Mount Pleasant Elder Law Attorney

Among the many challenges associated with aging are concerns related to finances, healthcare, and asset protection. Elder law can help you navigate these complex matters to develop an estate plan that meets your needs and goals while respecting the dynamics unique to your family situation. But how? A Mount Pleasant, NY, elder law attorney from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can help.

Amoruso & Amoruso LLP is a premier law firm nationally recognized for its elder law and comprehensive estate planning services. Attorneys Michael Amoruso and Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso have extensive experience helping clients implement strategies to plan for the future and protect their hard-earned wealth. We can also assist you with crisis planning to outline your wishes in an emergency.

Your well-being is always the priority at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP. If you have questions or concerns about how elder law fits into your estate plan, contact us today to speak with an elder law attorney in Mount Pleasant.

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law focuses on planning for your life after retirement and as you age. Using strategic legal tools customized to your needs, an elder law attorney can help seniors protect their finances and address potential issues related to their healthcare, safety, resources, and end-of-life wishes.

Elder law lawyers also work with families who wish to protect their parents from elder abuse and financial abuse and to ensure they have the legal protection they need and access to essential services and benefits. These matters significantly affect seniors and their loved ones, and getting guidance from an experienced attorney can give you and every family member much-needed peace of mind.

Is Elder Law Different from Estate Planning?

Elder law differs from estate planning because it focuses primarily on protecting your assets and planning for various contingencies while you are alive. Estate planning focuses on what happens to those assets after you pass away. That said, elder law can work in tandem with estate planning. That’s how we do it at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP.

Our firm’s signature service is comprehensive estate planning, which draws on elements of elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, tax planning, long-term care planning, and related concerns. This all-encompassing approach lets our clients rest easy, knowing their future needs are securely met.

When Should I Contact an Elder Law Attorney in Mount Pleasant?

You don’t have to be age 65 to benefit from an elder law attorney’s services. Even if you’re younger or in excellent health, you should consider meeting with a lawyer to start thinking about your later years. Planning for the possibility of needing long-term care before you need it makes it easier to consider all your options and make decisions without feeling stressed or rushed.

Similarly, if you have a parent over 65, they may need help accessing benefits or deciding what they want to happen if they become incapacitated. An elder law attorney can facilitate a guided discussion to implement a plan that gives everyone a sense of relief.

How Will Elder Law Planning Protect My Assets?

Asset protection is one of the major issues addressed by elder law attorneys. While you may have a strong estate plan to ensure your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes after death, it’s just as critical that you have a plan in place to protect them as you age.

The costs associated with long-term care — whether provided within the home, in an assisted living facility, or at a nursing home — can be considerable. Elder law planning can help protect your assets and make it possible for you to fund long-term healthcare through Medicaid and other sources. Your lawyer can identify options that allow you to hold on to cherished assets, providing security for yourself and your beneficiaries.

Does Elder Law Help Me Avoid Probate?

Bypassing probate is one benefit of proper elder law and estate planning. The probate process delays the transfer of your assets to your beneficiaries after your death. It can also be stressful and expensive. With a robust and thoughtful plan, your attorney can spare your loved ones the extra hassle of probate.

Why Is Long-Term Care Planning Important?

Many seniors need long-term care, which can be a substantial expense. Having a long-term care plan in place is vital for several reasons.

Most crucially, it gives you control over the process. Would you rather move into a care facility or nursing home, or would you prefer to remain in your own home and have caregivers come to you? This can be a difficult decision, and your choice will depend on many factors, including your health, finances, and family relationships. But making your decision and planning for it is far less complicated than being forced to make a choice quickly due to an emergency.

Proactive long-term care plans also make your wishes clear to your family. They don’t have to wonder about your preferences. For example, if you’ve already chosen a nursing home and made provisions to afford one, that’s one less decision a loved one needs to worry about.

Should I Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?

It depends. Purchasing long-term care insurance can alleviate some of the burden of paying for nursing homes or other long-term care as you age. Given the high cost of medical expenses and elder care, knowing that you won’t have to pay all those costs out of pocket can be comforting.

Some factors impact whether you should purchase long-term care insurance, such as Medicaid, which can limit your options for facilities and providers. Premiums are also high on long-term care insurance policies, which may not work for some people. Others may not qualify for insurance due to pre-existing conditions. Your elder law lawyer can review your options and advise on an approach based on your unique circumstances.

What Is Medicaid Planning?

Qualifying for Medicaid benefits can help you access long-term care, but your assets can affect your eligibility for accessing the care you need. By developing a Medicaid plan, you and your elder law attorney can protect your assets so you won’t be forced to spend down on your care.

As a nursing home Medicaid applicant, you cannot simply give away your property to qualify for benefits. Medicaid uses a five (5) year “lookback” rule to see if you made non-exempt transfers of assets. That means New York will review your last five years of financial transactions to see if you transferred any assets during that time before deciding on your application. The Department of Social Services deems such transfers to have been made solely to qualify for benefits. That may lead to a period of ineligibility where you would have to pay privately for all of your long-term care.

New York does not use a lookback period for home care Medicaid yet. However, the law currently provides for a thirty (30) month lookback period to begin on March 31, 2024, unless that law is revised or repealed.

How Long Does It Take to Qualify for Medicaid in New York?

Planning to qualify for Medicaid can be time-consuming. It may take several years if you have excess assets that must be rearranged and protected to qualify for benefits. Your Mount Pleasant elder law attorney can help this process go as smoothly as possible.

The length of time it takes for the state to process your Medicaid application depends on several factors. For example, applying for in-home care requires less financial and personal documentation than applying for nursing home care, which requires you to submit five years of financial information. The process can also take longer if the state requires you to submit additional information or if your application is denied and you have to file an appeal.

How Can a Mount Pleasant, NY, Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

Navigating many of the most common concerns related to aging can be overwhelming due to the complexity of the healthcare, long-term care, financial, and legal systems. While your needs are unique, the knowledgeable elder law attorneys at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP have assisted many people with similar concerns and understand the complex way these elements intersect.

Entering your golden years can be a peaceful transition with thoughtful elder law planning. We value your input and want to create an intelligent plan that works for you.

Contact an Experienced Mount Pleasant, NY, Elder Law Lawyer Today

Amoruso & Amoruso LLP assists residents of Mount Pleasant in preparing for the challenges that often come with aging. We take a holistic approach to comprehensive estate planning to ensure our clients are most securely positioned to navigate health, financial, and family changes.

When you work with us, it’s not just a one-and-done deal. Our lawyers are with you for the long haul, ready to support you and update your estate plan as your needs or state laws shift. Contact us today to speak with our Mount Pleasant elder law attorneys.