Livens & Reed, PLLC

What is elder law?

People in Texas often want to plan for the future, including through estate planning. While in the past, this often primarily included the creation of wills and trusts to determine the distribution of assets upon their death, that goal has shifted so that it now also encompasses matters of planning for long-term care. This includes issues related to elder law.

As people in the United States begin to live longer, their financial planning for the future has also shifted toward ensuring that they have the medical care necessary. In the 1990s, the field of elder law emerged in response to this need. As part of this, people seek help understanding the complex rules of Medicaid as it applies to the costs of nursing home care.

One of the major goals of elder care is to protect assets from the costs of nursing home care. While buying long-term care insurance is an option, it is often cost-prohibitive and includes strict guidelines about eligibility. As such, many choose to create a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, which prevents what has been in the trust for five years from being taken to cover these costs, allowing the person to be able to apply for Medicaid. As nursing home care can cost up to $18,000 a month, such planning can be beneficial to protecting assets.

Most professionals with experience with probate and estate administration would argue that elder law -- also including the creation of certain documents that name others to make medical and financial decisions in the event of incapacitation and estate planning, including the creation of a will or living trust -- go hand in hand. In fact, some claim that there cannot be a comprehensive plan without both. Experienced attorneys can help people in Texas create a plan that fully addresses all of their needs, both present and future.

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