Elder Law & Disability Planning

Elder Law & Disability Planning is a complex area of the law and in some ways more difficult than tax planning. The lawyer and client must add public benefits qualification including Medicaid, nursing home eligibility, long-term care options, and planning for community based care and assistance, to the planning mix, and at times must also consider Veterans Administration benefits. Often elder law matters can result in the need for a guardianship or conservatorship, even when documents like health care medical directives and powers of attorney have been signed. In addition, at times, family members will engage in disputes about care and assets.

Our recent cases have involved successfully protecting clients’ assets from the nursing home with Medicaid asset protection trusts; defending challenges to irrevocable trusts by state agencies; preserving proceeds from the sale of a home for an elderly couple to allow one spouse to live in the community in non-subsidized public housing while the other qualified for long-term care benefits in assisted living and the nursing home; securing income and assets for a client whose trustee refused proper distributions from a disability trust; completing emergency estate and Medicaid planning by creating a testamentary discretionary trust for a surviving spouse and eliminating any transfer penalties under federal and state law; obtaining an emergency guardianship for a client on life support after suffering adverse effects from a medical procedure; creating various trusts and a limited liability company for Massachusetts clients moving to an assisted living facility in Rhode Island and qualifying them for Veterans Administration care and attendant benefits which, with other income, pays the costs of assisted living for two; completing multiple Medicaid applications and engaging in emergency planning to preserve unprotected assets with commercial annuities, promissory notes, mortgages and outright gifts; securing eighteen months of occupancy for the heir of a parent whose reverse mortgage exceeded the value of the property inherited, resulting in a foreclosure action; obtaining hardship waivers for adult children who otherwise would lose the family home because their parent was in a nursing home on Medicaid benefits; and successfully litigating two lawsuits in Massachusetts Superior Court against an assisted living facility that failed to refund the upfront payment for housing when one client died and the other moved to another facility.