Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Overview

We offer advice and assistance in planning for clients who are elderly or have disabilities and their families. In such a specialized area of the law, it is important to have trusted advisors with both local knowledge and the resources and support of a nationally recognized law firm.

Elder Law Planning

As the population ages, and long term care costs continue to rise, our elderly population is facing a challenging and complex time. Our elder law and special needs planning attorneys have more than three decades of experience in preparing and implementing appropriate plans for our elderly clients that might include traditional estate planning, Medicaid planning, tax planning and guardianship.

Typically, a plan might include Advance Directives such as Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, a Will and Revocable Trust, and, where appropriate, an Irrevocable Trust.

If elderly parents or loved ones are no longer able to make their own decisions, and have not previously appointed an agent to assist, a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding may be appropriate.  In such cases, we guide clients through the process and represent them in the court proceeding.

Special Needs Planning

Parents of a child living with a disability, whether it is physical, developmental, or a mental illness, are aware of their child's extraordinary needs. It is important that parents plan for the child's future, especially for the time when they are no longer able to oversee his or her care. Our group takes a step-by-step approach to special needs planning — including the preparation of estate planning documents, advocacy in the community for resources and support, and pursuing guardianship if necessary.

We help clients develop a complex and creative planning strategy to meet their individual family needs, while providing the peace of mind that comes from knowing a disabled loved one will enjoy a secure future. We work together with our clients’ care managers, financial advisors and other professionals to customize plans that meet each child and family's unique goals.

Often, we craft plans that include Special Needs — or Supplemental Needs — Trusts to provide for the beneficiary and to protect or establish the beneficiary's eligibility for government benefits.

We also provide representation in community advocacy, including applications for government benefits, assistance with identifying and securing residential placements, and obtaining vocational or educational training for those with special needs.

In addition, our team is highly experienced in guardianship matters. We regularly assist and represent clients in petitioning the Court for appointment as legal guardians of their disabled loved ones.