Certified Elder Law Attorney In North Texas
As we age – or as we watch our parents get older – health concerns take center stage. Elder law addresses the legal and financial issues that come with this stage of life, such as guardianship, nursing home care and preserving family wealth.
For the past 30 years, Craig Watson has devoted his law practice to elder law and related estate planning and probate court matters. He is one of a handful of lawyers in all of Texas to be certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, as recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
We help spouses and adult children ensure their loved ones get the best available care with the least possible depletion of theirestate. Call our law office at 903-813-8500 to arrange a consultation.
Planning For Long-Term Care
Nursing home care can eat up hundreds of dollars a day, adding up to thousands of dollars per month, and Medicaid does not kick in until the patient’s personal assets are all but gone. Improper gifting or asset transfers can backfire, resulting in Medicaid disqualification. If a nursing home may be in the future for you or a loved one, please make an appointment as soon as possible because time is of the essence and it is never too soon to start the planning process.
As an elder law specialist, Craig Watson stays abreast of these complex and changing rules. If your loved one has entered a nursing home or soon will because of dementia or physical frailty, he can help apply for and maintain Medicaid eligibility while preserving the bulk of the estate for the healthy spouse or to pass on to the children. One strategy is the “Ladybird deed.” This avoids a MERP (Medicaid Estate Recovery Program) claim by the state of Texas upon death to recoup Medicaid subsidies. We can also discuss (allowable) gifts, qualified income trusts (QIT), special needs trusts, and other tools for sheltering hard-earned family assets from Medicaid spend-down or clawback provisions.
Other Elder Law Concerns
When an elderly person becomes mentally incompetent or physically incapacitated, it may be necessary for the family to step in to protect your loved one from exploitation by others. We help families plan for guardianship or petition the court after the fact to take control of the person’s financials, medical care and personal care, but only when necessary. Craig Watson can also pursue actions on behalf of the estate for negligent nursing home care, elder financial fraud or other elder abuse.
Experienced Help For Complicated Matters
These are sensitive issues, especially when the elderly person resists help or intervention. These legal matters involve a confluence of federal tax and Medicaid law as well as state laws and regulations. Planning for nursing home care ideally starts years in advance, but many clients come to us when the crisis is already upon them. We work to protect the residence and as much of the “nest egg” as possible under the law, and strive to preserve your loved one’s dignity in legal proceedings.
Our certified elder law attorney can answer all of your questions and address your specific situation in a confidential consultation. Call Craig W. Watson, Attorney At Law, at 903-813-8500 or contact us online.