A St. Louis Elder Law & Eldercare Planning
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Get An Elder Law Attorney Who Can Help
Decide how your property is distributed at your death. Pick who you want to administer your estate. Spare your loved ones the expense, headaches, and delays of probate court. Keep your estate private, not open to the public eye. Protect your property from judgments. Reduce your estate taxes. Explain your preferred post-death arrangements. Using estate planning tools, we can help you achieve these goals.
Medicaid / Long-Term
Take steps to get the care you need while avoiding the risk of losing all of your savings and property due to the high costs of living in a nursing home / skilled care facility. Through specialized, careful planning, we can work to help you attempt to qualify for governmental benefits, sure as nursing home care, from Medicaid (MO Health Net in Missouri, The Department of Healthcare & Family Services in Illinois).
Powers Of Attorney For
Healthcare & Property
Powers of attorney are key documents for any estate plan and eldercare plan. Choose who you want to manage your important healthcare decisions and financial matters if you become incompetent or incapacitated by a physical or mental condition or disability. Provide guidance and limits for what you want done. Prevent your loved ones from possibly needing to get court intervention.
If a loved one has become incompetent or incapacitated by a physical or mental condition or disability and is unable to manager their affairs (and no powers of attorney exist) a court will need to appoint a guardian (a person to oversee the loved one’s person and daily affairs) and a conservator (a person to oversee the loved one’s finances). We can assist you in handling this stressful, emotional task.
Nursing Home Abuse
& Neglect Lawsuits
It is everyone’s worst fear… If you have a suspicion that a loved one has been abused or has otherwise not been properly cared for, this should immediately be investigated to ensure no further harm is done. We have extensive experience handling personal injury lawsuits, and we will do all we can to ensure that your loved one gets the care and compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of fraud, treated unfairly, or otherwise taken advantage of, we can help. If there is a dispute between family members over how an incapacitated loved one should be cared for or how their finances should handled, we can help. We have successfully handled hundreds of lawsuits and have helped our clients recover millions of dollars.
How We Can Help You
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What Our Clients Say:
We Provide Solutions
Our Eldercare Planning And Elder Law Services Can Ensure That:
• Your Don’t Lose Your Life Savings Paying for a Nursing Home
• Your Spouse Avoids Living in Poverty if You Require Nursing Home Care
• You Get the Appropriate and High Quality Care You Deserve
• Your Personal Finances are Properly Handled If You Lose Your Capacity
• Your Medical Care and End of Life Decisions are Respected If You Lose Your Capacity
• You Can Seek Justice if You or a Loved One Have Been Defrauded
• You Can Seek Justice if You or a Loved One Have Been Abused or Neglected
• You Have an Estate Plan Which Will Protect Your Legacy, Your Loved Ones, and Your Assets
• YOU GET PEACE OF MIND
The Importance Of Having A Good Plan
Eldercare planning and elder law are legal practice areas that focus on the unique and difficult challenges people face as they age. The goal is to ensure that you or your loved one ages with care and dignity, while avoiding stress, confusion, and poverty.
With a proper planning and decision making that take into account you or your loved one’s desires, health, finances, and unique situation, we can work to provide you and your family with peace of mind. At Wayfinder Law, a law firm with offices in St. Louis, Missouri, and Belleville, Illinois, we take pride in providing this result. Contact us today.
Our Goal Is To Get You The Outcome You Want & Make Your Legal Experience As Positive As Possible. To Get This Result, We:
• Truly listen and learn about your unique situation and legal concerns,
• Answer your questions in a clear, understandable manner,
• Be upfront and honest about your legal matter,
• Keep you informed of important developments,
• Treat you how we would want to be treated, and
• Do great work.
Elder Law & Eldercare Planning FAQs
Most likely. If you are an adult and own anything and/or have loved ones, you need an estate plan. At Wayfinder Law, we individually tailor estate plans based on our clients’ unique needs and desires. However, most estate plans include the following documents: 1) a last will and testament, 2) a revocable living trust, 3) a power of attorney for healthcare, 4) a power of attorney for property, and 5) a living will. Depending upon your specific needs additional, more complicated documents might be needed.
A will is a written, signed document in which a person, called the testator, expresses their desire about how their money and other assets should be distributed following their death. Other important provisions, among others, include the testator’s choice of who will administer their estate and, if applicable, who will care for their minor children or disabled family members upon their death.
If you die without a will, which is called dying “intestate,” then any of your assets which are required to undergo the probate process will be distributed according to state law, not according to your wishes. Also, more significantly, if you have minor children or disabled family members and die intestate, your wishes for who you want to care for them might not ever be known, or considered, by the court. Finally, probate is generally much more expensive, and time consuming, in comparison to a good estate plan which avoids probate.
A power of attorney is a legal document in which an individual, the “principal,” gives another person, the “agent,” the power to act on their behalf. In a typical estate plan, a power of attorney for healthcare and a power of attorney for property are prepared. As the agent might need to make critical decisions about the principal’s healthcare treatment and finances, it is key that a trusted person be selected as the agent.
The powers of attorney we typically recommend for our estate planning clients are “springing” and “durable,” meaning that they do not take effect until a condition it met – e.g., the principal loses their ability to think clearly or function – and they continue in effect while the person cannot make decisions of their own. Typically, outside of estate planning, a power of attorney become effective immediately when signed and ceases once the principal loses their decision making capacity.
No one wants to think that at some point they might be unable to think clearly or act in a competent manner. However, if this does happen, and if you don’t have powers of attorney for property and healthcare in place, a court action will need to be filed to protect you and your assets. This court action, which is expensive and time consuming, involves a judge appointing a legal guardian and conservator to make decisions on your behalf.
A living will is a type of advance directive (a written document which specifies your desires should you be unable to express such desires in the future). In a living will, a person expresses their wishes about what health care treatment they want – and do not want – if they lose their ability to think clearly or function.
A revocable living trust is a helpful estate planning tool that can act to hold legal title to certain of your property, thereby allowing the property to be transferred according to your wishes at your death while avoiding the probate process. It is called a revocable living trust because it can be modified or terminated by the grantor (the person who placed property into the trust) during their lifetime.
Other than a special type of joint revocable living trust between a married couple living in Missouri, this type of trust does nothing to shield your property from judgment creditors.
An irrevocable trust is a trust where the grantor (the person putting property into the trust) cannot amend or terminate the trust once it has been created and funded. It can only be modified or terminated by the beneficiary of the trust – that is, the person for whom the trust was created to benefit.
This type of trust can be helpful for protecting one’s assets from judgments, obtaining tax benefits, and qualifying for government benefits, such as Medicaid.
At Wayfinder Law, a typical senior care and/or estate plan involves us: 1) meeting with the client to discuss their needs and desires, 2) explaining to the client the various options available to them, 3) assisting the client identify, understand, and properly position their financial resources, 4) assisting the client navigate potentially difficult decisions which could impact family relationships.
We then prepare draft documents based on the client’s expressed wishes, reviewing the draft documents with the client and making any revisions the client desires.
After finalizing the senior care or estate plan documents, we help the client with the final actions needed to complete the estate plan.
Importantly, we answer any questions the client has during the above process.
The cost of a senior car plan or estate plan is chiefly determined by the size and scope of a client’s assets, their family circumstances, and the complexity of their desired plan. However, you will know exactly how much your plan will cost before we begin work on your plan.
In addition to preparing clients’ elder care and estate planning documents, we hope to develop – through our care, personal attention, and quality of work – long lasting personal and professional relationships with them.
Depending on the size and scope of a client’s assets, their family circumstances, and the complexity of their desired senior care or estate plan, it can take from just under a week to several months, start to finish, for the preparation of a individually tailored estate plan.
A factor which affects how long the process takes is how quickly clients can make key decisions and gather all of their important information and documents we need to properly prepare the elder care or estate plan documents.
Medicaid planning is a means to legally hold, transfer, and dispose of your money and property so that you or a loved one can qualify for the governmental benefits available under the Medicaid program (such as free nursing home care). By taking certain legal and strategic steps regarding your assets, you won’t lose your life savings paying for a nursing home or other specialized care.
This specialized planning involves the application of technical and confusing federal and state laws, codes, and regulations. Court opinions interpreting these matters adds to the complexity. Any mistakes in such planning can cost you huge sums of money. Eligibility for Medicaid benefits is based on both financial criteria (including your income) and non-financial criteria (including your age).
At Wayfinder Law, we work closely with you to get a full understanding or your unique personal and financial circumstances. Once this is done, we provide you recommendations and options. Once you fully understand your options and select a path forward, we get to work qualifying you for Medicaid benefits.
Less than the average cost of one month of nursing home care. Given the huge savings it can provide, spending money on Medicaid planning can be the best investment you ever make.
A month stay in a nursing home normally costs between $6,000 to $8,000 (or more). Medicaid planning is a means to avoid having your life savings wiped out in a matter of months or years if you or your spouse requires nursing home care.
Let's Put A Plan Together
Having the right eldercare and estate plan in place is hugely important. Not having a plan in place could result in your life savings disappearing; your family struggling to handle your health, financial, and legal issues; and unnecessary court intervention.
Therefore, you need a dedicated elder law attorney to act as your guide – to lead you to an appropriate solution to your specific senior care planning or elder law needs. You also need an elder law attorney who listens to you, respects you, & places your interests first.
At Wayfinder Law, a law firm with offices in St. Louis, Missouri, and Belleville, Illinois, we take pride in providing our clients the results they need and deserve. Contact Us Now.
Leading You To
Peace Of Mind
7777 Bonhomme Ave., #1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
Toll Free: 833-929-3463
Mon. to Fri. 9:00 am – 5 pm
Special Appointments Available
Available By Phone 24/7
1 S. Church St., #500
Belleville, IL 62220
Toll Free: 833-929-3463
Mon. to Fri. 9:00 am – 5 pm
Special Appointments Available
Available By Phone 24/7