Proudly serving families, the elderly, veterans, and the disabled.
Founded in 2015 to better serve the elderly, Veterans and the disabled, we guide families through the challenges of estate planning, elder law, Veterans benefits and special needs planning. We also provide services in Probate and Estate Administration.
- Estate Planning
- Elder Law
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Veterans Benefits (Aid and Attendance)
- Special Needs Planning
Estate planning is a comprehensive process that addresses decision making of your assets and person in both life and death. Estate Planning often includes legal documents such as wills, trusts and advanced directives.
Elder law is a comprehensive approach to ensuring an aging client has capable decision makers, the appropriate care they require and that they can pay their health care and living expenses. Elder law attorneys work with health care professionals create a holistic plan that meets an individual senior’s needs.
Elder can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Estate planning (wills and trusts);
- Incapacity Planning (durable power of attorney, health care surrogate);
- End of life planning (living will);
- Long Term Care (Assisted Living and Nursing Home Medicaid);
- Veterans Benefits (Aid and Attendance);
- Probate and Estate Administration;
- And Guardianships;
Probate is a public court process that involves distributing your probate estate upon your death. If you have a last will and testament, it only controls assets that undergo this process. Generally, a last will is submitted to court, a personal representative is appointed, creditors are noticed, inventory filed, creditors are paid, final accountings are submitted and finally, beneficiaries receive their distributions before the personal representative is discharged.
Estate Administration involves assisting a family, primarily a Trustee or Personal Representative “Executor” in appropriately addressing each asset the decedent owned. This includes changing ownership on IRAs, 401(k)s, and Life Insurance to providing trust accountings and distributions to beneficiaries.
Non-Service connected Pension or incorrectly referred to as “Aid and Attendance,” is a benefit for war time veterans or their surviving spouses that have high unreimbursed medical expenses. Aid and Attendance is an increased level of pension benefit for war time veterans or their spouses in addition to the basic pension amount. The pension benefit also has income and asset requirements.
The VA will deduct your positive income from the maximum allowable pension rate. Prior to this deduction, the VA will first deduct unreimbursed medical expenses that are over 5.00% of your maximum pension rate. This amount is referred to as income for VA purposes or IVAP. The key takeaway is this benefit is for war time veterans or their surviving spouses with unreimbursed medical expenses. The VA does not count household expenses in their calculation of IVAP.
The VA has extremely ambitious asset limits for the pension benefit.
The VA refers to the benefit for surviving spouses as the “death pension.” Despite the morbid name, the benefit can be extremely useful in paying for home health and/or assisted living expenses. The surviving spouse must be married to the veteran and living with the veteran at the time of veteran’s death. The surviving spouse also cannot remarry. The benefit can only be claimed by an unremarried widow of a wartime veteran. War time dates are unambiguous and located on the Department of Veteran Affairs website.
Special Needs planning involves planning for someone who is disabled to insure their quality of life is maintained as best as possible, even without family or friends around. For some, the words independence planning is a more appropriate term. We are striving to make the disabled person as independent as possible and not as dependent on the family.
This type of planning is very challenging and rarely has a silver bullet solution. Special needs attorneys.
Planning in this area often involves life insurance for working parents to fund a specific type of trust called a supplemental needs trust, in addition to a letter of intent that describes the disabled individuals weekly schedule, medication, likes, dislikes and more.
Not to be confused with supplemental needs trusts, which don’t involve payback provisions, special needs trusts are federal payback trusts designed to preserve benefits during a beneficiary’s lifetime . The funds are used to supplement and not supplant those benefits, thus maximizing the qualify of life for the beneficiary. Upon the beneficiary’s death, remaining funds are used to satisfy the State’s Medicaid lien.