As the majority of our population continues to age, our clients will have questions about elder law, probate administration, and estate planning needs. Our elder law attorneys will explain how powers of attorney, Medicare, special needs or supplemental needs trusts, and Medicaid planning can effectively support a family in need of broad health care.
Attorney Bill Kratt and his staff devote a large part of their practices to the service of the legal needs of the elderly, people with disabilities and their families. This makes us uniquely qualified to be your life care plan partner. Our lawyers keep abreast of the rapidly changing rules and regulations that affect your future.
Contact the elder law lawyers of Kratt Dedmond & Associates, PLLC, in Raleigh, North Carolina, to schedule an opportunity to meet with our lawyers.
If your situation is described below, speak with an elder law attorney….
- My spouse and I have no will or it was made over five years ago
- I do not have a healthcare agent
- I have been diagnosed with a chronic illness or disease
- I am the sole caretaker for my spouse or parent
- I have an adult child that I support or that lives with me
- I am thinking about getting married again
- My child is disabled and needs significant help with activities of daily living
- Concerns about the health and safety of elder or special needs individuals
- Financial abuse of elderly or disabled persons
- Resolution of family disputes, mediation
- Creation of Special Needs Trusts
- Qualification for government benefits
- Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Veterans Administration Questions
Elder Law FAQs
My parent is having difficulty making decisions. How can I help her/her?
If your parent has sufficient mental capacity, you should consider suggesting she execute a power of attorney suited to her needs which will allow you to act as her agent. There is a whole range of documents which your mother can execute to enable persons to act on her behalf. If she does not have that level of mental capacity, North Carolina law allows you to file a petition in court in which you ask a judge to appoint you as her guardian.
My second wife and I wish to have our wills and powers of attorney drafted. I want my children from my first marriage to be in charge. What does this mean for my wife?
Estate planning is especially important for blended families. Often in second marriages one spouse has paid the living expenses and the other has accumulated wealth for the couple. It is important to review how finances and property are titled to insure the end result provides for your spouse and puts into effect the wishes of the couple. Special powers of attorney, trusts, joint tenancy accounts and life estates can be used in this regard.
I’m unmarried. What can I do to protect my assets if I need assistance later?
Your property can be preserved for family members by establishing various types of trusts, purchasing long-term care insurance and converting certain assets into an exempt form that will enable you to qualify for government benefits.
My child has a disability. How can I ensure his well-being if something happens to me?
A special needs trust for the benefit of your child would provide for the continued care of your child and also preserve your child’s eligibility for public benefits. In your will, you can identify the individuals you want to look after your child and the money left to care for him or her.
My parents need help. My siblings cannot agree how to provide for their care and financial support. Should I go to court to get something done?
Going to Court is an option if your parents are unable to handle their own affairs, or if they are being taken advantage of financially. The most common legal action would be guardianship, which involves taking rights away, and appointing a legal guardian to make decisions instead. Legal action usually will not “fix” a family disagreement, but it does provide a way to resolve the issue of who will be in charge of financial and health care decisions.
In some cases, disagreements arise when family members who are closer to a situation see a problem, while those who are far away do not. In other cases, the opposite happens. In either case, an experienced elder law attorney can provide a different perspective that can help to educate the family, and perhaps resolve the conflict. If disagreements involve the handling of money or other assets, there are numerous strategies, including trusts, to help your parents protect their assets from loss.