What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a term for the legal practice area that generally covers those issues that affect the growing population of aging citizens. The term was rarely used even ten years ago, so it is understandable that there is some confusion around it. Elder law can cover aspects of estate planning, retirement planning, long term care planning, medical costs, health care costs, nursing home neglect, elder financial abuse, etc.
“We Get Too Soon Old and Too Late Smart” –Proverb
This happens to a number of our senior citizens when it comes to understanding what an elder law attorney can do for them regarding financial protection and planning for their future. But it’s not just the seniors who lack the information – it’s their families, too.
Mr. Ward attended a wedding a few years ago and was seated next to a woman whom he had never met before. When he explained that he was an elder law attorney, the woman looked at him for a moment in silence. She then leaned toward him and said, “We spent over $500,000 of my mother’s money on her care before someone finally told us to see an elder law attorney. I wish that we had known earlier.” And that’s what happens so often. People are generally uninformed, misinformed, or have developed a firm misconception of how things work.
Protect Your Loved Ones, Develop a Plan
Many of Mr. Ward’s cases begin with an inquiry from an adult child who realizes that their parent is experiencing a decline in health, or when the parent has been taken advantage of because they are no longer as attentive to their own financial matters. From there, we can explore the possibilities of what can be done to help protect the individual and his assets.
Where estate planning is often thought of in terms of what happens after one dies, elder law planning looks at how someone can best care for himself and his loved ones while he’s still alive. The unfortunate fact is that oftentimes the senior or the senior’s family has waited too long to act and therefore has not left ample time for much to be done. These are tough cases to work on because the family can lose a significant amount of assets due to a lack of planning. Do not let this happen to you or your loved ones. Develop a plan.
Our office generally will not charge for initial consultations, and we can often provide basic guidance to clients with a simple phone call. We invite you to contact us to see if there is something we can help you with.
Don’t wait any longer!
To receive your free initial consultation:
Call 800-JIM-WARD (800-546-9273)
Medi-Cal and Nursing Home Planning
Sometimes referred to as a “Medi-Cal” attorney, Mr. Ward is well-versed in Medi-Cal laws and practices. Medi-Cal planning is a financial area of the law that analyzes assets and needs, and then balances them with the individual’s best guess as to health and longevity and the financial needs of their spouse or other family members.
Within our practice, clients and their families are counseled regarding both crisis planning and long-term proactive planning for Medi-Cal and nursing-home eligibility. Mr. Ward works to prevent spouses and families from experiencing the difficulties associated with enrolling a loved one in a nursing home, and he employs the use of sophisticated planning techniques to preserve the maximum levels of income and assets. This work can benefit a nursing home resident, a spouse who is well and remains outside the nursing home, and the heirs of the family estate.
Jim Ward is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)
Mr. Ward practices Elder Law, but since many of our elder clients face hurdles besides the legal issues, he also became a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) to better understand many of those challenges. This additional certification has given him further insight into many of the problems that seniors face beyond what elder law encompasses. His clients appreciate the difference that this can make.
Because elder law is a relatively new and specialized area of law, most estate planning attorneys who do not practice elder law will recognize it as a specialty and refer those cases to attorneys who are familiar with the special issues of elder law. As a result, Mr. Ward receives many referrals from estate planning attorneys who are not familiar with elder law and therefore cannot properly handle these cases.
Mr. Ward looks forward to sharing his wealth of experience with you and helping you find appropriate solutions. Please contact us at any time with questions.