Elder law attorneys handle a variety of areas, including estate planning and probate, estate and gift tax planning, guardianships, Medicaid, entitlement programs, retirement benefits, age discrimination, elder abuse and neglect, housing, long-term care financing, medical decision-making, disability planning, and insurance. Typically, though, elder law attorneys primarily focus on Medicaid planning because that’s why people come in.
The Role of an Elder Law Attorney in Medicaid Planning
When helping a client with Medicaid planning, an elder law attorney’s responsibilities often include:
- advising the client on Medicaid’s eligibility requirements,
- advising how to attain eligibility in a manner most advantageous to the client by meeting his or her personal and financial objectives,
- assisting in attaining Medicaid benefits, and
- defending the client against erroneous denials or miscalculation of benefits.
An attorney’s scope of representation will differ on a case-by-case basis, tailored to fit the needs of each individual client.
Why You Need an Elder Law Attorney
The services offered by financial planners, certified professional accounts, and others certainly can be beneficial to an elderly client who is considering applying for Medicaid; however, such professionals rarely are able to advise their clients as to the unintended legal effects of their Medicaid planning strategy.
When engaged in Medicaid planning, it is essential that clients understand the legal implications of a will, trusts, durable power of attorney, guardianships, and other agreements. If the appropriate considerations are not given to a client’s estate planning documents, it could cost the client or even his or her spouse thousands of dollars. Nothing can substitute the sound legal advice that only an elder law attorney can provide.
Representation by an elder law attorney is also highly recommended in the event of an erroneous denial or miscalculation of benefits. In such a case, an applicant has only a small window of time in which to preserve his or her right of appeal to the administrative law judge or to a state court. Elder law attorneys, by virtue of their training and experience, have a distinct advantage when representing and defending a client on appeal and offer the best opportunity for a favorable determination.
If you would like to speak to an elder law attorney about Medicaid eligibility or how to apply for Medicaid benefits, contact Abbi Hensley at 765-742-9066.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.