I have been practicing law since 1994 and am licensed to practice in both California and Hawaii. My interest in elder law stems from my personal background. When I was a legislative intern at the State Legislature of Hawaii, I performed research on various issues affecting the elderly such as long-term care. After I became a law student, I participated in the Law School’s Elder Law Clinic where I helped elderly people prepare simple wills, advanced health care directives, powers of attorney, etc. My experience made me determined to be an advocate for the elderly.
Elder law is a distinct area of law that tackles the needs of the elderly. Elder law is a specialized field that requires specialized training. I have received training from nationally renowned elder law program of Stetson University College of Law. In addition, I am active in the elder law section of Beverly Hills Bar Association and the trust and estate section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I am fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.
My elder law practice consists of the following areas:
1) Planning for Medi-Cal Qualification:
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program designed to provide essential medical care and service to preserve health, alleviate sickness, and mitigate handicapping conditions for individuals on public assistance or whose income is not sufficient to meet their individual needs. Medi-Cal, however, is not open to everyone. It is a means tested program that scrutinizes the financial status of the applicant. The rules on qualifying for Medi-Cal change often. Before applying for or taking any action, you should contact an attorney who can advise you on the current rules.
2) Medi-Cal Crisis Planning:
Often families find themselves in a crisis situation when they have to send their loved ones are in nursing homes. Due to complex rules of Medi-Cal, families may have to wait for an extended period of time before they can qualify their loved ones for the long-term care benefits of Medi-Cal. During the waiting period, they bear the responsibility of paying for the cost of the nursing home care, which can be prohibitive. If you are in crisis and need to qualify for Medi-Cal immediately, your planning must be done with an attorney who is familiar with this area of the law. Even in crisis planning, the home and most of your other assets can be protected from Medi-Cal liens and preserved for your children to inherit.
3) Durable Power of Attorney:
A power of attorney is a document by which you appoint a person to act as your agent. An agent is one who has authorization to act for another person. When you become disabled and cannot manage your affairs, California law provides for a probate court proceeding to have an individual or bank appointed to act for you. However, such proceedings are expensive and time-consuming. A Durable Power of Attorney can save you and your family time, expense and inconvenience of a probate court proceedings.
4) Living Trust:
A living trust is an estate planning tool created for the trustor’s benefit during his or her life. After the trustor’s death, the trust assets are distributed for managed for the benefit of trust beneficiaries. A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable, depending on your objectives. Be aware of the phenomenon of “trust mills”-companies that mass market “cookie-cutter” or “one-size-fits-all” living trusts by holding seminars or advertising on the internet. If you are wondering a living trust is right for you, please call us for an initial consultation.
A conservatorship is a proceeding where court appoints a responsible person (called a conservator) to care for another adult (called a conservatee) who cannot care for himself or herself physically or financially. The conservator is responsible to the court and acts in a fiduciary capacity toward the conservatee. If you find yourself in a situation where you wonder whether you need to file for conservatorship, please contact our office.
In addition to being an elder law and estate planning attorney, I am also an immigration practitioner. I worked at the Immigration Practice Group of Baker & McKenzie’s Hong Kong office, focusing on employment and investment visas. Over the years, I have successfully handled numerous immigration cases including aliens of extraordinary ability, national interest waivers, multinational managers, professional workers, and labor certifications, etc. I have also handled many EB-5 investor cases. I have been interviewed by newspapers and radios on immigration issues. I have also been invited as a guest speaker in a workshop held by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.