Princeton Elder Law Attorney
Princeton Elder Law Attorney
While estate planning and asset protection considerations are important for Princeton residents of all ages, older adults need to consider issues like creating wills and trusts, preserving assets, long-term care planning, and Medicaid planning. According to the World Health Organization, the population of adults over the age of 60 will double from 2015 to 2022, and data suggests that, by the year 2030, approximately 1 out of every 6 people in the world will have reached the age of 60. Americans are living longer, and there are increased needs to address aging issues, including those related to long-term care planning and estate planning.
If you are nearing the age of retirement, or if you have an elderly parent or loved one who has not yet spoken with a Princeton elder law attorney about estate planning and related legal issues, now is the time to get started. An advocate at Scott Counsel, P.C. can begin working with you today.
Our Attorneys Handle Many Types of Elder Law Matters in Princeton
The dedicated Princeton elder law attorneys at Scott Counsel, P.C. regularly assist clients with many different types of legal matters affecting older adults, such as:
- Planning for long-term care: An essential part of elder law is planning for long-term care. In Princeton, the costs of long-term care are extremely high, and many older adults do not realize that they may need care in a nursing home at some point. According to a study from the Urban Institute, about 70 percent of older adults who reach the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care before they die, and nearly 25 percent will require two years or more of long-term care. How much does this type of care cost? According to a Genworth survey from 2020, the average monthly cost of care for a semi-private room in a nursing home in New Jersey is $11,254, and the average cost of a private room is $11,863. Those costs make New Jersey the eleventh most expensive state in the country for nursing home care. Accordingly, it is critical for older adults in Princeton to make plans. Planning for long-term care can involve identifying the best type of long-term care insurance and purchasing it, as well as considering the value of certain asset protection strategies such as an asset protection trust.
- Medicaid planning: When an older adult needs long-term care but does not want to have to spend down assets she or he built over a lifetime of working, it is critical to speak with an elder law attorney in Princeton about Medicaid planning. Medicaid is a need-based government program that can pay for the costs of long-term care, but an older adult will need to “spend down” a certain amount of assets to qualify. While you might think you can simply gift assets to an adult child or another family member to “spend down” for Medicaid purposes, you need to know that Medicaid has a five-year lookback period, and you will be penalized for any transfers. Instead of making such transfers, you can discuss the possibility of an asset protection trust and other asset protection strategies with an experienced lawyer.
- Wills and trusts: Older adults in Princeton should certainly begin working with a Princeton elder lawyer as soon as possible to make a will. If you pass away without a will in New Jersey, then you will die intestate and New Jersey intestacy laws will apply. What that means is that state law will determine how your assets are distributed. To have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will receive your property according to your wishes, it is essential to make a will with assistance from an estate planning attorney who can ensure that your last will and testament meets all of the requirements for a valid will under New Jersey law. In addition to making a will, older adults should also consider the various benefits of different types of trusts. Trusts can be essential for asset protection, and they can also enable a person to transfer property to loved ones without requiring that the property goes through probate.
- Advance directives: Advance directives in New Jersey include a Proxy Directive and an Instructive Directive. Proxy directives are often known as durable powers of attorney for health care, while instructive directives are usually known as living wills. It is important to understand what these documents do and why you should have both of them, regardless of age. For older adults, advance directives are especially important. A proxy directive allows you to name another person you trust to serve as your attorney-in-fact for healthcare decisions if you cannot make your own healthcare decisions due to incapacity. A living will have nothing to do with leaving assets to someone, but rather it is a document that allows you to clarify what types of healthcare or life-saving treatments you do or do not want to receive if you cannot make your own healthcare decisions due to incapacity.
Seek Advice from an Elder Law and Asset Protection Attorney in Princeton, New Jersey
Whether you are thinking about aging issues and related legal and financial concerns yourself, or if you have an aging parent or loved one, you should seek advice from one of our experienced Princeton elder law attorneys about steps you can take to create a will or establish a trust, to plan for long-term care needs and to engage in Medicaid planning, and to consider your options for preserving assets and remaining in control of your health care.
Our firm is dedicated to providing tailored services to each client we serve. While we know that many older adults face similar issues concerning health, finances, and property, we also know that it is essential to tailor estate planning and other elder law services to the individual needs of every person. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call us at (856) 281-3131 to learn more about how we regularly assist clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
– 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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