Elder law is a highly specialized and sophisticated field. Our principal, Mr. Fong, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney (NAELA). The importance of elder law is underscored by the fact about one in every eight American is age 65 and over. As our population ages, more and more people need to apply for long-term care. The cost of a nursing home ranges from $8,000 to $10,000 a month. Because of the high cost, most Californians have to rely on Medi-Cal to pay for their long-term care. Medi-Cal, however, is not open to everyone. It is a means-tested program that scrutinizes the financial status of the applicant. We assist elderly in qualifying for Medi-Cal while preserving their assets.
We can devise an asset protection plan to protect your assets from the government, lawsuits, and other predators. This may involve the transfer or re-titling of assets and gifting. We can even set up a Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trust or a special needs trust that can provide for the supplemental needs and comfort of your loved one. Our elder law and estate planning practice also include revocable living trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, and conservatorship.
Why an Elder Law or Special Needs attorney?
Rather than being defined by technical and legal distinctions, Elder Law and Special Needs Law is defined by the clients to be served. In other words, the lawyer who practices Elder Law or Special Needs Law works primarily with seniors and people with disabilities. Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorneys focus on the legal needs of the elderly and people with disabilities, and use a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the goals and objectives of their clients. Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorneys typically work with other professionals in various fields to provide their clients quality service and ensure their needs are met.
Using this holistic approach, for example, an Elder Law Attorney will address general estate planning issues and will counsel clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision making documents. This attorney will also assist clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care are all part of the Elder Law practice.
Today elder law is recognized as a distinct area of practice. Usually an Elder Law Attorney focuses his or practice in several areas. These focus areas typically include long-term care planning, asset protection, wills and trusts, durable powers of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and convervatorship. A traditional estate planning attorney usually focuses on helping individuals pass their assets from one generation to the next. However, an Elder Law Attorney focuses more on ensuring the life quality and asset protection of his or her clients while they are alive. Also, an Elder Law Attorney takes a holistic approach in meeting the needs of the clients.