Elder Law Attorney Jim Koewler talks about how to select a long-term care attorney.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is by Mr Jim Taylor, elder law and special needs attorney, helping and protecting those who need long term care. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders and we are here with Jim Taylor, who is what is called an elder law attorney. And so many you may have heard the term, you may have understood it a little bit, but number one, I will guarantee you that then vast majority of our listeners do not really know what an elder law attorney does or, second of all, really why does it really pertain to them? And so, Jim, you are a practicing on elder law attorney in the state of Ohio and I have been so blessed to know you for boy, since we first started answers for elders twelve years ago. Isn’t that the good fortune has been mine? But we are really excited to have you as back on in our team and being a specialist in a topic that I think is critical for everyone in the country. So even though obviously you practice in Ohio, there’s some universal terms and and scenarios where it’s important to have an elder law attorney, and so that’s why I really want to take the time. So, Jim, welcome back to the show and I’m interested it in. Let’s just start out really. What is an elder law tourney? What do they do? Well, it can’t be really as easy as it sounds. An elder law attorney as someone who works with old people, not exclusively, but most of my clientell our older adults, because my I focus my work on long term care and that tends to affect people who are older because it’s a related illness. It’s not always I’ve had a fifty two year old and you can have a somebody who’s really young as maybe an accident victim, sure. And then there’s also special needs law, where you’re helping people have disabilities, and I’ve helped someone as young as twenty six and as young as a couple of people that were still teenagers. So those two kind of go hand in hand. Okay, but there’s elder law, which is is narrow as its downds, maybe broader than you really want to look for. You want to mean, you may want to be very specific. So there’s elder law. There’s no law of friend of mine who actually only handles personal injury claims in nursing home accidents. Well, she calls herself an old law attorney, but she’s not going to do a Medicaid case, she’s not going to help you figure out how to pay for long term care and she’s not going to do your will. Some do veterans benefits, some do not, exactly so exactly, and then some. There’s a lot of people who want to write your will and powers of attorney in a trust and things like that, who call themselves out law attorneys, but that’s a state planning but don’t really know their way around of Medicaid application or a via benefits application to be a pension. But most people aid in attendance. So yes, I suppose they’re out of law attorneys and they can join the National Academy Vote Law Attorneys, Nayla, but I don’t send people there to deal with long term care. No now. So obviously what I’m hearing you, hearing you say, is the people that you work with primarily are those that are navigating later life care, such as trying to figure out how am I going to be provided for the rest of my life if I run out of money, or how am I going to make sure that my assets are going to spend down to a certain point that I can that I can be converted to Medicare our Medicaid or the other thing, obviously, if if a spouse has like say, for example, dad gets Alzheimer’s and has to have a special degree of care, how do we protect mom in the process and keep the home? Those are things you correct. Yep, Yep. That’s how I iron my money, by helping people not lose all of their money to the cost long term care. Right, right, and those things are all critical because, as we know, absolutely the cost of long term care is astronomical. I think here in Washington state average price for a memory care facility is like around Ninezero dollars a month. I don’t know what it is in Ohio, but it’s very, very expensive and it will. That’s about the same here in Ohio. Okay, so it’s about the same. And a nursing home can be seven or eight and assist a living without memory care easily be six or seven. Sure, sure, there’s a there’s a place here that’s thirteen thousand a month and they have a waiting list. Yeah, and and that’s the thing that to understand. That piece and the other side of it, which I think is so important, is that there’s a lot of ways in which, you know, people are afraid that if I go to an attorney, it’s going to cost me a lot of money. But in the meantime, you know, if you don’t protect yourself legally, you could lose your house. Mom could be on the street because of the overall, you know scenario with that, without the night, mom’s not going to be on the street. Let’s okay. I will say, okay, MOM’s not going to be on the street, but the house may not pass to the next generation. Correct, correct, and those are things that we have to look at for all different types of things. So people like you can help a family keep your assets, protect the assets and still help dad. Some of them are some of us? Yes, exactly. Obviously, Long Term Care, I’m not protecting everything. If you’ve got a spouse, I can protect an awful lot, but if you got a single person, we’re generally area of forty percent, we can say, which is way better than zero. Yes, way better, way better. Yeah. So, so obviously you know you are and you know how helping families. How do elder law attorneys handle long term care? Overall okay, the way out. The law attorneys can handle long term care. Now we’re talking about the cost of long term care here. Okay, there’s other things we can do, and I don’t know if we’re going to get into that today, but there are other things at all attorneys can do. But the bread and butter long term care attorney usually help someone get medicaid benefits and or be a pension benefits what more people most people call aid in attendance, H and a fit that pay for long term care. That means someone is helping you bathe, dress or you’re leading to live in a place where you’re not going to wander off because you have dementia and you’re not sure where you are. It’s you your wander risk for a local risk. They call it right and we can help people get Medicaid, usually without losing all of their money. You know the forty percent thing I mentioned, and there are some ex uptions to that where we can save a lot more. But if they start out with very little, there’s not enough there to work with. Sometimes. Yeah, but you may say an out law attorney’s expensive. A lot of people have that reaction. I have some people cringe it. My fees. I hate to say, but I’m worth every penny and perhaps more. Yes, you are, but an older law attorney gets paid out of money that’s either going to go to the outlaw attorney, are going to go to the nursing home or, you know other other caregiver. Okay, you’re not going to keep money in the family by not hiring at all an old law attorney. Right, an old law attorney can help you get on medicator va benefits faster than you would otherwise and saving some of that money that would otherwise go to the cost of care. Huh, Huh. Medicaid wants you to spend all of your money on your care first before you ask Medicaid for help. Right there and the VA as well. But there are ways around that that are allowed. I’m not breaking the law anywhere now. Okay, I heard of a colleague one say that he was in the law enforcement business. He was making sure so security, because he was doing special needs, make sure so security followed its own laws. Well, I do the same to Medicaid, I tell I make sure that medicated follows its own laws. are like what a CPA does to help you get a tax break. Exactly like that it’s a same kind of scenario and obviously you know we too. I’m I don’t know if you use a certain same term and in Ohio, but in Washington state we call it a spend down. But there’s also mechanisms that attorneys use, like a trust, that they can put a special needs trust together for dad for his care. I think. Isn’t that how it works? Yes, that pretend assets of mom to be able to live, but it also gives puts us dad in a situation. So now there can be a spend down that dad will qualify. Is that kind of how that works? I’m trying to get remember very generally. Yes, a spen down is taking you from where you are financially, either’s a same person or as a couple, hmm, and doing something, doing something with the money to get you down that you are poor enough, and I hate terms of it really what it is. What it is poor enough to get medicaid benefits or be a pension benefits? Okay, it’s that, but what happens with that spen down? Where does that money go? That’s what out all attorneys can affect. Yeah, big time, big time, because they clear. One thing about a trust. Trust. A trust is much more useful if you are planning ahead. Then if you are trying to do something right now and need care already, your sure and obviously if somebody’s like initially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, that’s the time to come see you before these assets are taken away. Is that I mean? I’m assuming that’s the time you want to show up. That is the early point of what we call a crisis case. Oh okay, so even earlier than that. Should really than that. If you’re simply worried about worried about it and we’ll talk about pre planning in future segments. Okay, but it’s if you are losing sleep worrying about long term care in your future, and that’s probably because you’ve been through it with somebody else in your family, then it’s time to at least think about an out a law attorney and think about long term care and strums. Great, because you don’t want to lose sleep over it. There are things that can be done. You just have to decide where it’s worth it to you. Right if someone is on the road to long term care, early diagnosis of some sort of dementia, for example, or the beginnings of Parkinson, I suppose, as a kind of dementia. And now that I throw that in there, that the earlier we start the better. The earlier restart, the more things we can do right to pretending until you need a nursing home. Got It. It’s not bad. You just missed opportunities to do more. Yeah, yeah, so, Jim, how do we reach you? If you’re in Ohio, you can reach me through j Taylor Afe. I hope I remember that right at protecting Seniorscom. Yes, I do have very particular emails. It allows me to track out people found me and see what marketing work. Or you can call me at three, three six hundred five nine, three, five seven nine. And you can also catch Jim on answers for elders and he has his own specialist page. And Jim, let’s spell your last name just for everyone, because that’s a unique spelling. There what it’s easy. It’s just like it sounds Koe wl er, so it’s pronounced Taylor. It’s looks like Kugler, back of the old country, but as we know, Americans don’t do the old country language, any of them, very well now. So and everyone, we’re really excited to have Jim and he will be right back with a second segment and we’re going to be talking a little bit about advance directives. This is a huge situation where family caregivers. If you’re taking care of a loved one, this topic is absolutely for you. State of Ohio residence. You have a friend to help you navigate long term care while protecting your assets. You can reach Jim at www dot protecting seniorscom or just email him at j Koewler afe. That’s j Taylor AFE at protecting Seniorscom.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.