Elder Law is a legal practice area that focuses on the unique legal issues affecting senior citizens, including estate planning, healthcare, long-term care planning, guardianship, and protection from elder abuse. Elder Law attorneys are equipped to provide legal assistance to seniors and their families, and they understand the complexities and nuances of laws and regulations that affect the aging population.

Overall, Elder Law attorneys work to protect the legal rights and interests of seniors, providing guidance and support to help them navigate the complex legal landscape and plan for a secure and comfortable future.

Learn more about our Elder Law services.

How a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust Helps with Long-Term Care

More than a few Omaha seniors who are retired or nearing retirement lose sleep worrying over being able to afford the expense of long-term care, including nursing home care, which can cost thousands monthly. The fallback option for many Americans is Medicaid notes a recent article, “Long-Term-Care planning using trusts,” from the Journal of Accountancy.  Medicaid is a joint federal-state program requiring spending down of assets. Some people plan to qualify for Medicaid even though they have asset levels as high as $2 million or more. Much of this may be the family’s primary residence, especially in locations with elevated real estate markets. How do Nebraska residents qualify for Medicaid? To be eligible financially for long-term care through Medicaid, a Nebraska resident must be at least 65 years old, have an income under $1,215, “countable” assets of no more than $4,000 per individual, and require nursing home facility level care.  Countable assets include things like cash, stocks, bonds, investments, IRAs, bank accounts (credit union, savings, and checking), and real estate that is not a primary residence, like vacation homes.  Some assets are not counted when calculating this total for Medicaid eligibility including a person's home, one motor vehicle, or property…

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Paying for Nursing Home Care in Omaha: Your Guide to Medicare, Medicaid, and More

Navigating the myriad of ways to pay for nursing home care can be overwhelming. But with a clear understanding of nursing home costs and the options available, it becomes manageable. If you're based in Omaha, Nebraska, and considering nursing home care for a loved one, this guide is tailor-made for you. Understanding Nursing Home Costs in Omaha Omaha's nursing home costs can be daunting. In 2021, a semi-private room in a nursing home averaged $7,452 per month, with private rooms at $7,779. Even assisted living facilities, which offer a lesser level of care than nursing homes, can run upwards of $4,000 a month. Most people who enter nursing homes start by paying for their care out-of-pocket by using their savings or accessing the equity from large assets like real estate.   It's clear that understanding these costs is crucial for anyone considering nursing home care in Omaha. What Are the Nursing Home Care Private Pay Options? Private pay remains a choice for those who either don’t qualify for Medicaid or prefer not to use it. This method involves tapping into personal assets or savings to pay for nursing home care. It provides more flexibility in terms of choosing the facility or…

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Applying for Medicaid FAQs

Navigating the complexities of government healthcare programs can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to applying for Medicaid. Medicaid is a vital program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals and families with limited income and resources. As many Omaha residents have likely heard from their neighbors that you don’t have to hire an attorney to help you apply for Medicaid.  However, our article, The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for Medicaid Applications outlines why working with the experienced Medicaid planning team of Legacy Design Strategies ensures that you have a smooth and successful application process.  In addition, our knowledgeable Nebraska attorneys will examine your entire financial situation to help you plan comprehensively for long-term care and protect your nest egg. Film Daily’s recent article “Do You Need a Lawyer to Apply for Medicaid?” looks at some of the Frequently Asked Questions about using a lawyer to apply for Medicaid and discusses the benefits of seeking legal assistance. Will hiring a lawyer guarantee my Medicaid application’s approval? Hiring a lawyer doesn’t guarantee approval of your Medicaid application. Still, a seasoned Omaha Medicaid lawyer can increase your chances of success by providing guidance, ensuring accurate documentation, and addressing any issues…

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What are Biggest Mistakes People Make with Social Security?

With so many ways to claim benefits, especially if you are married or were divorced at some point in your life, small mistakes can add up to a big difference in the amount of Social Security benefits you receive, says a recent article, “11 Social Security Mistakes That Can Cost You a Fortune” from Nasdaq. Here's a list of some of the biggest Social Security mistakes people make: 1. Not Reviewing Your Earnings Statement Annually Not checking your earnings record during your working life can add up to significant losses. Even if you’re decades away from claiming, you should check your earnings record annually since this is what Social Security benefits are based on, not the amount of taxes you or your employer(s) paid. You can create or log into a mySocial Security online account to gain information related to estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits you and your family may be eligible for. Common mistakes include employers recording incorrect earnings or earnings not showing up because you changed your name and the name change wasn’t processed correctly. Check your statement annually to avoid losing the right number of benefits because of earnings record mistakes. If you see an…

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Preparing for Your Golden Years with an Omaha Medicaid Planning Attorney

For many seniors, the thought of estate planning can seem daunting, the complex laws and myriad of decisions to be made can be overwhelming. But rest assured, with the help of an experienced Omaha Medicaid planning attorney, this process can be navigated smoothly, ensuring you can enjoy your golden years in peace and security. Why Estate Planning Matters As we age, our needs and circumstances change. What might have been an appropriate strategy in our 40s might not serve us well in our 70s or 80s. This is especially true when it comes to preparing for potential long-term care and healthcare costs, including those covered by Medicaid. In Nebraska, the annual costs of nursing home care can quickly drain your nest egg, leaving little for your heirs. That's why it's important to plan ahead with a solid estate plan.  Watch a brief masterclass by our owner and lead Omaha estate planning attorney, Andrew Sigerson: The Five Disastrous Mistakes that Drain Your Nest Egg to the Nursing Home. The Role of an Omaha Medicaid Planning Attorney Medicaid planning is a critical component of any comprehensive estate plan for seniors. It involves employing strategies to protect your assets while ensuring you're eligible…

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Can I Age in Place?

The ability to age in place — or live in your own home or community as you age — is based on health, home accessibility, social support, and financial considerations. Therefore, it’s important to carefully assess your unique situation and make informed decisions about aging in place or other housing options in Omaha, based on specific needs and circumstances. A report from the University of Michigan cited in Seasons’ article entitled “Pandemic has made seniors more confident about aging in place, study reports”  found that only 15% of seniors had given home modification much consideration. However, it’s a good idea for families to use this time to plan ahead for either aging in place or choosing other housing options based on the choice of the senior and key considerations. It’s important to center seniors in the decision-making process and talk to them about their needs early. “A portion of seniors are aging in place but are also stuck in place. They don’t have the financial resources to help them move or relocate or downsize, or they cannot afford to live in the nursing homes.” Kiplinger’s recent article, “Six Key Housing Factors to Consider as You Age,” advises that where you…

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Maintaining Independence as You Age

Gathering with the family for a Fourth of July celebration is a heartwarming time for the family’s oldest members. It’s a day to celebrate our great nation’s independence, but also a time to take a long look at the generations of the family gathered around the table, making you proud and hopeful for the future. This is also the time to consider what plans are in place to ensure you can maintain your own independence in the coming years. This includes creating or updating your estate plan, to be sure it reflects your wishes for your future and your family’s future. Your planning may also include preparing for long-term care and taxes. Planning for incapacity is an important part of your estate plan. It makes it possible for your family to take care of you, should you become too sick or injured to be able to manage your own affairs or communicate your wishes. Use the following checklist to know which documents to look for in a review of your existing plan or to create a new one with our Iowa Falls elder law office. Medical Power of Attorney: This document names a primary and secondary person to make health…

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How Grandfathers and Senior Dads Leave a Legacy of Caring for Their Families

Congratulations, Dad. You’ve raised your children, who now have children of their own. Despite all the obstacles of recent years, the family is thriving. You feel good about how you’ve led your life and are hopeful about the years ahead. The next thing on your agenda: creating a legacy of caring for your family. This Father’s Day, consider how the actions you take now can strengthen your legacy. Your legacy includes sharing the values and history of your family. The next time a grandchild points their phone at you and asks you what your childhood was like or asks to learn more about your own parent’s journey, don’t be shy. Tell them the stories you were told, even if you don’t have every single detail. Teach your adult children by example the importance of planning for the future. Having an estate plan prepared professionally is not overly burdensome and alleviates stress and expense for the family. If you have an estate plan in place, including a will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will, talk with them about it. Make sure they know you’ve already taken steps to protect them, even when you’ve passed. Knowing Dad…

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