Elder Law

Elder Law

Elder Law is a legal practice that focuses on the legal issues and needs of a particular population – people who are aging and persons with disabilities. It is not just “Medicaid planning.” Elder Law planning addresses immediate and future financial security, public and private resources to pay for long-term health care, and protection of personal integrity and legal rights in the face of potential disability as clients grow older.

We provide comprehensive legal services to our elder law clients.

The services we provide to our clients as part of our Elder Law practice include:

  • Estate Planning – to structure property ownership, and draft wills and trusts of all types to effectively use and transfer family assets and achieve maximum tax savings for larger estates
  • Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives – to plan for smooth transition of control over financial affairs and medical care in the event of incapacity, including HIPAA privacy provisions
  • Long Term Care Planning – helping seniors and their families plan for and obtain nursing home or home-based medical care for chronic illnesses, including planning for Medicaid eligibility for nursing home
  • Retirement Account Planning – developing customized beneficiary designations to ensure passage of retirement accounts to desired recipients with minimum tax consequences
  • Public Benefits Counseling – planning to obtain or maintain eligibility for Medicaid, Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan), SSI and Veterans’ benefits for which the client may be eligible
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships – to legally permit third party care and supervision of a child’s or incapacitated adult’s affairs
  • Elder Abuse Advocacy – advice and advocacy for seniors who may be subjects of physical or financial abuse or neglect
  • Nursing Home Rights Counseling – for residents and their families to understand their legal rights and obligations for nursing home care

As a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Richard Courtney has the ability to recognize your various needs, discuss your objectives, and design an integrated plan for meeting them.

What is a Certified Elder Law Attorney?

The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) is the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to grant certification in Elder Law – the CELA designation. For such certification, NELF requires the attorney to show significant continuing education in elder law and substantial case experience over the five years prior to examination in the following areas, and successfully complete an examination establishing proficiency across thirteen areas of legal services which include:

  • Health and personal care planning (Medicare/medical powers of attorney/health care directives)
  • Estate planning (property ownership, wills and trusts for disposition of personal and business assets)
  • Fiduciary representation (advising guardians, conservators, probate executors and administrators, and trustees in trust matters)
  • Legal capacity counseling (powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships for future or current disability)
  • Public benefits advice (Medicaid, Social Security and SSI programs, Veterans’ benefits)
  • Retirement accounts planning and advice
  • Tax-related advice, including income, gift and estate tax issues
  • Housing counseling, including HUD and other subsidized housing
  • Advice and advocacy pertaining to insurance matters
  • Nursing home rights and responsibilities
  • Employment discrimination for older adults
  • Age and disability discrimination

Recent Blog Posts Related to Elder Law:

  • Upcoming Events and Presentations
    Below are some upcoming presentations by Richard Courtney on various elder law and special needs planning topics, followed by important information about some great events to be put on by...
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    If you have seen the Staff page of my website, www.ElderLawMS.com/staff, you know that Gus is my therapy dog. He is a handsome, blond Golden Retriever, about 95 pounds, a...
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    We are often called on to assist in having a spouse, child or parent appointed as conservator over another family member who is no longer able to manage his or...
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    Sometimes, a Good Samaritan turns out to be anything but.  That’s how Delores Cantz feels about an episode in March, when the 82-year-old slipped and fell while dancing at a...
  • Baseball, RBIs and Caregivers
    Dear Will, A couple weeks ago you had a great night at the ballpark.  Your team was behind (and eventually lost, but that’s not a big deal).  You came to...