Elder Law

Chandler Elder Law Attorney 

Proudly Serving Senior Clients & Their Families 

At Agins Law Firm, PLC, our team of compassionate and highly skilled legal professionals is committed to helping seniors across Arizona navigate a variety of legal issues that arise as we age. We take great pride in offering comprehensive legal guidance to help our clients with long-term care, estate planning, probate, Medicare eligibility, establishing trusts, assets exemptions, and a host of other issues that seniors might face in their golden years. 

Why Do I Need an Elder Law Attorney?

As you enter retirement age, there are government benefits that might be available to you. However, determining if you qualify for federal and state programs can be a difficult task to do on your own. Our legal team focuses on ensuring that senior clients are prepared with all of the right legal tools they need to avoid the pitfalls of healthcare expenses and other financial matters. 

If you haven't adequately funded your retirement, you will be forced to find other means of supporting yourself. You also need to ensure that your assets are sufficient for your desired lifestyle, that those assets will not be unduly depleted, and that they will be handed down according to your specific wishes. Agins Law Firm, PLC has cutting-edge resources at our disposal and the extensive experience clients need to deal with crucial estate planning, healthcare, and long-term care decisions.

Check out this guide to setting up a power of attorney for your elderly parents!


Click for a Guide to Avoid and to Report Medicare Fraud and Abuse


We are knowledgeable in many areas of government assistance available to seniors. Please call our office for a consultation at (480) 447-9058.


What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

Although we never anticipate becoming disabled, planning for that possibility is necessary and prudent. An Advance Health Care Directive (AHD), also known as a "Living Will," sets forth your wishes concerning medical treatment while you are living, but unable to make those wishes known yourself.   

The AHD states your preferences concerning certain life-sustaining treatments and whether or not you want certain life-prolonging interventions, such as feeding tubes, cardiac resuscitation or medical respiration. 

There are several specific requirements to forming an AHD, but you may otherwise freely set forth your preferences, including whether your agent (the person you designate to make your decisions) has the freedom to exercise their discretion, or whether your wishes must be followed precisely.

Often, a Living Will is drafted in conjunction with a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This legal document allows you the flexibility designate one person to speak on your behalf concerning medical decisions, while another acts for you with regard to financial decisions.

It is most important that the agents named in your Advance Health Care Directive have ready access to the signed original of the document and that your primary care physician is aware of both the name and contact information of your agents and the existence of your Living Will, which you should review regularly and update as necessary.


Please contact our elder law attorney to discuss creating an effective and current Advance Health Care Directive for you. Call (480) 447-9058 today. 


Asset Protection Trusts

The cost of maintaining a loved one in a long-term health care facility is staggering and will only continue to grow. Medicare is intended only to cover the short-term care expenses for those over age 65, such as rehabilitation and recuperation.

According to a 2012 MetLife Survey, "the average nursing home costs more than $220 a day, or over $6,000 a month and that in some metropolitan areas, those costs can exceed $15,000 a month. The MetLife study found that a month in an assisted living community - for those people who don't need the same level of care provided by a nursing home - ran $3,550 a month on average."

It is not hard to imagine annual health care costs reaching or exceeding $75,000 to $100,000. Therefore, people approaching senior status should be planning ahead to ensure that their Asset Protection Trust is funded in full at least five years before they anticipate needing Medicaid.

Whenever long-term health care becomes necessary for an individual, the costs might be covered by Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that is often the only recourse for many seniors. In such case, the government will first investigate whether that person has assets available to cover those health care costs in full or in part. Medicaid imposes very strict limits on the amount of available or "countable" assets a Medicaid recipient can retain - typically $2,000 to $3,000 depending upon the state in which you live. 

Countable assets include:

  • Cash 
  • Checking and savings account deposits (including jointly held assets) 
  • IRAs
  • Keogh plans
  • Pension funds (with certain limitations)
  • Annuities
  • Stocks and bonds
  • The cash surrender value of life insurance policies

In order to protect those countable assets without first having to "spend them down," Agins Law Firm, PLC can design an Asset Protection Trust that will allow you to qualify for Medicaid while leaving an inheritance for your heirs.  

Because a revocable trust remains under the control of the person who establishes the trust ( the settlor), Medicaid deems those assets belong to them, and they are considered to be countable assets. With an irrevocable trust, however, after a five-year look-back period, the transferred assets are deemed not to be under the control of the trust settlor and they can, therefore, qualify for Medicaid while the trust's assets remain available for a bequest to heirs.

An Asset Protection Trust is just one way to shield countable assets from Medicaid. Make an appointment today with an Agins Law Firm, PLC attorney to explore the feasibility of using a private annuity trust, promissory note, pooled trust, or other device to achieve your long-term healthcare needs.

Contact Our Elder Law Attorney at Agins Law Firm, PLC

Agins Law Firm, PLC tailors all of our legal services to meet the various needs of elder clients. When you choose us to handle your elder law matters, we make it our priority to take all of the extra time and care that is necessary to achieve your unique planning goals. Our compassionate legal professionals want to make sure you know all of your options under the law, so please discuss your situation with us so we can determine which legal tools you need to protect your best interests.  


We are dedicated to helping families and seniors tackle some of life’s most important decisions, so please give us a call at (480) 447-9058 or contact us online to set up a consultation. 


 

  • How we do it
    Agins Law Firm is a local firm focused on the needs of our neighbors.  We are committed to helping you realize your goals in caring for seniors and special-needs family members, protecting your assets and conveying them to future generations, taking advantage of various business opportunities and coping with financial problems involving debt relief and filing for bankruptcy.
  • What we do
    We have chosen to focus our practice in the specific areas of estate planning/elder law, business law and bankruptcy/debt relief. We are a full-service firm that is equipped and eager to help our neighbors throughout the East Valley with comprehensive business and personal legal services.
  • Who We are
    We have dedicated ourselves to gaining substantial expertise in our chosen practice areas and concentrating our efforts in those areas to provide you with current, focused and prudent legal counsel.

CONTACT AGINS LAW FIRM, PLC

CONTACT AGINS LAW FIRM, PLC
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