Elder Law

Elder Law

Elder Law is estate planning with a focus on issues that arise post-retirement, especially planning for long-term care.

One brief example will illustrate.

A typical estate plan for a person of any age would include, among other documents, a Will.

When planning with an Elder Law focus, the attorney must pay special attention to the Will – whether or not the client has a Revocable Living Trust.   If the client is an older married couple, it is very possible that the spouse that lives the longest will need government benefit help at some point in the future.  Long-term care is simply so expensive that many couples will have difficulty privately paying for all assistance and care that will be needed by both of them.

Most married couples leave all assets to the surviving spouse, outright.  But if the surviving spouse is receiving Medicaid or another needs-based government benefit, that bequest may disqualify the surviving spouse from receiving benefits.

If the first spouse instead leaves assets to the survivor in a special type of trust that is created by his/her Will, those assets can be protected – i.e. they will not be “countable” assets that would disqualify the surviving spouse for means-based government benefits.

It is important to know that this special type of trust must be created in the Will.  It can’t be created by a living trust.  An elder law attorney is acquainted with these government benefit rules, and will focus on the family’s long-term care planning and create the type of Will that is appropriate for this family.

This is just one small example of the particular focus that an elder law attorney uses when planning with and for older clients.

Obviously this short explanation can only provide a broad overview, and some or all of this section may not be relevant to your particular situation.  You need to speak with an elder law attorney that you have educated about your situation before making decisions.

If you would like to set an appointment with me to discuss your situation, I can be reached at 786-804-3456, or manning@miamiestateplans.com.

Sheryl J. Manning, PL.
1104 Ponce de Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, Fl 33134
(786) 804-3456 Direct Line
(305) 445-3721 Receptionist

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