Many people have the misconception that elder law is "estate planning for seniors". While making sure your Will fits your circumstances is part of elder law, the practice area is much broader. Elder law takes a holistic approach to the question of “what happens to my assets if I live?” At Porzio, our attorneys help clients with issues such as maximizing their finances to pay for long-term care, substituted decision making in the event of reduced competency, mediation of family disputes, and guardianship. We treat families with compassion and are committed to helping them navigate through some of the unwelcome choices that aging may present.
Who needs Elder Law?
At its heart, elder law deals with how a family will pay for and provide long-term care. With federal estate taxes affecting less than 1 percent of the population, the biggest threat to wealth for many families is the cost of long-term care. A nursing home can cost $120,000 or more after-tax dollars a year. The financial costs need to be considered along with the emotional toll on a spouse or children trying to provide care for a loved one who may be physically or mentally diminished.
By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65. Today, there are over 1 million seniors residing in both New Jersey and New York. There are over 40 million unpaid caregivers nationwide to adults over 65. As the so-called “silver tsunami” crests, questions about care and aging will spread to more and more families.
So elder law is not just an issue for your parents or grandparents – it is an issue that needs to be considered by any person who has wealth they don’t want to see wasted.
What is an Elder Law Plan?
The costs of long-term care can hit each family differently. Factors to be considered are the extent and composition of your assets, the location and abilities of your family, your health limitations and your care plan. All of these are examined by our attorneys against a background of how to best preserve your wealth and protect your assets.
We prepare a detailed asset protection plan educating you about the tax and legal issues surrounding long-term care, Medicare and Medicaid, and create tailored recommendations to reduce your exposure to long-term care costs. Our recommendations might include the following items:
- Asset transfers
- Estate plan update
- Trust creation
- Life care plan
We then work with you and other trusted advisors to carry out an asset protection plan that meets your family’s goals and values.
Elder Law at Porzio
Porzio’s elder law practice developed to meet the needs of clients. In the Porzio tradition, our attorney’s bring the highest level of skills to our elder law practice area. Our attorneys include a Certified Elder Law Attorney, as recognized by the American Bar Association approved National Elder Law Foundation, tax attorneys with advanced LL.M (masters of law) degrees in taxation, and experienced litigators in estate, guardianship, competency and fiduciary issues in New Jersey and New York.