Why Is Elder Law Important?


Greetings my name is Lori Somekh. I am what is called an Elder Law Attorney and what I have to share with you today is important!
God forbid something should happen to you or your spouse, or your mom or dad and an incapacitating emergency hospitalization occurs. Assisted living or nursing home care is suddenly needed. Of course it’s never going to happen to you, this kind of thing only happens to other people.
If only that were true, but here are the scenarios I see every day:

Of course it’s never going to happen to you, this kind of thing only happens to other people.
Mom or Dad had a stroke – must go into nursing home. They never did any planning. Home equity, mortgage / bank accounts, stock portfolios, etc. are still in Dad’s name or Mom’s name or Mom and Dad’s names.

Nursing home costs avg. $15,000/month, and Medicare only covers in full for first 20 days. After that it’s private pay until they run out of their private money. Then Medicaid will pick up the tab.

Parent has no capacity whatsoever. Now needs home care or a nursing home and doesn’t have capacity to transfer assets or do planning. Now a court proceeding must be done to declare him or her incapacitated, have a guardian appointed for him and then ask the court for authority to create a Medicaid plan and transfer assets. This is not an ideal situation for many reasons.
Person lives in and is heir to parents’ house. Both parents are deceased. Person needs to either sell house, get a mortgage, do a reverse mortgage, etc. Oops, house not in their name. A Lawyer needs to file for an Administration or Probate proceeding or, depending on circumstances, transfer title with an heirship affidavit, so that this person becomes the legal owner.
Old rich uncle’s home health aide has begun transferring assets into her name. Upon investigation, it turns out that the aide took uncle Joe to the justice of the peace and got married. Uncle’s capacity is very poor. Niece wants to become his guardian to protect him – part of which may include asking the court to determine his capacity as of the marriage date and possibly void the marriage contract. Then guardian will have to go after the assets that were taken.

More Important Questions.

Here’s other questions I can answer:

  • Do I Need to do Will, power or attorney, health care proxy.
  • Do I need a trust to avoid probate or to get assets out of my name in case I end up in nursing home one day?

Let me summarize it in this way:

You know how people worry about the possibility of losing their life’ savings if they should end up having a stroke or something and needing to spend significant time in a nursing home? Well, I help people handle their assets in such a way that they can preserve their life’s savings for their family and have Medicaid pay for the cost of care. If people are proactive and do this planning when they are well, we can often protect all their assets. However, even if they don’t, we are still able to help them – but we may not be able to protect everything. In any case, it is important for every adult to be proactive about doing a power of attorney, so in case something unexpected does happen, there is someone with authority to jump in and protect their assets.

I help take these burdens from my clients and make their lives better and make these unwanted transitions a little smoother, saving assets, family wealth and help those in need get the care they desperately need using the laws of the state of New York to your benefit.

Schedule a free consultation with me on the phone or in person. Call my office and ask one of my staff to get you on my schedule.

We think these scenarios will never happen to us until they do.

Take the first step today. Telephone: (718) 878-6732