Elder Law

Elder law is becoming more important as baby boomers approach their golden years. Elder law is a distinct practice, designed to help the elderly with issues they face, such as nursing home issues, Medicaid planning and division of assets, health care planning, estate planning, and guardianship. We help create legal solutions for seniors who need advice on  Medicaid Planning, Division of Assets, Alzheimer’s Disease and more.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Kim Boyer, Of Counsel, in the Las Vegas Office, has written a book that goes over things you should consider when caring for loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. “Whenever individuals or their families are faced with a medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, or a stroke, they are confronted with daunting questions – how to provide for care when the patient can no longer manage his or her own affairs, what to do to protect their rights and property, where to go for help, and how to copy with the day-to-day challenges of fading memory and diminished cognition.” “This book is a gift—not only for caregivers but for all who work with older persons and those who care for them.”– Kenneth Doka, Ph.D., author of Living with Grief: Alzheimer’s Disease “This book is great – very comprehensive and easy to read.” — Dr. Charles Bernick, neurologist at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine.“This book provides an easy-to-read roadmap for navigating the journey and challenges of caregiving. To survive, caregivers need to be assertive and informed. This book shows you how. It is a valuable planning tool that will inform caregivers about the legal and financial issues as well as provide gentle tips for dealing with loved ones with dementia. You have found the Holy Grail for overworked, stressed-out caregivers.”– Jo Voege, MS, founder of Aging, a geriatric care management company in New York To order Visit www.unpress.nevada.edu or call toll free 1-877-nvbooks Also available on www.amazon.com.

Elder Care Planning

Elder Care Planning is an integrated planning approach that addresses the health care, legal and financial issues of long-term care.

What are the goals of an Elder Care Plan?

  • To promote good health, safety and well-being at all times;
  • To assist with health care and long-term care decision making;
  • To identify and assess good long-term care, whether at home or outside of the home;
  • To identify all potential sources of payment for such care;
  • To attain eligibility for public benefits programs; and
  • To protect family wealth.

What services are provided within an Elder Care Plan?

  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive Elder Care Plan;
  • Drafting legal documents, such as wills, powers of attorney, trusts, etc.
  • Assisting in asset restructuring;
  • Filing applications for VA and Medicaid benefits;
  • Providing an initial assessment in your home, residential or health care facility;
  • Developing and monitoring a Health Care Plan;
  • Assisting with living arrangements and placement
  • Coordinating available community resources
  • Working with family to provide support, guidance and advocacy; and
  • Planning.

Many people require long-term care due to a disability. Many people prefer to receive long-term care assistance at home. Other options include adult day care, assisted living facilities and nursing facilities. The financial and family situation often dictates the place where a person will receive long-term care. Our attorneys help families determine what resources and living arrangements may be available given their own particular situation.

Veterans Benefits Planning

Our office is dedicated to providing quality legal services in obtaining VA Aid & Attendance.

Veterans Benefits Planning

Veterans and widow(er)s of veterans may receive additional benefits from the VA if they need assistance with their activities of daily living. The benefit is a Special Monthly Pension called “Aid & Attendance.” This benefit is based on a person’s assets and income. If approved for Aid & Attendance, the person will receive additional monthly income to help pay for the cost of health care.Our office is dedicated to providing quality legal services in obtaining VA Aid & Attendance. This benefit may make the difference between an individual staying at home or otherwise being forced to move prematurely into a nursing home. As many of us know, nursing home costs are rising astronomically, and any benefit that might delay this move from occurring secures dignity and autonomy for the individual and at the same time preserves resources for future care or for fulfilling the individual’s estate planning objectives, if at all possible. At the same time, knowledge of both Medicaid and Aid & Attendance is essential for making a reasonable choice between what often are mutually exclusive paths having very different rules and requirements for purposes of obtaining eligibility. We help our clients early in the process and those in “crisis” mode. We can help throughout the entire process, with greater likelihood of remaining at home or at least out of a nursing home for a longer period of time, and ultimately retaining more autonomy and dignity for the elder and more peace of mind for the entire family.

Wartime Service Requirement

To qualify for the Aid & Attendance benefit, a veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty including at least one day during a period of war and have received a discharge that was not dishonorable. Periods of war include specific dates for World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. The veteran need not have served in the war zone to qualify.

Need for Daily Assistance

In addition to military service, the veteran or surviving spouse must be in need of assistance on a regular basis, as certified by a physician. This requirement is met if the claimant is:Blind; or Living in a nursing home; or Has a physical or mental incapacity that requires assistance to protect the individual from hazards encountered in his or her daily environment.

Income and Asset Requirements

The VA assesses income and asset information to determine eligibility. Assets generally must be less than $80,000 not counting the home, although the VA can adjust this figure using an age analysis. The VA does not penalize veterans or surviving spouses who give away assets to qualify for the Aid & Attendance benefit. But giving away assets can result in harsh Medicaid penalties.Recurring medical costs, such as home health, assisted living and nursing home care are deducted from the veteran’s or spouse’s income. If the net income is less than the maximum benefit payment, the claimant meets the income criteria.

Las Vegas Nursing Home Guide

The Las Vegas Nursing Home Guide takes you through the step-by-step process of selecting the right nursing facility, while keeping the needs and wants of your loved one in mind. It includes an extensive Nursing Home Evaluation Form to help you with make the right choice. This 57-point rating system helps you accurately evaluate the building and surroundings the staff, policies and practices your loved one’s concerns and family considerations. To request your free copy of the Las Vegas Nursing Home Guide, visit our web site at www.djplaw.com/lasvegas/ The Guide covers other important topics, such as:

  • How to Get Good Care in a Nursing Home
  • Division of Assets and Medicaid Planning
  • How to Pay for the Nursing Home Without Going Broke
  • Exempt Assets and Countable Assets:What Can You Keep and What is at Risk?
    • Extensive list of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Las Vegas

The Guide also includes a number of real-life examples and case studies.They’ll help give you a true-to-life understanding of what you need to know to select the best nursing home.

Nevada Guardianships

A guardian of the person is responsible for most of the life decisions that must be made for the ward, including authorizing medical care, and making living arrangements. A guardian of the estate handles the financial affairs of a person deemed to be in need of protection. The guiding principle governing the actions as guardian must always be the best interests of the ward.To be a guardian, you must be over the age of 18, and never judicially determined to have committed abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You must also be a resident of the State of Nevada, or you can be a co-guardian along with a Nevada resident. Many of our clients are not Nevada residents. We have associations with professional guardians who will serve as a co-guardian along with the out-of-state family member.

Level of Capacity for Obtaining a Guardianship

The Court will appoint a guardian if the proposed ward is “incompetent” or of “limited capacity.” “Incompetent” means “an adult person who, by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, disease, weakness of mind or any other cause, is unable without assistance, properly to manage and take care of himself or his property, or both. The term includes a mentally incapacitated person.” NRS 159.019. “A person is of “limited capacity” if the person is able to make independently some but not all of the decisions necessary for the person’s own care and the management of the person’s property.” NRS 159.022. The Court can also appoint a voluntary special guardian, when the person is of limited capacity and voluntarily petitions for a guardian.

Emergency or Temporary Guardianship

If it can be shown that an emergency exists, a temporary guardian can be appointed within days or hours. The emergency appointment must be limited to a relatively short time. The emergency appointment is often joined with a regular application for appointment of guardian, so that a permanent guardian is appointed before the temporary appointment expires.