Mullica Hill Elder Law Attorney
Mullica Hill Elder Law Attorney
Elder law is broad and multifaceted given that many legal matters can affect older adults in New Jersey. At Scott Counsel, P.C., we know how important it is to have an experienced Mullica Hill elder law attorney on your side who can work with you on a variety of issues, including advance directives and other estate planning matters, Medicaid planning and asset protection, and preparing for long-term care. Given that no two seniors face precisely the same issues as a result of different experiences and life circumstances, our firm will help you to develop a plan for the future that is tailored to your needs. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about elder law and asset protection in New Jersey.
Elder Law Issues Our Mullica Hill Attorneys Handle
At Scott Counsel, P.C., we regularly assist older adults and their families with a wide variety of elder law issues, including but not limited to the following:
- Advance directives for health care;
- Powers of attorney;
- Choosing long-term care insurance;
- Medicaid planning;
- Asset protection trusts; and
- Creating wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools.
Long-Term Care Insurance and Future Planning in Mullica Hill
Older adults need to consider the possibility of requiring long-term care at some point. According to the federal Administration on Aging, a person who is turning 65 today has a 70 percent chance of requiring long-term care services in some capacity. On average, older women tend to require long-term care for more time than elderly men. Indeed, women require, on average, 3.7 years of long-term care as compared with 2.2 years for men. Nearly 40 percent of older adults will require long-term care in a facility at some point.
One way to plan for long-term care is to purchase long-term care insurance. Since there are many different types of long-term care insurance, it is important to work with a lawyer to ensure that you are paying for the plan that is most likely to meet your needs.
Mullica Hill Medicaid Planning
Another important element of asset protection for older adults is Medicaid planning. Since Medicaid is for people with limited resources, an older adult who needs Medicaid to pay for expensive care in a nursing home can be required to “spend down” assets to qualify. To avoid having to spend down assets, you may be able to create a Medicaid asset protection trust so that you do not have to give up your savings to qualify for long-term care benefits.
You should know that you cannot transfer assets to a family member or friend before needing care as a way of “spending down” your money. To be sure, there is a five-year “look back” period from the date that you require Medicaid benefits, and if you have made any asset transfers during that time (other than to asset protection or other allowable trusts), you can be penalized.
Proxy Directives, or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care in Mullica Hill
Many older adults in and around Mullica Hill are concerned about making decisions about their health care if they become disabled or incapacitated and cannot make such decisions themselves. There are two key types of documents under New Jersey law that are critical to consider: a Proxy Directive (also known as a durable power of attorney for health care), and an Instructive Directive (also known as a living will).
With a Proxy Directive, you can name another person as your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and cannot voice your own decisions about your health care. This document will not take effect until you become disabled or incapacitated, which means you will continue to make those decisions on your own up until that point. A living will is a document in which you can identify your wishes for medical care in the event you become incapacitated, including your decision about receiving or declining life support and other related forms of life-sustaining health care.
Mullica Hill Power of Attorney for Older Adults
Beyond a Proxy Directive, or creating a durable power of attorney for health care, older adults may also want to consider other types of powers of attorney that can allow a trusted family member or friend to act as your attorney-in-fact for financial or legal matters.
Creating a Will or Trust in Mullica Hill
Older adults who have not already considered estate planning with help from a New Jersey elder law attorney should seek assistance as soon as possible to make a will and to consider whether establishing a trust can be beneficial. Creating a last will and testament in New Jersey can allow an elderly person to clarify how she or he wants assets distributed, but the will must conform to New Jersey law. It must be in writing, it must be made by an adult of sound mind, and it must be properly signed and witnessed.
While a will can allow an older adult to make clear how she or he wants property distributed to heirs, it is important to know that a will must go through the probate process, and establishing a trust may allow an older adult’s heirs to avoid probate. Beyond a Medicaid asset protection trust discussed above, there are many types of trusts that may be useful.
Contact Our Mullica Hill Elder Law Attorneys for More Information
Elder law is a broad area of the law in New Jersey, and it includes many different matters that can affect older adults. Do you have concerns about making decisions about your health care given that you have recently been diagnosed with a serious illness? Or do you need help considering various asset protection strategies that can allow you to become eligible for Medicaid without losing your life savings?
Our experienced Mullica Hill elder law and asset protection lawyers can evaluate your circumstances today and discuss the legal options that are available to you. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or give us a call at (856) 672-7248 to learn more about the elder law services we provide to individuals and their families in New Jersey.
– 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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