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Elder Law and Special Needs Planning (Long Term Care Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Guardianships)

Elder Law and Special Needs Planning (Long Term Care Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Guardianships)

As we get older our needs change, and seniors face complex legal concerns that may be quite different from what they experienced when they were younger. As we and those we love age and if we or our loved ones are facing a health challenge, it is important to consult an attorney experienced in elder law and long term care planning.

We provide legal counseling for older persons and their representatives while advocating for and protecting their legal rights. In this context, we are often called upon to assist clients and their loved ones with estate planning, disability planning, long term care planning, Medicaid eligibility, and protecting assets from nursing home costs. Lelia and Michael Winget-Hernandez help older adults and their loved ones create a plan that allows them to safely and comfortably maintain autonomy and quality of life for as long as possible.

Michael and Lelia are members of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law attorneys which provides support and education to its members as well as updates on the changes in the law. Lelia is a member of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, which is a professional organization of elder law attorneys providing its members with information, education, and support for the elderly and disabled, their caregivers and advocates. 

Elder Law Attorneys Who Care

About fifty percent (50%) of us will become incapacitated before we die. At Commonwealth Life and Legacy Counsel, we work closely with our clients and their loved ones to help them create and implement a proactive plan for disability whenever possible. We take the time to get to know our clients and provide a lot of personal attorney attention. We also stand ready to help our clients’ loved ones implement their plans if our clients are unable to act or make decisions for themselves.

What if I (or my loved one)need to qualify for Medicaid as quickly as possible?

We can create efficient and effective crisis plans for those who are facing a severe health crisis or who need to qualify for Medicaid right away. If you are your loved one need to qualify for Medicaid, please seek the advice of an experienced elder law attorney before attempting to re-title assets or spend down assets on your own. The Medicaid laws are complex and change regularly. Trying to do Medicaid planning on your own may delay qualification and do more harm than good.

What if my loved one becomes incapacitated before they sign powers of attorney?

We can help establish a guardianship (ask the court to appoint a person to make personal and health decisions) or conservatorship (ask the court to appoint a person to make financial decisions) to empower loved ones to make decisions for an incapacitated person if they become incapacitated before they have powers of attorney in place. Getting a guardianship or conservatorship in place requires court action and takes time, so if you think your loved one may need this kind of help, it is better to get started now before a crisis develops.

Special Needs Require Special Planning

If you have a child or loved one with special needs, we can advise you on how to provide for their care and leave assets to them in a way that protects them from financial exploitation and maintains their eligibility for Medicaid and other government assistance programs. Michael and Lelia are the parents of a child with special needs, so they have first-hand experience with these issues and can provide effective and compassionate counseling and advice.

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