Protecting Your Loved Ones as They Age

Author: Bonnie Lawston

If your parents or a loved one have suffered an injury or have an illness that makes it difficult or impossible for them to address their own needs, you may need to secure in-home care services. At the same time, you will want to take all appropriate legal measures to protect your loved ones and to give you the authority and flexibility necessary to quickly and effectively handle legal, medical, financial and other issues.

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, we have extensive experience helping people protect their rights and the rights of loved ones when in-home, assisted or nursing home care is required. This blog post answers basic questions about the services offered at the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston.

Q: Bonnie, give us an overview of the range of services you provide.

A: We offer comprehensive estate planning and asset protection counsel. We will help you put together an effective plan for the distribution of your property in the event of your death. We also understand, though, that many people save and work their entire lives to build a substantial estate, only to lose most or all of it to the costs of medical care in their final years. We can help you take steps to safeguard your assets, and to find alternative means of paying for the care that you need. We also assist individuals who need to put a guardianship or conservatorship in place for a loved one who can no longer manage his or her affairs.

Q: It appears that more and more senior citizens require in-home and other types of constant care as our society ages. What role does your office play in protecting individuals and their families when regular care is needed?

A: We provide a wide range of services to individuals and their families. We work directly with companies, such as Star Multi Care, that provide comprehensive, in-home, medical and non-medical services. We will help you structure your assets so that you can pay for the care needed, but so that there is minimal impact on the value of your estate. We will also review, prepare, amend or negotiate the terms of any agreement with a care provider.

We will prepare all the necessary estate planning documents such as trusts, power of attorney forms, living wills and health care proxy. We will discuss your options to help avoid probate and other issues.

Q: My parents have health issues, but can manage their own affairs most of the time. Can I set up a guardianship that only goes into effect when necessary?

A: Yes. We can create a guardianship or even a power of attorney that will only be activated if a doctor or mental health professional expressly states in writing that your loved one lacks capacity to manage their own affairs. This allows your loved ones to maintain their independence and dignity, but also gives you the protection you need to safeguard their assets and affairs.

Q: My parents spend their winters in Florida. Does that pose any problems?

A: No. We can set up all documents so that your parents’ needs are addressed regardless of where they live. Star Multi Care offers in-home care services in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.


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