Advocating For Seniors, Planning For The Future
At Chayet & Danzo, LLC, our elder law attorneys help people prepare for the time when they or their loved ones will face issues such as aging, incapacity, disability, professional long-term care and death.
Elder law encompasses all of the aspects of planning, counseling, educating and advocating for seniors. It is at the core of all we do. In addition to seniors, we represent caregivers and fiduciaries, including children, conservators, guardians, estate administrators, trustees and agents who have the responsibility of caring for an elderly person or disabled adult.
If you have questions about the options available for planning for the health care and financial needs of an elderly parent or family member, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Considering The Needs Of The Elderly
While good planning is important at all stages of life, it is a must for the elderly. The legal problems of the elderly are often linked to the aging process and can include problems of incapacity and long-term health care issues. Our attorneys assist clients in:
- Planning for possible long-term care needs
- Locating the appropriate type of care facility
- Coordinating private and public resources such as Medicaid, to finance the cost of care
- Advocating to ensure our client’s right to quality care
Our elder law attorneys go beyond conventional issues and offer practical assistance to our clients in a number of areas, including:
- Drafting durable powers of attorney. These documents allow individuals to name a legal agent to assist them with day-to-day management of financial affairs and health care needs. Medical and financial durable powers of attorney provide an inexpensive means of ensuring seniors’ wishes are known and followed, even when they can no longer advocate for themselves.
- Health care and end-of-life directives. Through advance health care directives, one can formally state his or her feelings concerning artificial life support.
- Legal capacity counseling. A person with diminished capacity still has rights and a voice in his or her affairs. Our attorneys represent seniors, disabled adults and their caregivers when there are questions of legal capacity.
- Fiduciary representation. We represent guardians, conservators, trustees and agents under power of attorney who are responsible for a senior, minor or disabled adult.
- Litigation. We represent litigants in a broad range of court proceedings, including guardianship and conservatorship cases, will contests, trust litigation and contested estate administration.
- Public benefit counseling. We advise seniors and family members on public benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Veterans benefits. We also offer representation during administrative hearings and appeals.
- Private insurance counseling. Our lawyers advise clients how to maximize and coordinate private health, life, disability, long-term care and burial/funeral policies.
- Medicaid planning. This may include assisting with an application for benefits, the creation of a disability trust, or other steps that would allow you to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care expenses.
- Estate and gift tax advice. Our attorneys can advise you on your options and reporting requirements.
- Special needs trusts. Establishing a special needs trust can help you exempt assets from consideration by Medicaid while providing needed financial support for an elderly parent or family member who has very little monthly income.
- Elder abuse. The elderly and disabled are susceptible to undue influence and abuse from family members, caregivers, nursing homes and fiduciaries who are entrusted with their care. We advise family members on how to recognize signs of elder abuse, including personal and medical neglect or financial exploitation. Our lawyers represent clients who have been victims of abuse and fiduciary malfeasance.
- Placement counseling. Seniors and disabled adults may need long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, nursing facility or continuum of care facility. Our attorneys help the family with the selection of an appropriate facility, figuring out how to pay for it, and placement.
Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Disease Planning
In cases involving the onset of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, elderly Americans may find they need to qualify in order to receive long-term care benefits. However, in order to qualify for Medicaid, a person must first spend down his or her assets or be impoverished. Additionally, there is a five-year look back penalty for Medicaid. Since mental capacity is an issue in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, taking steps early in the process to create a special needs trust or transfer assets can be important for avoiding financial difficulties and legal complications later.
Contact Our Colorado Estate Planning Lawyers
If you have questions about elder care planning, please schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Call us at 303-872-5980 to set up an appointment. While we are located in Denver, we are willing to travel to meet you.