CHWM provides tailored legal solutions for both the simple and complex estate planning needs of clients of all ages as well as the myriad of issues facing the elderly, including access to Medicaid benefits. The four attorneys specializing in estate planning collectively have spent over 100 years advising clients on every aspect of estate planning, including the preservation of assets for clients facing entrance into a nursing home.
Middle Class and High-Net-Worth Estate Planning
We are especially sensitive to the family dynamics that frequently impact developing an estate plan and have in many cases, resolved seemingly irreconcilable differences within the family to produce a result satisfactory to all involved. In some cases, a married couple will ask for a simple Will that leaves all their assets to their children outright in equal shares. However, they and/or their children may have strained family relationships, have disabilities, be receiving government benefits, have creditor problems, etc. In some of these cases, we might advise using various special needs trusts, spendthrift trusts, and/or independent Trustees and Personal Representatives. Every client’s situation will require a different estate plan tailored to his or her needs.
Elder law attorneys typically use a holistic approach to meet the goals and objectives of their elderly clients. Besides using estate planning tools, our attorneys frequently collaborate with professionals in other fields such as CPAs, financial advisors, and health care professionals. This ensures that in addition to their legal needs, the clients’ financial and health care needs are also met. Our firm also provides counsel to families who suspect that a loved one may be the victim of elder abuse in a nursing home or other assisted care setting. As zealous advocates, we offer families the benefit of our extensive litigation experience to ensure that those to whom we entrust the care of our loved ones fulfill their duties.
Medicaid — or as it is known in Massachusetts, MassHealth — is an important benefit for elderly Americans that can help manage the increased health care costs that many of us will incur as we age. Medicaid eligibility depends on many factors, especially an individual’s income and assets. We help our clients accelerate the time when they will become eligible for Medicaid through the strategic use of gifts of property with a retained life estate, trusts that protect assets from having to be spent on nursing home care, and in some cases, the purchase of specialized annuities that protect otherwise vulnerable assets.