Elder Law Attorneys
The field of Elder Law encompasses many different areas, but they are all tied together with the goal of planning for the future and making sure your healthcare and finances are protected. Your senior years should truly be the golden years you were brought up to believe they would be.
Over 40+ years of experience
Senior advocacy, future planning
At PLG Law, you have found an elder law practice with over 40 years of experience. Finding an attorney to handle your elder law matters correctly is essential to living out your golden years with the highest quality of life and sense of security. You can rest easy knowing that PLG Law will provide you with the legal skills and abilities to meet your needs.
Why is estate planning important?
Having a robust estate plan is essential to provide peace of mind to your loved ones after your passing. At PLG Law, we understand the significance of estate planning, encompassing not only the distribution of your assets but also the management of your healthcare and financial affairs during your lifetime.
Our goal is to create efficient estate plans that not only align with your wishes but also do so in a cost-effective manner. For instance, we can facilitate the seamless transfer of your home to your intended heirs outside of the probate process, saving your estate substantial expenses.
Our comprehensive approach involves detailed discussions to understand your objectives, followed by the drafting of wills, trusts, advance directives, and other essential documents. Wills form the cornerstone of your estate plan, dictating asset distribution, appointing executors and guardians, and preserving your legacy. Trusts provide a means to avoid probate, maintain confidentiality, and optimize tax benefits. Advance directives, including living wills and powers of attorney, ensure your healthcare and financial decisions are made according to your preferences, even in challenging times.
At PLG Law, we possess the expertise to safeguard your assets, plan for your future, and leave a lasting legacy according to your desires. Our commitment extends beyond the initial plan, as we regularly review and adapt it to accommodate changes in your estate.
We stand by your family during the challenging times that may follow your passing, offering unwavering support.
What is probate?
Probate is the court-supervised process required to give effect to a will and distribute the assets and property of an estate. There are many steps that must be taken before an estate can be settled and heirs can receive their inheritances. A probate attorney at PLG Law can assist you with the wide variety of probate matters in an expert and efficient manner, so that probate can conclude sooner and with minimal cost to the estate.
What needs to get done in probate?
Some of the many tasks which must be performed as part of the process include the following:
- Identify all assets which belong to the estate. Conduct an inventory and appraisals as needed.
- Notify potential creditors that the estate is being probated.
- Pay all debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Resolve any claims against the estate.
- Manage or sell property and investments as needed.
- File a final tax return.
All of these activities are typically undertaken by the executor named in the will or by a personal representative appointed by the court. This person is often a family member of the deceased who has no particular expertise in these matters but nevertheless takes on this burden to fulfill the testator’s wishes. Our office can advise the executor or personal representative regarding these activities and assist in completing them accurately and efficiently.
PLG Law represents personal representatives and executors as well as heirs and beneficiaries with questions regarding their inherited portion of the estate or with concerns about the way probate is being handled. We also represent potential heirs who believe they have been unintentionally left out of a will.
Understanding the laws and regulations surrounding Medicaid
When you are no longer working and earning an income, planning for Medicaid can be an important part of your future. At PLG Law, our Medicaid attorneys know that you probably have a lot of questions about Medicaid and Medicaid eligibility. We have competently assisted people like you in protecting their right to coverage and understanding Medicaid laws.
In order to qualify for Medicaid in Florida as an aging person, you must meet certain criteria. These criteria include:
- Be at least 65 years of age; or
- Have a disability or a member in your household with a disability; or
- Be blind; and
- Be in need of insurance/healthcare assistance; and
- Be considered low income. As a note, you may also qualify for Medicaid if you are pregnant and low income, or caring for a dependent child and are low income, although this is not common for elderly persons.
According to Benefits.gov, you can only qualify for Medicaid if your annual household income before taxes in 2023 is:
- $19,392 for single people, or
- $26,228 for married people.
In addition to income limits. There are also limits on the assets to qualify for long-term care benefits under Medicaid.
If your income is too high or your assets are in excess of Medicaid’s criteria, you cannot qualify for Medicaid or Medicaid benefits for long-term care. All is not hopeless if you do not qualify for Medicaid in your time of need. In order to preserve the right to benefits, many elderly persons will incorrectly gift money to others, sell assets, or transfer assets to others. However, doing so must be done strategically; the state maintains a 5-year lookback period. This means if you apply for Medicaid for long-term care, the state will look back on your finances over the past five years to determine whether or not you made any non-exempt transfers or financial gifts. If you did, you may be assessed a penalty. At PLG Law, we will review your situation thoroughly and determine a plan for you to move forward.
How can you protect your assets?
As you age, the need for long-term care may arise – typically in the form of a skilled nursing facility – may be inevitable. However, nursing homes cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, an expense that few want to deal with, or may be able to afford.
Even if you do have the property and assets to pay for long-term care, using your assets to ensure that your spouse has the means to enjoy life will significantly reduce the likelihood of passing your assets on to your children and grandchildren once you’re gone. No one wants to become impoverished as a result of having to pay for long-term care.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your assets from the costs of long-term care. At PLG Law our asset protection attorneys help clients like you with asset protection services and have the experience you can count on.
When you meet with one of our attorneys, we will perform a thorough review of your finances, your estate documents, your taxes, and more. From there we will provide you with detailed information about which assets you can protect, and the best strategy for asset protection. We can help you to form trusts, transfer assets, give gifts, and more in order to ensure that when the time comes, you will be eligible for Medicaid, and will not be forced to pay for your nursing home costs out-of-pocket.
Nursing home planning
Thinking about who will care for you when you are no longer able to care for yourself can be a very scary thought. The same is true for moving into a nursing home – most people do not want to consider the idea of leaving their current home and living in an unfamiliar setting.
Whether for yourself, a spouse, or a loved one, planning for nursing home care now can provide peace of mind when thinking about the future. At PLG Law, our nursing home planning attorneys know how challenging a conversation about nursing home planning can be, and promise to help you make the decision that is best for you or your loved one.
Making a plan for nursing home care now, while you are still mentally and physically capable of doing so, has a number of advantages. Some of the biggest benefits of nursing home planning include:
- Eliminating stress and pressure for loved ones, who would otherwise be faced with the tough decision of what to do if you were unable to care for yourself.
- Getting your financial and personal affairs in order (i.e. knowing what you will do with your home if the time comes that you need to move into a nursing home).
- Understanding your financial picture – nursing homes costs thousands of dollars, so knowing how much your nursing home of choice will cost, and how you will pay for it, is very important.
- Making an estate plan that protects your right to Medicaid – In Florida, Medicaid will pay for certain nursing home expenses if you meet eligibility requirements. Planning for your estate now can help to ensure that you will not be disqualified as a result of too many assets.
- Exercising personal preferences – If you hold off on planning for nursing home care, the point may come where you are no longer able to make a choice; your loved ones may have to make a choice on your behalf. By planning now, you can choose which nursing home is best for you based on budget, personal interests, location, etc.
Contact Our Lawyers
Contact PLG Law today to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
Bill Rambaum, Jean Herny and team have filled a much-needed void in law: Helping people navigate the best legal options for their elderly parents. We were referred to PLG Law by friends who had a great experience, so we decided to call.
From the first minutes of the first call, we realized two things:
1. We cannot navigate the complexities of elder care on our own.
2. Bill Rambaum is an expert at his craft.
The skills and wisdom Bill has amassed take years to develop. You can't learn these from a book or a law class. They are honed over time based on experience, knowing what works, what doesn't work -- and why. In our work with Bill to identify good options, Bill became our guide, literally giving us roadmap with checklists to make it easy to follow. This is invaluable.
We have been following Bill's advice faithfully and now have our minds at ease that we are making the right decisions and avoiding costly pitfalls we would have faced if we had ventured out on our own.
I had my special needs trust done here and had a great experience. All professional, and easy to understand. I would definitely recommend them for any estate planning.
PLG Law has provided excellent legal service for us over the past few years. They drew up power of attorney documents for us as we navigated through difficult waters dealing with aged parents. They also were responsible for getting both parents approved for Medicaid when they were unable to afford being residents of a skilled nursing facility. We highly recommend his courteous, conscientious, and professional legal services.
They have been excellent to work with. I found them professional, helpful and knowledgeable. They were not pushy and reasonably priced. They took the time to listen and address all my questions.
Recently my elderly parents could not get their security deposit back by the landlords when they moved and PLG Law went to the rescue and my parents got all their money back without court. They are professional and personable & have a confidence that I admire and respect. Their office staff is helpful and does not leave you hanging.
PLG Law FAQs
Frequently asked questions
We've compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our legal services and our firm. If you can't find the information you're looking for, feel free to contact us directly for more personalized assistance.
You absolutely should consider a trust if you have a disabled child that’s receiving public benefits like supplemental security income or medicaid, because if that child receives property directly, they’ll probably lose their eligibility. There are special programs, special statutory exemptions that would allow you to leave property to a child in the form of the special needs trust that will allow them to maintain their eligibility for those programs and still benefit from the property.
The process of applying for Medicaid for nursing home care is complicated. If you make a mistake, you may not find out you made a mistake until three or four months down the road at which point, Medicaid tells you you’re not eligible, in which case you have to pay privately for those months. By hiring an elder law attorney who knows how to handle these cases, you can have some confidence that it’s going to be done correctly and you won’t have any period of ineligibility. We also recommend you use a board certified Elder law attorney that’s been tested, taken all the classes, handled a lot of cases; that’s really your assurance that that person does know how to handle these cases.
At PLG Law, our goal is to make sure that we understand your needs, provide you with superior legal advice and personalize our approach to devise an effective plan for you
Contact us today
Get in touch with PLG Law
At PLG Law, we're committed to assisting individuals and organizations in making informed decisions that align with their goals and protect their interests. Contact our attorneys today and let us become your trusted advisor.
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To get in touch, please fill out the form below or call us.
- 223 East Blvd. Suite 4 Charlotte, NC 28203
- (704) 405-3956