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Elder Law

Long Island Elder Law Attorney - Schlessel Law PLLC - NY Elder Law

New Yorkers over 65 often have unique legal needs which are best addressed by an elder law lawyer, contrary to other populations. You may have built assets over the years and need guidance on how best to protect them. Counseling may be needed to help you deal with the reality of aging which includes qualifying for Medicaid for nursing home care and setting up a proxy for health care.

These difficult decisions are often emotionally challenging. However, they are essential to safeguard yourself and everything you’ve worked so hard for. If you don’t plan well, you might have to sell your assets to help pay for your nursing home care.

Schlessel Law PLLC knows that making these difficult decisions is never easy. Long Island elder law attorney Seth Schlessel has years of experience dealing with New York elder law. We may be able to help you qualify for Medicaid. We can also help create trusts, wills, and other forms of Medicaid aid, as well as help with probate.

Contact our office by calling (516) 574-9630 or emailing us anytime to arrange a consultation.

What is Elder Law?

Elder Law focuses its attention on issues related to the aging process. It covers everything from long-term care planning to guardianship and estate planning. Estate planning is one of the most crucial aspects of elder law. Estate planning is a process that helps people plan how they want their assets to be protected and divided after death. This can help reduce taxes, and it will ensure loved ones are taken care of.

Long-term care planning is another important area of elder law. It can include everything from finding an assisted living facility to arranging in-home care. As they age, seniors and their loved ones face many unique legal issues. An experienced elder law / estate planning attorney will help them navigate those challenges.

Elder law estate planning is a service that assists seniors with the implementation of estate plans. We have a special focus on incapacity and long-term care. Elder law lawyers are skilled in understanding the needs and concerns of seniors and their families and can offer invaluable advice on many legal matters. 

At Schlessel Law PLLC, we assist seniors on Long Island in planning long-term care and determining eligibility for federal benefits. We also ensure that legal documents like wills, trusts, advanced directives, as well as other legal documentation are in place. Family members can also get help when guardianship proceedings need to be initiated in order to protect the safety and health of their loved ones who have lost capacity.

Schlessel Law PLLC advocates for seniors living in their own homes and giving them maximum autonomy. If you need an elder law attorney in Nassau County or Suffolk County, call us today to schedule a consultation.

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I would recommend Seth Schlessel to anyone I know who needs a top-notch Eldercare Lawyer. Seth's caring, compassionate manner as well as his wealth of knowledge and professionalism far exceeds any other lawyer that our family has used. As our family navigated it's way through an extremely difficult time Seth was always available for us. His expertise in Medicaid, and all eldercare laws made it so easy for us to handle the highly emotional side of things without having to worry about anything else. He was so patient with us, answering any questions we had, even ones that not necessarily had to do with anything legal. We feel extremely lucky and blessed to have Seth in our lives. He was not only our lawyer, but he became our friend. The words to sum up what Seth means to our family are he is our HERO AND PROTECTOR!

The Importance of a Long Island Elder Law Attorney

People face many new challenges as they get older. Senior adults need assistance in navigating complex legal terrains, such as estate planning and long-term care. Elder law attorneys are trained specifically to help older people and their families with many legal matters. These attorneys can assist with anything from estate planning, Medicaid eligibility, and guardianship arrangements. An elder law attorney is a valuable resource for you and your loved ones as they navigate the process of aging.

There are several reasons seniors may seek the assistance of an elder law attorney. Some of these reasons include: 

  • Creating an estate plan. It could involve the creation of a trust or will, or even making modifications to existing estate plans.
  • Preparing for incapacity. You can do this by creating power of attorney or advance directives, such as living wills.
  • Applying for government benefits. These benefits could include Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and other government benefits.
  • Navigating probate. An elder law attorney is available to assist you with the entire probate process from paperwork filing through the distribution of assets.

An elder law attorney can also help with other legal matters that affect seniors such as reverse mortgages and guardianship proceedings.

For any questions or concerns regarding elder law on Long Island, do not hesitate to contact an elder law attorney at Schlessel Law PLLC at (516) 574-9630

Amazing Team! Seth Schlessel and his team have assisted our family with Elder Law needs such as estate planning to a very successful Medicaid application. The clear explanation to every detail and every step of this difficult process has made our story a huge success. A firm who responds to questions and phone calls as if we had been the only client. I would recommend this firm to any one seeking legal assistance.

Long-Term Medicaid Planning

While most of us do not think we will ever need to be in a nursing facility, many New Yorkers are finding this a reality as they age into their 80s. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 1 in 3 65-year-olds will require skilled nursing care in the future.

The median annual cost for a semi-private room in a nursing facility is $145,000. This includes Long Island. The average cost for a home health aide is $57,204 annually in New York. However, the annual cost to live in an assisted living facility costs $70,992. These high costs are why Medicaid, which covers 6 of 10 residents in nursing homes, is America’s primary payer for long-term care.

Medicare and private insurance will not cover nursing home stays for long periods. Some families may be able to cover the costs of nursing homes or invest in long-term insurance. Others will have to use Medicaid. To be eligible for this need-based program, participants must meet certain income and resource requirements.

This means that some seniors will need to reduce their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. In this way, their nursing home care can be paid for. Medicaid’s “look back” period is five years, for nursing home Medicaid. This means assets that were not transferred at market value in the five preceding five years may make you ineligible. New York has many complicated rules about Medicaid eligibility.

An experienced Long Island elder care attorney can help you plan for your next chapter. Working with an elder law attorney can allow you to express your desires and create the documents necessary for their protection. Schlessel Law PLLC’s elder law lawyers can help you navigate this process and protect your assets. We will be there every step of the way to assist you with the complexities of Medicaid.

To schedule a consultation, call us at (516) 574-9630.

Estate Planning and Elder Law

Planning your estate is an important part of protecting your legacy. Proper estate planning allows you to decide what assets should go, who should take care of your loved ones, and how your healthcare should be managed. Estate planning ensures you, your loved ones, and your assets are protected.

The main difference between elder law and general estate planning is that elder law deals with seniors in the implementation of estate plans. This includes long-term care and incapacity as well as wealth transfer at death. Elder law lawyers can assist clients with Medicare, Medicaid, and Guardianship issues. These are particularly important for seniors as they age. 

Some common estate planning tools for seniors include:

The Last Will and Testament outline all your wishes and identifies the executor who should manage your estate. The will determines what assets are transferred and who gets them. You can ensure that those who are left behind will be able to follow your wishes by having a written Will.

Many people die without a Will. The state will apply its default rules when that happens. You may have assets given to someone you wouldn’t choose in the first place. An estate could be subject to taxes or other problems that a Will would have prevented.

A Power of Attorney (“POA”) allows a third party to sign documents and or conduct transactions on your behalf, should you not be able to, or choose not to, act yourself. You may find yourself needing someone to help you make financial or legal decisions at some time in your life. You can give important decision-making power to someone you trust by granting them the power to act on your behalf.

A Health Care Proxy allows a third party to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, should you not be able to make them yourself. It is important to have a Health Care Proxy in place and to have someone you trust to be appointed your Health Care Proxy. A discussion should be had with your Health Care Proxy on what your wishes would be, healthcare-wise, if different scenarios arise.

An Advance Directive, also known as a Living Will, allows you to legalize your desires regarding medical treatments and end-of-life procedures in situations where you are not in a state of mind where you can make decisions on your own.

As you and or your loved ones get older it is important to understand the available financial tools and the regulations that can be used to assist you. It is important to plan for the expected and unexpected before it is too late. We will be there for you every step of the way and answer any questions you may have.

Call Schlessel Law PLLC today at (516) 574-9630 to schedule a consultation.

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Guardianship for the Elderly

A guardian is an individual appointed by the court to make decisions for and act on an individual’s behalf who the court feels will be harmed if someone was not put in place to make these decisions for them. 

Guardianship proceedings can be initiated either by family members, nursing homes, or government agencies such as the department for social services. Under article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, when the senior is likely to be financially and/or personally harmed because they are unable to care for their finances or themselves, a petitioner may be able to file for guardianship.

Understanding the importance of guardianship proceedings is crucial. The procedure must move quickly. A hearing must be held within 28 days. The petitioner will need to present evidence at the hearing that AIP is incapable and could be hurt if no guardian is appointed.

Schlessel Law PLLC has experience petitioning for Guardianship. We also have experience acting as a Guardian for the Person and Property of an Incapacitated Person.

Seeking the Help of a Skilled Long Island Elder Law Attorney

It can be difficult to know the answers to many questions about elder law when planning for the future. Our skilled elder law attorneys at Schlessel Law PLLC can help ensure your family’s future is better protected by answering your questions as soon as possible.

Don’t put off making plans for the future. Our highly experienced elder law attorneys will assist you and your family to protect your assets and quality of life. We can help you whether you need to create an estate plan or update existing plans. The legal team at Schlessel Law PLLC is well-versed in protecting your assets and leaving a legacy.

Contact Schlessel Law PLLC’s experienced attorneys in Nassau County or Suffolk County on Long Island at (516) 574-9630 to schedule a consultation.

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