Elder Law

Living longer lives often presents challenges when accommodating the needs we may face during our golden years. The biggest fear most seniors face is the ability to afford their healthcare needs as they age or become incapacitated, especially if long-term care is required. Anticipating the needs of what your future care may require can be a difficult task that should not be overlooked when creating an estate plan.

Many believe that elder law and estate planning are the same thing. While they closely resemble each other these are two distinctly different areas of planning and the law. Estate planning centers around what happens when an individual passes away. Elder law focuses more on the planning for the elder years of life, and planning for dependents and individuals with specialized needs. After all, having an effective estate plan is only viable if there are assets remaining to be passed along and legacies are not entirely depleted for healthcare and other costs. Long-term elder planning with a knowledgeable attorney can help address these often overlooked issues.

Ideally, elder law planning strategies take place while individuals can still manage their own affairs and are able to participate in the decision-making process. Estate planning in early stages of life affords individuals with the widest variety of available options. The most common issues addressed in elder law includes:

  • Asset protection and preservation strategies
  • Planning for medical benefit programs and social security
  • Creation of a Durable Power of Attorney
  • Creation of Advance Health Care Directives
  • Consideration of long-term care insurance options
  • Creation of Guardianships and conservatorships

Incapacitated Clients and Guardianships

When individuals are unable to care for themselves or make their own decisions, it may become necessary to appoint a guardian to help care for their needs. Guardianships can address issues surrounding both physical care, and/or financial needs of a person who is incapacitated. In addition to planning how to pay for necessary costs that may arise as we age, we help families and other individuals acquire legal avenues to provide care for loved ones who can no longer care for themself.

For those who lack the proper documents appointing an individual through a durable power of attorney or other estate planning documents, seeking guardianship through the court may become necessary. Pursuing a guardianship over another is a difficult process that doesn’t end once a guardian is appointed. The court continues to monitor and assess the situation through required annual accountings to make sure the guardian is acting in the ward's best interest. We can help guardians understand and comply with the fiduciary responsibilities of a guardianship.

Our principal attorney Jim Hickmon is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. He has worked tirelessly with innumerable individuals and business owners over the last two decades assisting clients in all aspects of estate planning. From complex lifetime and post-mortem issues to estate planning and administration, our attorneys are knowledgeable in all facets of estate matters. We help bring the peace of mind solid planning and representation provide. By guiding you toward informed decisions about the right planning for your needs our services can literally last longer than life.

Whether you need assistance with elder care or a special care needs estate plan, our attorneys understand the challenges you may face and are able to help you navigate through the process, and provide a future path for providing for your needs while maximizing your assets. Schedule your confidential consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys, by calling our office at (704) 248-6325 or complete our online form.


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