According to the American Bar Association, Elder Law is a practice area devoted to the needs of a particular type of client as opposed to a particular area of law. While not all elder law clients perceive themselves as elderly, many of them have similar needs.
Elder law attorneys must be knowledgeable in many areas of the law, including interdictions (Louisiana’s guardianship proceeding), long-term care planning, advance health care directives, powers of attorney, estate planning, probate and trust administration, asset protection, special needs trusts and planning, and elder abuse.
Elder law attorneys take a holistic approach to addressing clients’ concerns by focusing on the problem to be solved and not one particular area of law.
Ruston Elder Law Attorney Add Goff provides legal services in the following areas:
- Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning
- VA Pension Benefit Planning (including Housebound and Aid & Attendance benefits)
- Wills and Trusts
- Enhanced Powers of Attorney (including Durable General Powers of Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney)
- Living Wills (Louisiana Advanced Medical Directives)
- Interdictions (guardianships)
- Estate Planning
- Successions and Probate
- Special Needs Planning for the disabled.
- Power of Attorney Abuse
Why might I need an Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law attorneys can provide guidance in a number of areas affecting older Americans. Do you know of a loved one or friend being taken advantage of by someone who holds a power of attorney? Is a loved one no longer able to handle his or her financial or personal affairs? Are you worried about rising health care costs and nursing home costs wiping out your life savings in the event that you or your spouse needs long-term care? Are you a wartime veteran or a spouse of one that is depleting your savings on unreimbursed medical expenses? Are you worried about out-living your savings? Do you want to ensure that you are able to leave something to your heirs despite rising health care and nursing facility costs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should consult with a lawyer that specializes Elder Law.
Why should I choose an Elder Law Attorney over a Financial Advisor?
Louisiana's law is different than every other state's laws. Increasingly, Louisiana courts are finding legal documents prepared by non-lawyers (including notaries) and out-of-state lawyers null and void - after it's too late to do anything about it. Don't take a chance with your family's hard-earned life savings.
Goff and Goff does not sell insurance, annuities, or other financial "products." Goff and Goff applies the law to your specific facts and provides you with an unbiased strategy that is best for your family. Some financial planners claiming to provide advice regarding Medicaid and Long-Term Care options ultimately intend to sell you an insurance policy, annuity, or other financial "product" or investment for which they potentially will obtain large commissions in addition to their planning fees. Not only are you paying a planning fee to non-lawyer to give you legal advice,*** but that non-lawyer has every incentive to steer you towards the sale of one of his or her financial products or insurance policies. That conflict of interest does not exist with Goff and Goff. Prudence dictates that one should get legal advice from a lawyer, not a salesman.
***Planning and implementing strategies for long-term care (Medicaid) eligibility and Veterans Pension Benefits require application of your specific facts to the numerous federal and state statutes and regulations. Planning and advice and the provision of legal documents by non-Louisiana-licensed attorneys (including notaries) constitutes the illegal unauthorized practice of law subject to civil and criminal penalties despite any fine-print disclaimer provided by the financial planner. C.f., La. R.S. 37:212 et seq.
When should I engage in elder law planning?
If you are over 55 years old, you should explore elder law planning. The younger you are, the more likely you are to qualify for long-term care insurance, which when included in an elder law plan, can often be more economical in the long run and can increase your quality of life as you enter your golden years. If you are over the age of 60, then it is more important that you seek the planning and advice of an elder law attorney, as often some of your options may no longer be available.
Schedule a consultation to get started today.