Elder law is defined not only by the identity of the clients (seniors, the disabled, and their families), but also by a focus on the legal problems caused by aging or disability. An elder law attorney focuses on the legal needs of his elderly or disabled client and uses a wide variety of legal techniques to satisfy their legal needs. A typical situation might involve an elderly person who is having some kind of trouble, but their family either doesn’t know what is wrong or doesn’t know what to do about it (or both).
Elder Law Planning:
Planning for this person (and their families) may involve measures to identify the problem, review of existing financial and legal documents, preparation of documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney if necessary, and possibly other measures to address the problem.
Upstate Elder Law prepares estate planning documents for clients of all ages, whether disabled or not. An estate plan may include some or all of the following documents: Last Will & Testament, General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Trusts.
Upstate Elder Law assists clients as attorney for the Personal Representative of decedent’s estates and also represents beneficiaries and creditors of decedent’s estates. We also assist cients with will challenges and estate litigation.
Special Needs Trust:
In appropriate instances, Upstate Elder Law prepares Special Needs Trusts for the benefit of disabled adults or children. If necessary we will also obtain court approval of the Special Needs Trust. We also provide advice to the trustees administering a Special Needs Trust.
Guardianship and Conservatorship Services:
Upstate Elder Law frequently represents clients seeking guardianship and conservatorship of disabled or older relatives who can no longer manage their personal or financial affairs. We also provide assistance to family members fulfilling their responsibilities in either or both of these roles. With the assistance of social workers and medical professionals, we help the family assess the older or disabled relative’s medical, emotional, legal and financial needs and make appropriate plans for payment of care expenses.
Medicaid Application and Qualification:
Upstate Elder Law prepares or assists clients in the preparation and submission of Medicaid applications. We customarily handle planning for eligibility, including advice concerning asset transfers, annuities, promissory notes, and other planning techniques; preparing the Medicaid application; and communicating with state agencies.
Planning for Disability:
Upstate Elder Law assists clients with disabilities and their families with legal planning for their long term needs, with careful regard to preserving eligibility for Medicaid or other public benefits programs. We also draft Special Needs Trusts, powers of attorney, or other appropriate documents, and advise trustees or persons serving under powers of attorney concerning their responsibilities.