Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal services that are geared towards helping senior citizens. Types of elder law services include probate proceedings, estate planning, and/or qualifying for Medicaid Benefits, Social Security Disability Benefits or Veteran Benefits. We explain each of these areas below:
- “Probate proceedings” is a broad legal term; however, it generally involves the handling of someone’s assets and debts upon their death. Sometimes people die with a will in place and other times they do not. In either instance, proceedings can occur before a Court so that an individual can be appointed to oversee proper management of the deceased person’s assets and debts. The person who is appointed is called the “Personal Representative.” It should be noted that probate proceedings are not necessarily adversarial; however, probate litigation can arise when there are legal disputes due to a person’ death and their assets.
- “Estate Planning” involves protecting the assets of an individual or family. There are numerous reasons for why someone would want to do this, but the main reasons are to protect the assets from unnecessary taxes, nursing home expenses, and probate fees. Additionally, estate planning is necessary so that an individual’s wishes are honored once they pass away or if they were to become disabled and unable to voice their wishes in the future. There are certain laws in Florida that govern what happens to someone’s assets if they were to die without a will; however, planning ahead could protect the assets of the person who passes away. We also recommend planning for medical and legal decisions, see our free packet.
MEDICAID BENEFITS, SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS, & VETERAN BENEFITS
- “Medicaid Benefits, Social Security Benefits, and Veteran Benefits” are all different types of governmental assistance that certain individuals may qualify for as they get older. A lawyer can help you apply for these benefits or, if you have already applied, a lawyer can evaluate whether you have been wrongfully denied benefits from the government. Additionally, Medicaid Planning is an important step for those deciding on the placement of family members in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Florida. There are three eligibility requirements including aged or disabled needs, medical needs, and financial need. A lawyer can help evaluate whether you currently meet the eligibility requirements and help formulate a plan if you do not. Medicaid Planning can be very helpful for families concerned about the high costs of nursing homes in Florida.