PRACTICES

Ann Arbor Elder Law is a boutique law firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We specialize in Long-Term Care Planning, Medicaid, Estate Planning and Special Needs Planning.  We also help families navigate through the confusing and stressful process of finding the right kind of care for their loved one. 

At Ann Arbor Elder Law, we often hear from spouses or concerned adult children currently caring for a partner or parent.   While providing legal and financial solutions for long-term care problems is our business, providing guidance and counseling is also important. 

Whether we are working with a client on their estate plan, or assisting the spouse of someone in a nursing home, our process begins with talking about the family and identifying values and goals.  Based on what is important to the client, we present strategies and generate options to accomplish those goals.  In many cases we are dealing with Medicaid law, estate planning law, tax law, disability law and family law all in the same case.  In many cases, the family dynamic is also complicated.  We help you navigate these complicated situations to get you the best possible result and provide you and your family with piece of mind.   

Estate Planning.  In simple terms, you have two options: use the estate plan the State of Michigan has for you or you can take control by creating legal documents and make the decision yourself.  However, most estate plans are concerned with what happens after death.  At Ann Arbor Elder Law, we are just as concerned about what happens before death.  We help families plan for long-term care, incapacity issues and other threats to their family and finances and also help avoid probate, taxes and transfer your life’s work to whom you want, when you want, without unnecessary cost or delay.

We believe that estate planning means maintaining control over your property while you are alive and well, providing for you and your loved ones if you become disabled and preparing a plan to deal with any number of potential future obstacles before and after death.  We do not look at our attorney/client relationship as concluded when you sign your documents, we want you to understand your plan and how it works.  Finally, we follow up with you to be sure everything will work smoothly when you need it.  

Medicaid Qualification.  Medicaid is available for persons 65 years of age or older, who are blind or disabled or have some other medical need.  Applying for Medicaid can be overwhelming and allowing us at Ann Arbor Elder Law to handle the process is a smart decision.  Often people apply too early or too late or get rejected because they do not understand the process.  The process to qualify for Medicaid is confusing and involves a lot of paperwork and negotiating with the local Medicaid office.  Our Medicaid expertise can identify the proper time to apply for Medicaid and prepare the necessary documents all while safeguarding your family’s assets and providing you with a secure future.

Long Term Care Planning.  If you have a family member that may need long-term care in the future, but is currently at home, we will help you plan to keep that individual at home as long as possible but also prepare for when living at home is no longer safe or practical.  In many cases, we help the healthier spouse plan to preserve assets if something should happen to them first.  Other times, we help a child caring for an elderly parent in their home plan to preserve the parent’s assets for when the parent requires more care than the child is able to provide.  We believe that the nursing home is the last option, but when that level of care is necessary, being prepared can make a difficult situation less stressful. 

Senior Housing.  When looking for senior housing, there are four basic options.  Independent seniors can live at home or in a senior apartment where they take care of their own shopping and cooking.  There are assisted living facilities in our community that provide a higher level of care and assist with medications and meals.  Finally, there are a number of skilled facilities in our area that provide around-the-clock, full-service skilled care for those who are unable to care for themselves. 
Selecting the best option for you or your loved one can be difficult and stressful.  Ann Arbor Elder Law can help you to evaluate the situation and determine the best fit, and if need be, connect you with health care professionals to provide an evaluation.

Planning for People with Special Needs and Disabilities.
  If you are the caretaker of someone with special needs, you provide for that family member.  However, you want to know they will be provided for if something should happen to you.   We are here to give you that peace of mind by establishing a plan that will ensure the best quality of life for your loved one.  Persons with special needs may loose government benefits like SSI or housing assistance if they have “too much money.”  To ensure that this doesn’t happen, we can establish a plan that allows your loved one to have resources and still maintains their eligibility to receive government benefits

Probate & Estate Administration.  We sympathize with the families that have lost a loved one and are now managing an estate.  We make sure that the decedent’s will is probated as quickly and efficiently as possible.  If you are managing a Trust, we can help you administer the Trust and distribute assets. 

Probate Litigation.   Sometimes the only way families can solve a dispute is by going through the Probate Court process.  While this is never a desired outcome, we believe you should have the best legal representation possible to advocate for you in Probate Court.  Whether you are involved in a guardianship proceeding or a will contest, we can help you protect your rights and fight for your interests.
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