Our firm is gaining a reputation as one of the leading law firms in the practice of elder law and special needs planning west of Asheville. Attorney Brian Schaefer, a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), has years of experience assisting clients and their families as they face the challenges of aging and/or having special needs.
Our elder law practice includes the following:
Long Term Care Planning
We help clients to determine how they can afford the cost of long-term care, whether at a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or sometimes even at home. The cost of nursing homes is prohibitive and can exhaust a resident’s life savings very quickly. We have years of experience navigating the Medicaid regulations and helping clients to qualify for Medicaid benefits. In the process we can help clients to protect the assets they have, often including their house, and to understand that they might be closer to qualifying for benefits than they realize.
We assist families who face the painful situation of needing to assume decision-making power for a loved one who has diminished capacity. In such a case, a friend or family member might need to obtain authorization from the court in order to provide the necessary help, and this is known as obtaining guardianship. A guardianship requires filing a petition the court and presenting evidence to the court at a hearing. Such evidence must address both the disabled person’s need for a guardian and who could best serve as such a guardian. We represent clients from the start of this process until its completion so that the best result can be achieved, and we remain engaged when needed as the ward’s capabilities may continue to change with time.
Special Needs Trusts
We assist persons with special needs, or loved ones on their behalf, as they face a host of challenges involving their health care and finances. There are basic living needs which public benefits programs for those with special needs do not provide, and it is vitally important that a person with special needs have enough funds available to be able to live a well-rounded life and maintain a high level of human dignity and humane care. Yet some benefits that a person with special needs may be eligible for, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), require that personal assets be kept to a bare minimum. We can help by creating a special needs trust so that money can be transferred into the trust without jeopardizing benefits.
If you’re in need of help with Elder and Special Needs Planning, please call our office today.