Attorney Gerald Turner assists clients with legal issues that affect older individuals and their caretakers in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. When handling elder law matters, we tailor our approach to meet our clients’ needs. This often includes implementing legal strategies that help protect assets, avoid probate and save taxes. The cost of long-term care in a nursing home, at home or in an assisted living facility can be burdensome. We help our clients find resources to pay for their care in their later years. Many of our clients are War Time Veterans deserving of pension benefits to help pay for their care. Our accredited VA attorneys help these Veterans get the benefits they deserve.
Attorney Gerald Turner can assist with a broad spectrum of elder law matters, including the ones listed below:
- Elder Law
- Medicaid Planning
- VA Pension Benefit Planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning
- Estate and gift tax reduction strategies
- Durable powers of attorney
- Asset Protection
- Health Care Proxy
- Living Will
- Last Will and Testament
- HIPPA Forms
- Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts
- Veterans Asset Protection Trusts
- Protection of Family Legacies
- Probate Administration
- Trustee Services
Much of our focus is on offering advice and consultation involving Medicaid and MassHealth, making nursing homes and long-term care facilities affordable for our clients. There are many strategies that can be implemented to protect assets and make care affordable, but it is critical to act quickly in order to take advantage of all your options because state and federal laws put time restrictions on elder law planning.
You don’t have to give away your assets in order to qualify for these benefits. Often seniors make the critical error of giving away their assets in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid. The government discourages such practices and will penalize seniors who gave away their assets as much as five years before seeking benefits. Furthermore, gifting without appropriate planning can lead to unintended consequences such as increased taxes, loss of use of their assets and exposure to their children’s creditors. Our firm helps families preserve family assets for spouses living at home and future generations without these unintended consequences.
Even if you haven’t planned ahead, often we can still help. While you have many more options if you plan ahead, we can still help those who are just about to enter a nursing home or need assisted living or at-home care. It is important to know your options before using all of your resources to pay for that care.
Not all assets are treated the same. Medicaid does not count all assets when considering eligibility for benefits. Converting an asset from countable to non-countable can often help families preserve legacies. Some of the assets that are not counted include:
- A primary residence
- A car
- Life insurance policies with less than $1,500 of cash surrender value
- Tangible personal items
- Prepaid burial and funeral arrangements
- Assets held in certain types of trusts
Many seniors need a little help to take care of themselves but do not belong in a nursing home. There are resources available to help these seniors at home. The Frail and Elders Program is one of those programs. Our firm can help families navigate through the complex programs and eligibility criteria for these programs.
Special Benefits for Wartime Veterans
Wartime Veterans can receive funds to pay for their care at home, in assisted living or at a nursing home. There are two different types of Veterans benefits used to pay for long-term care. The most well-known benefit is the Veterans Compensation benefit. To be eligible for the Veterans Compensation benefit, you must have both a service connection and be injured during service. There is also another not-so-well-known benefit. This is the Veterans Pension benefit. For the Veterans Pension benefit, Veterans must only have served 90 days’ active duty (24 months for service after September 7, 1980), be disabled or over age 65 and be financially eligible.
Periods of War Defined
- World War I: 04/06/1917 to 11/11/1918
- World War II: 12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946
- Korea: 06/25/1950 to 01/31/1955
- Vietnam*: 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975
- Vietnam: 08/05/1964 to 05/07/1975
- Persian Gulf: 08/02/1990 to – to be determined
*Vietnam had two periods of war
The Veterans Pension benefit can provide Veterans cash to pay for care at home, in an assisted living center or at a nursing home. This benefit is available to those who served in active duty. If the Veteran leaves a widow, then the widow may also be eligible for a pension benefit.
Depending on the level of care needed, the Veterans Pension benefit can provide different levels of funding, from basic to housebound to aid and attendance.
Attorneys must be accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to represent Veterans for these benefits.
Whether it’s planning ahead for the future or helping families in crisis, our firm can help families learn about the many resources available to help their loved ones. Losing a loved one is hard enough without losing a legacy as well.
Contact Boston Elder Law and VA Attorney Gerald Turner
We invite you to contact Attorney Gerald Turner regarding your legal concerns by calling 781-239-8900 to schedule a confidential consultation.