Elder Law Attorney Helping Protect Our Parents And Their Legacies

If you have found yourself in a position where you are in need of an attorney who can handle elder law issues, you need a law firm who understands estate planning and its sub-set elder law.

Elder law requires a deep understanding of the Last Will and Testament, Living Wills, Revocable Living Trust, Power of Attorney and Probate. The Johnson Law Firm has over 12 years of experience handling these matters and will confidently help you navigate these hard times. Mr. Johnson received a master in tax law with a concentration in estate planning from the University of Alabama School of Law. His expertise handling Medicaid Planning, and VA Pensions helps secure the future of your loved ones. Mr. Johnson will draft the necessary documents to create a guardianship to make sure that you have the authority needed parents or loved ones. Mr. Johnson will ensure your parents lite work will be safe and secure through a proper Conservatorship.

Elder law requires a top lawyer who is highly reviewed. With over 30 5-star reviews from clients on Google. Mr. Johnson does his best to provide excellent service to his clients. While you search for the best elder law attorney, you are probably focusing on the cost out of pocket for your family and finding the highest rated attorney who is affordable. Call Johnson Law Firm today if you are looking for an Estate Law Attorney who will help protect your assets and allow you to enjoy your life.

Woodbridge Lawyer Provides Elder Law Services To Community

As the Baby Boomer population ages, elder law is becoming a growing field. While few people relish the idea of getting older, it’s essential to have a plan in place. You need to create the necessary legal documents that protect your health and finances as you age.

At Johnson Law Firm, a significant portion of our practice is dedicated to Elder Law. We are passionate about protecting the citizens of Woodbridge, VA, whether they’re young, old, or somewhere in-between.

Elder law is the intersection of age and law, and it covers a broad spectrum of legal topics associated with the natural process of aging.

The legal topics for elder care fall into three categories:

  1. Estate Planning:

In estate planning, we help you arrange how your estate will be distributed when you pass. We work with our clients to create a plan and draft all the necessary documentation to protect both you and your heirs. Some of the documents we may prepare for you include a will, a living will, or a trust.

  1. Incapacity Planning

Think of incapacity planning as a type of insurance. It’s designed to protect you if your mental capacities are no longer strong enough to make sound decisions on your own. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen, but planning for this possibility when you’re still healthy ensures that your interests are protected.

Incapacity planning addresses three areas in your life:

–    Financial

–    Personal

–    Health

  1. Long Term Care

As we age, we need to consider whether we’ll need care from an outside source, such as a nursing home or an assisted living facility. Both of these options are incredibly expensive, and many of our elder clients assume they won’t be able to pay for it.

At Johnson Law Firm, we can show you how it can be paid for with public funds, and how you can qualify for Medicaid, even if you think you’re not eligible. While Medicaid does have strict rules for eligibility, there are also several myths about it that make people give up or not accurately present their information. Mr. Johnson is a champion when it comes to Medicaid, and he’ll work with you to determine eligibility.

Interrelated Concepts

All three of these areas are interrelated and require an attorney with both knowledge and experience to understand all the nuances an ensure that a client’s interests are protected. For example, estate planning is likely to include clauses for incapacity planning and long-term care.

As we mentioned, nearly every area of the law you can think of also has an elder law component.

Here are some examples:

Contracts

The types of contracts in elder law tend to be personal agreements about care. As a person gets older, they may need assistance from family members and friends. While this sense of duty is honorable and originates from love, it is also a significant time commitment and a big responsibility. An outside caregiver might need to be retained to assist with some of the duties or manage them outright.

To ensure that both the caregiver and the person receiving care are protected, a personal agreement is often drafted to assign the responsibilities, determine financial compensation, and outline contingencies.

Health Care Decision Making

As an adult, most of us can make our own decisions. But in elder law cases, there needs to be a plan in place on how the person’s health should be managed if they are no longer able to make these decisions on their own. High rates of dementia and other mental problems are typical in the elderly population.

Having a plan in place in advance can ensure that our clients’ wishes are honored. This plan could include assigning a power of attorney to make both financial and medical directives. It usually also includes potential scenarios the client could face and instructions on how he or she wishes to handle them.

Elder Abuse: Including Criminal Fraud

Sadly, financial fraud is becoming an increasingly common form of elder abuse, and it is the fastest growing. At a high level, this type of fraud is when someone uses the elderly person’s money or property improperly. It could involve stealing, a scam, forging a signature, or other nefarious activity.

The elderly population is viewed as vulnerable. Older people tend to be more isolated and lonelier. They could be struggling to handle grief or pain. Further, they aren’t likely to be as savvy about new scams. They often trust the people caring for them, whether it’s a doctor, caregiver, family member or friend, and they also could fall prey to strangers or salespeople.

The variation and ingenuity of the fraud we see in our practice are astounding and scary. It’s imperative that our elderly clients have someone trustworthy to look out for them as well as have agreements in place to protect our clients.

Other forms of elder abuse are equally inexcusable, including physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, intentional isolation, abduction, and mental suffering.

If you or a loved one has been victimized, please get in touch with Johnson Law Firm today for a free consultation. We can help.

Torts

A tort is any wrongdoing that causes someone to suffer loss or harm. When this occurs, the person who commits the tort is legally liable. Sometimes liability involves prison, but most often, it provides an opportunity for relief for the damages incurred.

Here’s an example of an alleged tort:

An older man has recently married. When he dies, the new wife inherits everything, but the children believe the new wife manipulated her husband into removing the children from the will. The children could potentially sue for tortious interference, but this is not always easy. The plaintiffs would have to prove the following:

–    They expected to receive an inheritance;

–    The new wife intentionally interfered;

–    The defendant’s interference was intended to harm;

–    The children would have received the inheritance if the wife didn’t intervene; or

–    The children sustained damages due to not receiving the inheritance.

As you can see, whether you’re the plaintiff or defendant in this matter, it’s going to be a contentious matter. Having an attorney on your side can make things go much more smoothly.

Nursing Home Malpractice

While many nursing homes are lovely, the elder abuse and malpractice statistics are frightening. 95% of nursing home residents reported neglect in the past year. This neglect tends to fall into these categories:

–    Medical negligence

–    Not providing basic needs, such as food, water, and a clean and safe environment

–    Unsuitable hygiene practices

–    Social or emotional neglect

Insurance

Our elderly clients should be equipped with long-term care insurance. When we work with a new client, this is often at the top of our list because it is so critical. Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI) isn’t always black and white. There could be legitimate reasons for delaying starting coverage in Virginia. It’s our job at Johnson Law Firm to assess your situation and help you with a plan that fits your needs.

Medicaid

Getting older can be expensive, especially if you need long-term care and assistance. These expenses are not usually covered by Medicare, which makes elderly citizens seek out Medicaid. While Medicaid is a much more comprehensive health care coverage, it’s designed for people with limited income and resources.

Logically, if you are no longer in the workforce, then you should be able to qualify. If you are not currently earning an income, then, by definition, your resources are limited. However, the law and the terms of eligibility are much more complicated than that.

Many of our clients are concerned that they have to go broke first before they can qualify. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Our Medicaid Planning services will assist you in protecting your assets and applying for eligibility in a way that offers the best chance for success.

As you can see, nearly every part of the law is covered in elder law. The only distinction is that elder law pertains to age and the vulnerabilities that are associated with the aging process.

Should You Hire an Elder Law Attorney or a General Practitioner?

Of all the areas of law in the United States, elder law is one of the newest. The rights of the aging population were an afterthought until 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act (OAA). This was also the year Medicare was created.

A few years later, this law was amended to include a national nutritional program. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that it included a National Family Caregiver Support Program to help families care for their aging loved ones.

Because this area of law is so nuanced and still changing, it is beneficial to work with a lawyer that dedicates a portion of his or her practice to this field. Mr. Johnson is an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney. He has served the Woodbridge community for more than a decade.

If you need assistance with estate planning and elder law, get in touch with Johnson Law Firm for a free consultation.