint different guardians. Obtaining guardianship requires a court’s approval, so meeting with an attorney to represent you is key.
Elder Abuse & Neglect
Seniors are vulnerable because they often depend totally on other people for adequate nutrition, bathing, and shelter. Seniors are often targeted for exploitation inside or outside of nursing homes and can be abused in many ways:
- Physical abuse can include hitting, slapping, pinching, cutting, or suffocating an elderly person.
- Emotional or psychological abuse involves threatening, harassing, or isolating a senior from family and friends.
- Sexual abuse can include rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
- Financial abuse includes identity theft, stealing, check fraud, and credit card theft.
Unlike abuse, neglect is not intentional. But hundreds of nursing home residents are injured every year because staff members fail to look after their needs.
Some seniors are afraid to report abuse for fear of it escalating. One of our jobs as elder law attorneys is to investigate and report anything to the appropriate state office. If necessary, we can help file a claim for compensation against any facility which tolerates abuse or neglect.
Hammonton Elder Law Attorneys
It is never too early—or too late—to begin discussing elder law issues. Building a trusted relationship with an elder law attorney can make legal issues easier to deal with down the road. Please contact Scott Counsel today to schedule a meeting. You can reach us by calling (856) 485-4585 or by submitting an online message.
– 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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