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[GRAPHIC: Haystack, haystackcolorado.com]

ANNOUNCER: From CBS 4, this is Haystack TV, powered by haystackcolorado.com. Finding reliable services can be like finding a needle in a haystack. With haystackcolorado.com, finding the needle just got a lot easier. Now the host of Haystack TV, Chris Kane.

CHRIS KANE: Welcome to this Haystack TV spotlight. Many things in life do not go well without careful planning. And this is certainly true as we age. Failing to organize your legal affairs can be a costly mistake. The elder law and estate planning office of Chayet & Danzo is dedicated to helping you undertake the most important legal planning of all, lifetime planning.

[GRAPHIC: Chayet & Danzo, LLC, Background Check, Elder Law Chairman, Super Lawyers 2009 Rising Star, BBB: Outstanding Rating]

CHRIS KANE: Marco Chayet is the Chairman of the elder law section of the Colorado Bar Association and the recipient of the Colorado Super Lawyers 2009 Rising Star in Elder Law. And his law firm has an outstanding rating with the Better Business Bureau. Marco Chayet of the Law Firm of Chayet & Danzo joins us today. Thank you for being here.

MARCO CHAYET: Thank you, Chris.

CHRIS KANE: What exactly is elder law? And what does an elder law attorney do?

MARCO CHAYET: Well, an elder law attorney's practice encompasses advocating and representing an older adult or a disabled adult and their families. And instead of it covering just one area of the law, it covers many different disciplines. But the issue on representing a client in elder law is the fact that you represent older adults or someone with a disability perhaps.

CHRIS KANE: Estate planning is an important part of this. What legal documents should everyone have in place?

MARCO CHAYET: Estate planning's a huge component of any elder law practitioner's practice. And everyone should have three basic documents in their estate plan. Everyone should have an estate plan. It doesn't matter your socioeconomic circumstances.

You should have a way to pass your property upon death, which is a will or a trust. Second, you should have a medical power of attorney, which is where you give someone else, an agent, the authority to make a medical decision for you if you're incapacitated. And the third is a financial power of attorney, where you give someone the authority to make a financial decision for you if you can't make it for yourself anymore.

CHRIS KANE: And you mentioned being incapacitated. What if someone hasn't planned properly and becomes incapacitated? What happens then?

MARCO CHAYET: Well, we would hope that our clients and your viewers have planned appropriately. And that's what we encourage. If you have not done your legal documents or your estate planning and you do become incapacitated, you are going to have to go into court and get someone appointed as your guardian or conservator to make a financial or medical decision for you. We'd like our clients and your viewers to avoid that because it's an expensive, cumbersome process for families and loved ones to go through.

CHRIS KANE: And long-term care is a big part of what you do in your practice. Nursing home care is part of that. And that gets very expensive. There's assistance, though, that can help you pay for it if you can't pay for it all on your own.
MARCO CHAYET: Sure. With the aging population, baby boomers, getting older, nursing home concerns are out there in the general consciousness now. And there's essentially five ways to pay for nursing home care here in Colorado. The first is privately. That means out of your pocket. It's about $6,500 per month in cost for nursing home care in a facility. You could almost double that if you need nursing home care in your home.

The second would be long-term care insurance. We encourage your viewers, our clients, to get long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care if they can do that.

The third is Medicare. Now Medicare everyone's heard of. But that's only going to pay for nursing home care for 100 days, up to 100 days if you've been discharged from a hospital and need nursing home-type care.

There's also veterans' benefits. Very few people can qualify for veterans' benefits that will pay for nursing home care.

And the fifth is the big one. And that's Medicaid. Medicaid is the federal program that's run by the states that will pay for nursing home care. But there's very strict income and asset guidelines to qualify for Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care. So the key is careful planning so you don't have to rely on those kind of benefits.

CHRIS KANE: And you also offer free initial consultations for your clients.

MARCO CHAYET: Absolutely, absolutely.

CHRIS KANE: That-I mean, really with that offer and with all the knowledge that you have, anyone would be crazy not to come see you to plan properly. So thank you so much for being here. We certainly appreciate it. It was all fantastic information. I'm going to tell our viewers how they can get in touch with you.

[GRAPHIC: Chayet & Danzo, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Plan For The Future, 303-872-5980, coloradoelderlaw.com, Free Initial Consultation]

CHRIS KANE: The needs and planning of the elderly, disabled, and their families is the main focus of the Chayet & Danzo Law Firm. They assist clients with issues related to estate planning, end-of-life decisions, disability, and long-term care planning. If you haven't planned for your future, you need to call the Law Firm of Chayet & Danzo at 303-872-5980 or visit their website coloradoelderlaw.com. They offer a free initial consultation with an elder law and estate planning attorney. Their number again is 303-872-5980. The Law Firm of Chayet & Danzo paid for this segment.

Thanks for watching Haystack TV, the only TV program that features services you can trust because we've checked them out. Visit our website, haystackcolorado.com, where finding the needle just got a lot easier.

[GRAPHIC: Chayet & Danzo, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Plan For The Future, 303-872-5980, coloradoelderlaw.com, Free Initial Consultation]