ELDER LAW

Long-Term Care Planning:

We help our clients pursue alternatives to nursing homes but if a nursing home or other extensive care is necessary, we help alleviate the otherwise overwhelming burden of placing a loved one in a facility. We accomplish our client’s goals by protecting our clients’ life savings against catastrophic care costs and assisting families to access the best of long-term care. Our attorneys have helped many of people to protect their life savings while accessing better care.

Estate Planning:

We are qualified in the use of wills and trusts and other estate planning tools. We achieve great comfort and success for our clients because we focus on the lifetime needs of our clients and then work that “lifetime plan” into how assets will be distributed upon death.

Special Needs Planning for the Disabled:

In order for many disabled people to obtain health insurance and other assistance, they must qualify for Medicaid and other government programs based on financial need. We help our clients to legally protect assets so as to retain or obtain eligibility for these sometimes life-giving benefits. This planning also applies to our clients who wish to provide for a disabled heir in a will or a trust.

Guardianship:

We seek ways for our clients to avoid guardianship proceedings but sometimes it is
necessary for families to pursue guardianship when it is the only way to help an
incompetent loved one. We have great experience in guardianship cases and can help our clients minimize costs and aggravation in these proceedings.

Probate, Estate and Trust Administration:

We are dedicated to the efficient and safe administration of wills, trusts and estates.
Through years of experience, our firm can provide efficiencies not easily found. Our goal is to settle estates as quickly as possible, with good economy, communication and diligence.

General Aging and Disability Advice:

Sometimes the greatest service we bring to a client is our depth of experience and
resources in aging and disability matters. A client may come in to our office for a specific legal issue such as a new Will, but that client often leaves with a feeling that the greatest value is the guidance and support which comes so naturally from each attorney and staff member.

3 Ways of Paying for Nursing Home or Assisted Living Care

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be very expensive but there are ways to make your long-term care dollars stretch. There are three primary methods of paying for
nursing homes or assisted living facilities:
1) Private-paying with one’s own dollars;
2) Using insurance that covers some or all of the cost of long-term care and
3) Need-Based Government Benefits, i.e. VA Benefits and the Medicaid program.

PRIVATE-PAYING FOR CARE often means total indigence. The cost of nursing homes in Mississippi range from about $4,000 to $12,000 per month. Assisted living facilities are about half the cost of nursing homes but still too much for many to pay without outliving their savings. Many people spend all of their savings in nursing homes and then have nothing left. Not a very good option!

LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE works for some but most people considering nursing home care do not have long-term care insurance and either cannot qualify for the policies or cannot afford the premiums. Long-term care insurance is therefore often not an option.

NEED BASED GOVERNMENT BENEFITS – This leaves Veteran’s Benefits and the Medicaid program. In Mississippi, Medicaid pays for almost all nursing homes including the finest of facilities (you sometimes need to know the tricks to getting in!) and Medicaid increasingly covers assisted living facilities as well. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be below $2,000 in savings and below $2,022 in income (2011 figures).

What Elder Law Attorneys Do:
Among other services which enhance quality of life, Elder Law Attorneys help people to ethically and legally convert accountable savings to non-countable savings, so that Elder Law clients can keep their savings and still qualify for Medicaid. This is done not out of greed but of necessity so that the Elder Law client is not left indigent at the cost of long-term care. In the words of one court, no agency of the government has any right to complain about the fact that middle-class people confronted with desperate circumstances choose [to do Medicaid asset protection planning] when it is the government itself which has established the rule that poverty is a prerequisite to the receipt of government assistance in the defraying of the costs of ruinously expensive, but absolutely essential medical treatment.

Want more information? Call 228 875-1234 and arrange a meeting or go online to
http://www.atchisonlawfirm.com/. Our office is located at Pace Medical Plaza
180-B Debuys Road, Suite 116, Biloxi MS 39531.

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