Schedule Your FREE Estate Planning Consultation OR "Don't Go Broke" Strategy Session

Putting Together the Pieces of the Aging Puzzle

 From Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyer Rick Law of the Multi-Generation law firm at Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, Illinois.

Due to the nature of typical elder law representation, it is particularly important that we spend time educating our clients and their families to understand the attorney-client relationship.  We have a duty to represent our client, and in doing so, put their minds at ease.  That way, we can ask the important questions when the time comes.

To be an elder law attorneys, it is a calling, rather than a calculated business decision.  Usually due to the frailty of someone we love… a parent, a spouse, a sibling… elder law has chosen us.

The fact, that the legal advice we provide may be the least complicated piece of the client’s aging puzzle is music to our ears.  My goal has always been to explain how we help, and what next steps we can take, in simple, understandable English…at least when possible.

Many times the client’s adult children have an agenda which conflicts with that of the senior. We strive to mediate those conflicts and seek our client’s best interests. We help clients and families put together the “aging puzzle” with its many ill-fitting pieces of frail health, caregiving needs, survivor care concerns, financial decisions, residential options, family relationships, insufficient assets, substitute decision-makers, cumbersome probate, end-of-life decisions, and more.

I’ve always hoped to make the planning experience “transformational” rather than “transactional.”  We strive to be more than dispute mediators, or standard document drafters.

As elder law attorneys, we empower lives for the better in a way. This often impacts whole families for years to come. We believe that we are providing important services for our clients our communities, and our country.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Transformation Over Transaction

By Estate Planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generational law firm at Law ElderLaw.  Estate, Asset & Retirement Tax Attorneys serving Kane, Kendall, and DuPage counties in Illinois.

One of the goals in our practice is to make the client’s experience “transformational” rather than “transactional.”  This means doing more than simple legal task fulfillment such as resolving a dispute, drafting a document, or closing a real estate deal.  As elder law attorneys, we empower lives for the better in a way which will impact whole families for years to come. We believe that we are providing important services our clients cannot get elsewhere.

Our clients rely upon us for more than traditional legal advice.  We help clients and families put together the “aging puzzle” with its many ill-fitting pieces of frail health, caregiving needs, survivor care concerns, financial decisions, residential options, family relationships, insufficient assets, substitute decision-makers, cumbersome probate, end-of-life decisions, and more.  In fact, the legal advice we provide may be the least complicated piece of the client’s aging puzzle.

When clients get information from other sources, whether it is the government, a care facility, their banker, or even another family member, the person giving the answers may be well-meaning, but it is not their job to put the senior-client’s interests first. The elder law attorney is the filtering advocate for the frail senior. Our code of legal responsibility demands that we place our client’s interests first.

The scope of our legal services is defined by the client’s overall circumstances. We work at the juncture of estate planning, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, financial planning, health care, family dynamics, tax law, and medicine.

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


The Cowboy Code

By Attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyers at Law ElderLaw.  Home of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in the Western Chicagoland suburb of Aurora, in Illinois.

I grew up (like most baby boomers) in the age of the TV Cowboy Hero. We were saturated with the “Code of the West” as the good guys of the cinematic Old West rode, roped, and fought their way into our hearts and minds.

The Good Guys wore white hats (with the exception of Hopalong Cassidy) and selflessly fought evil as they helped the poor, oppressed, innocent, and vulnerable.

It was always easy to recognize the Bad Guys…

They didn’t just rustle stock from the honest folk. As a clear allegory for our now adult lives, the bad guys often came in the form of bankers and businessmen… misusing their power and position to cheat good and hard-working citizens out of their homes, ranches, and livestock.

Like many idealistic law students, I carried that “cowboy code” inside me. I imagined using my legal skills to fight injustice and protect the innocent—just as my heroes had done.

But I soon found that real lawyering is seldom as glamorous and interesting as a TV show, so I spent the better part of my first 25 years becoming very efficient and effective at moving mountains of documents for clients, mostly real estate and tax documents. It was not the work of a hero, but it paid the bills.

Around 2000, due in large part to the aging issues of my parents, and my parents’ generation, I became a part of a small “tribe” of lawyers who practice elder law.  A combination of estate planning, taxation, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, elder abuse, and more, elder lawyers focus on assisting the frail and elderly to help achieve their goals of quality health care, while striving to avoid needless impoverishment.

As I mentioned, I have been touched by a loved one’s long-term illness or a disability, and because of this, I strive to help the ones who need help the most; the widow(er), the caregiver spouse/adult child, and the frail elderly.  That, to me, makes being an elder law attorney the modern equivalent of Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, or Hopalong Cassidy.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

 


Personal Care Contracts and Medicaid

By attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyers at Law ElderLaw in West suburban Aurora in Illinois.

Seniors suffering from dementia who wish to qualify for state-paid nursing home care are required to spend down until they only have $2,000 in countable assets (this number varies from state to state). The state Medicaid agency is going to examine all major financial transactions that occurred during the five years prior to Medicaid application. This is where the personal-care contract needs to be very precise in how it details the care being provided.

The state Medicaid agency will be looking to see if the caregiver agreement is being used to allow the parent to simply gift assets to children and still apply for long-term care on the state’s dime. State Medicaid agencies will generally look at two factors to determine whether a transfer of assets disqualifies the person receiving the care for Medicaid benefits:

  1. the fair market value of the transaction
  2. the intent behind the transaction

While that may sound simple enough, determining the prevailing price of eldercare services is not as easy as it sounds. Just about everyone, including hearing officers and judges, has a different opinion as to how to determine the prevailing price for caregivers.

In some states, it may be essential that the personal-care agreement be entered into prior to services being rendered. In other states, those reviewing the contract will be looking for specifics such as how long the services will last, how many hours per week, what standards of services are being provided, and what, if any, provisions provide for a refund.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles.  His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being lost to the expenses of long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

 


Our Mission at Law ElderLaw

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generation law firm Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL. 

Are you aware that a catastrophic illness could wipe out virtually all your financial resources?  What will happen to you if you outlive your money?  You can learn how to protect your life savings and your legacy during our free vision meeting.  Call our office at 800-310-3100 to ask for more information or set up an appointment.

At Law ElderLaw, our mission is to help seniors protect their assets from unnecessary taxes, legal expenses, and the devastating cost of catastrophic healthcare or long-lasting nursing home fees.  Our goal is to make sure your assets will last you a lifetime, and passed on to your loved ones in the most timely and cost-effective manner.

You may be surprised to find that elder law attorneys are of a different breed than other lawyers.

Not only are we familiar with professional resources for you and your loved ones, but we are also ready to provide you with many community resources to help meet your family’s needs.  Serving over 400 Illinois families every year, we have walked this difficult road before and we understand the delicate situations that surround end-of-life planning.

Come in and talk to us, we can help you along this path.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Could Medicaid Help Pay for Your In-Home Care? Part 2

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL.  LEL is a multi-generation law firm.

In the last installment of my blog, you learned some of the basics of Medicaid in Illinois – and why you need to be informed about it even if you still have money!

The Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program helps seniors who might otherwise need nursing home care to remain at home by providing help that the senior may need.  This includes help within the home, as well as in the community.

This program allows qualifying seniors to keep their independence, while providing cost-effective alternatives to a nursing home.

Some of the benefits of the Community Care Program include:

  • In-Home Help is available to provide assistance with household tasks and personal care for older adults who are moderately impaired. It could be something as simple as uncapping medications and providing water, or even assisting with personal care, cleaning, doing laundry, preparing meals.  Help with more complex tasks is also included, such as meal planning, shopping and arranging transportation.
  • Emergency Home Response Service provides the senior with a signaling device for 24-hour emergency coverage.  That way, if help is needed (such as a fall or a fire), the senior can easily alert the authorities and get fast help.
  • Adult Day Services offer older adults the opportunity to interact with other people in a safe, supervised setting outside the home. Snacks and a noon meal are provided, and participants may enjoy everything from arts and crafts to card games. Counseling and physical therapy with trained professionals are also available in some centers. Adult day service centers can greatly help caregiving family members who may need a few hours to themselves, or who work outside the home during the day. In many adult day service centers funded by the Illinois Department on Aging, specialized programs are available for seniors with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Probate is Pricey – But Can You Avoid It Altogether? Part 2

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generation law firm Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL.  

In my last installment of this blog, you learned a little about what probate is – and why you’ll likely want to avoid it at all costs!

As you might imagine, if your family is forced to deal with probate for months or years, it can become extremely costly. In addition, what passes through probate is made public record… meaning all your laundry is aired, for better or for worse.

In my office, I have seen too many people fail to plan properly. Unfortunately, the person who failed to plan has not only passed their estate to their loved ones, but they have also passed a huge burden onto their children and/or spouse.

The good news is, with proper documents in place, you can avoid putting that load on the ones you love after you pass.  With planning that is right for your unique situation, you can put your mind at ease that your family will have the best possible outcome when you die.

Always be sure you talk to a qualified Elder Law attorney before you take any steps.  While probate can be expensive and inconvenient, for some it is the best option.  Every person’s circumstances are different.  Make sure you’re making the right choice for your family before you put anything in place.

Call my office at (630) 585-5200 to find out what’s right for your situation.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Probate is Pricey – But Can You Avoid It Altogether? Part 1

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generation law firm Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL.  

Talking about what happens after you pass away isn’t an easy thing to do.

Most people avoid it like the plague…  and that’s normal!

That being said, we have to remember that after we breathe our last breath, something does happen to our estate whether we planned for it or not.

Most people think that a will is all you need as you plan for your eventual death.  But these days, things have changed.  You may want to make the process of managing your estate as easy as possible for those you love.

If you have only a will, your estate will pass into a court proceeding called probate when you die.  This will help determine exactly who gets what parts of your estate according to your will.

If you don’t have a will, your estate will still go through probate and will pass to your rightful heirs (depending on who the state decides that is).

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  The problem is that probate can be a huge weight on your already-grieving family. It can cost many thousands of dollars, and drag on for months… or even years after your death.

In my next installment, you’ll discover some tactics you can use to avoid probate.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


Diana’s Role in LEL

By estate planning attorney and Dad Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the multi-generation law firm Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL. 

Law ElderLaw, LLP is dedicated to serving seniors and those who love them in the Chicagoland area.  The firm deals daily with the complicated maze of Medicaid, estate planning, taxation, long-term care planning, special needs trusts and veteran’s benefits for our clients.

Diana Law, Esq plays an integral role within the firm, focusing in the Elder Law niche, including litigation due to financial abuse of an elder, guardianship, and estate administration.  She is actively involved in the community and has won a number of awards, including the Kane County Bar Association’s Outstanding New Lawyer award in 2007.

Diana and the rest of the Law ElderLaw team make it their goal to meet not only the legal needs of clients, but to address their pain, confusion, and sense of loss caused by the burden of long-term care needs.  Law ElderLaw touches clients where they are hurting and provides wise and experienced counsel  Clients need guidance through difficult family situations, and understanding  complicated public benefits.

The legal team communicates with clients in a hands-on and understandable way. The goal is to provide clarity and direction within a byzantine and often adversarial Medicaid, VA benefits, and long-term health care system. Advocating to make sure that clients are aware of the many community resources that are available.

At Law ElderLaw, a key goal is to help clients age-in-place with dignity, safety and peace of mind. Our client’s goal is to never be out of money and quality healthcare options and the firm works to help them achieve their goal.  There are many wrong turns on the eldercare journey and the firm is a trustworthy guide to better outcomes through experienced advocacy coupled with compassion.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


A Death Plan vs. a Life Plan

By estate planning attorney Rick Law.  Rick is founder of the Estate Planning Center at Law ElderLaw in West Suburban Aurora, IL.  LEL is a multi-generation law firm.

There are countless lawyers who can help you draw up a will and other papers to tell the courts what to do with your assets when you die.  Just about anyone who has passed the bar exam can write you up a “Death Plan.”  The problem is just that – a will only comes to life after you die.  You need an estate plan that ensures your quality of life while you are still alive.

There are very few attorneys who focus on just how to give you or your loved one a “Life Plan.”  What Law ElderLaw specializes in is not just how to divvy out your assets when you’re gone, but how to make sure those assets remain intact while you are alive so you have a legacy to leave to your loved ones.  With the cost of nursing home care averaging $6,000 per month, a lifetime of savings can be wiped out in a matter of months.

Law ElderLaw works to protect your assets, legally, and assure you that you will not be left out of money, out of options, and robbed of dignity.    You don’t have to outlive your money or your assets.

Rick Law has organized Law ElderLaw to provide the answers that “throw a lifeline” to individuals in danger of sinking under the weight of a long-term nursing care burden, or those who want to make sure they are never faced with that crisis situation.   

Call LEL toll-free at 1-800-810-3100.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!

Sincerely,

Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law ElderLaw, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!