What Is Elder Law?

Elder Law/Medicaid PlanningElder Law encompasses a wide range of practice areas, including Medicaid planning, estate planning, long-term care planning, asset protection, and more. At Cocheco Elder Law Associates, PLLC, we have extensive experience in all of these areas, and are dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones plan for and manage the changes that accompany growing older. We help our clients protect their assets against the expense of long-term care and offer sound legal counsel in what is known as a Medicaid crisis situation.

The cost of long-term care in New Hampshire and Maine

People today are living longer than ever before. This is good news, but it also means that many of us will spend a portion of our lives in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. In fact, 20 percent of us will require five years or more of long-term care.

Nursing home care in New Hampshire and Maine can easily cost $120,000 or more per year and the cost continues to rise. It is estimated that the annual cost of nursing home care will more than double over the next 20 years. Sadly, many families exhaust their life savings within two years of a family member moving into a nursing home.

Fortunately, we can help you qualify for assistance from Medicaid and other sources so that you can preserve your life savings for your spouse and children. (In Maine, Medicaid is known as MaineCare.) We can put a number of powerful legal tools to work on your behalf to prepare in advance for a nursing home stay or help you in a Medicaid crisis situation.

Medicaid planning

Medicaid planning is for people who are healthy now but want to make sure that if they require skilled nursing care in the future, they will be able to protect their life savings. We can design a long-term care plan that not only allows you to preserve your assets but also manage your personal and financial affairs in the event of incapacity. With a well-designed and properly implemented plan in place, you and your loved will also enjoy greater peace of mind.

A Medicaid crisis

A Medicaid crisis is a situation in which a person has already entered a nursing home, or must enter one very soon, and been informed that she or he has too many assets to qualify for Medicaid. Given the cost of nursing home care in New Hampshire and Maine, such a situation is indeed a financial crisis for most families.

It is important to note that information provided by loved ones, friends, nursing home intake staff, social workers, and even Medicaid professionals is often out of date, incomplete, or simply inaccurate. These folks may have the best of intentions, but the laws surrounding Medicaid eligibility are constantly changing and extremely complicated. Few people understand them. We do.

If you or a loved one is faced with a Medicaid crisis, we invite you to contact Cocheco Elder Law Associates, PLLC as soon as possible. We can show you a number of ways to obtain the care you need while protecting your hard-earned assets.