Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorneys
Creating and updating a proper estate plan is something that everyone should do, not only seniors. However, many people give more careful attention to such matters as they grow older. At Hook Law Center, we have the skill and experience necessary to provide you with authoritative advice regarding the distribution of your assets after your death. We can help you create your will and form any trusts necessary to accomplish your estate planning goals, such as avoiding probate, saving on taxes, and providing for your heirs according to your wishes.
We can also help you make sure that you have advance medical directives in place, to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself. You will be able to state your end-of-life wishes regarding health care, and designate a trusted person to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated. In addition, we can help you designate a trusted family member as power of attorney for financial and legal matters.
Life Care Planning, Medicaid Planning and Long-Term Care Planning
Nearly 50 percent of all Americans will need to spend at least some time in a skilled nursing facility, and many others will need in-home health care assistance. Seniors adjusting to the need for such care should not have the additional worry of attending to financial matters. The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center can assist you with the planning necessary to help you protect your assets while ensuring that you have the resources necessary for the care you need.
A stay in a skilled nursing facility can be extremely expensive, and advance planning is the best way to ensure that you will have the funding necessary for such care, while still providing for your heirs. We can advise you regarding long-term care insurance and other options. For many seniors, Medicaid will be the primary source of funding for an extended stay in a nursing home. There are income and asset limits for Medicaid eligibility, but certain assets are not counted toward the limit, such as a home and car in most circumstances. Many people have to spend down their assets to qualify for Medicaid, but there is a “look-back period” for transfers to individuals or trusts, preventing one from simply giving away assets to one’s family members. We can advise you of the best way to protect your assets for your heirs while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid and other benefits.
We take a comprehensive, anticipatory approach to life care planning, ensuring that every available resource is uncovered to create a custom plan to pay for a continuum of care.
Power of Attorney, Guardianship and Conservatorship
When a person becomes incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions about vital matters, it is important to establish a trusted family member as power of attorney or guardian.
With advance planning, the desired legal status will be put in put in place ahead of time, through documents such as advance medical directives and powers of attorney for financial and legal matters. The documents can be drafted in such a way that they do not go into effect until a person becomes incapacitated.
If a power of attorney document is not already in place, and an individual is incapacitated due to a medical issue, such as a major stroke, dementia, a mental illness or another condition, then it may be necessary for a loved one to petition the court for guardianship. In Virginia, a guardian makes decisions for the person regarding personal matters such as health care and the place of residence. If the guardian will also make financial decisions such as managing the person’s estate and assets, then he or she is a conservator.
The attorneys at Hook Law Center can provide you with skilled counsel regarding all aspects of the guardianship and conservatorship process.
Your Elder Law Attorneys
We at Hook Law Center strive to provide our clients with comprehensive elder law services. We see the spectrum of elder law services as a cohesive whole, and it is our goal to meet all of your elder law needs while providing you with individual attention and exemplary service.