An Experienced And Knowledgeable New York Elder Law Lawyer
Relatively few attorneys know the field of elder law as well as the New York elder law attorneys of Polizzotto & Polizzotto, LLC, do. Our New York elder law practice was started by our founder, Alfred Polizzotto, more than 15 years ago. Over time, our lawyers have expanded in knowledge and accumulated relevant experience in this area.
As the “baby boomer” generation gets older, aging Americans and their families increasingly encounter legal and practical concerns in caring for elderly loved ones. An attorney experienced in elder law matters at The Law Offices of Polizzotto & Polizzotto, LLC in Brooklyn, New York, can assist clients in planning for the future through powers of attorney and advance directives to ensure that proper medical treatment is provided. An attorney can also advise on long-term care insurance or other funding options that foster the most independence and security for the many elders who wish to remain in their homes.
Contact an elder law attorney today for a thoughtful consultation about your elder law concern.
Help For Families Of Elder Law Clients
If you are caring for an elderly loved one, you may find it difficult to juggle your family, work and caretaking needs. Caring for another is often time-consuming, expensive, and physically and mentally draining. When added to your job, family and social obligations, your caregiver role may feel overwhelming. You are not alone, however. Millions of Americans currently care for an elderly loved one. An experienced elder law attorney who has counseled others in your position can draw on experience to provide you the guidance, support and encouragement you need to care for your loved one.
Providing Elder Law Services For New Yorkers
Our firm is large enough to have the resources to address your elder law concerns, yet small enough to take the time and give you the personal attention you deserve when you entrust your legal matters to our care.
Elder law is a broad area of law. It encompasses issues such as:
- Rights of the elderly
- Trusts and estates
- Medicaid applications (home care and nursing home)
- Durable powers of attorney
- Health care proxies
- Mental hygiene laws
- Pooled income trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Nursing home negligence
- Appointment of trustees
Perhaps a trust pertaining to an elderly person in your family has been misused and you need help recovering the lost assets. Or perhaps your elderly family member has been mistreated in a health care setting. Whatever the issue surrounding your rights or your family member’s rights as elderly citizens, we are prepared to find a legal remedy.
Helping Victims Of Elder Abuse In Brooklyn And New York City
Our New York elder law lawyers are champions for the rights of the elderly. We’ve seen too many injustices committed against our elderly clients or elderly loved ones of clients. We are committed to prevention as well as correction when it comes to the rights of the elderly. We can skillfully assist in planning to prevent abuse or we can engage in aggressive litigation to correct legal wrongs against them.
Guardianships And Conservatorships
When symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or physical disabilities arise, common tasks such as brushing one’s teeth, dressing, feeding oneself and bathing can become extremely difficult. Our loved ones may become forgetful or easily confused. A guardianship or conservatorship may be one way to help you care for your loved one. Through a guardianship or conservatorship, you can become the court-appointed guardian or conservator to ensure that your loved one receives adequate personal care or to handle your loved one’s financial matters. As the person responsible for ensuring your loved one’s care, you can maximize your loved one’s quality of life through a support network of qualified professionals, friends and family.
Powers Of Attorney And Health Care Directives
Sound planning beforehand allows elders to ensure that their needs are met and their wishes are carried out with regard to future financial matters and medical treatment, even if they are unable to communicate their desires at the time those decisions need to be made. Powers of attorney and advance directives allow a person to designate an agent to carry out their wishes as an alternative to allowing a judge to select a guardian or conservator. In a written document, each person may communicate to the agent their financial goals and decisions, as well as outlining medical procedures or life-sustaining techniques that may be performed in the future. These directions allow the agent to make decisions according to the elder’s wishes, even if he or she is unable to communicate with the agent at the time.
Planning For Long-Term Care
While making financial and medical plans is extremely important, so too is providing for long-term care. Many people overlook the financial, medical and personal aspects of long-term care planning until it is too late. If you develop a serious mental or physical disability requiring long-term care, you will want to have a long-term care plan. Health care costs in the United States are expensive and continue to rise. Proper long-term care planning now will allow you to pay for these rising costs without exhausting your life’s savings. A skilled elder law attorney can counsel you on long-term care insurance, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility and other options. With proper planning, you can choose the long-term care option that best fits your needs.
Speak To An Elder Law Attorney
The security derived from planning for your retirement, including handling your financial, medical and long-term care decisions is without a price. Contact an experienced elder law attorney at The Law Offices of Polizzotto & Polizzotto, LLC in Brooklyn, New York, for guidance. Taking the necessary steps now can reduce financial hardship and stress for you and your loved ones in the future.
As we’ve been in business for over 60 years with offices in Brooklyn, our involvement in elder law has grown partly out of our lifelong relationships with many neighborhood clients in the neighboring boroughs of New York City. Contact an elder rights lawyer to arrange for a caring and professional assessment of your elder law concerns by calling 718-213-4861 or filling out the online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Elder Law
I want to stay in my own home. Do I have other care options besides a nursing home?
Yes. If you want to stay in your home, you have options that may be less expensive and stressful than a nursing home. You could obtain a reverse mortgage on your home, long-term care insurance or support through federal or state funding sources that could pay for a professional caregiver. A family member or friend may be able to help you with personal care. If you want to stay in your home, an experienced elder law attorney can advise you about your options.
What are Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored programs that help pay for medical care. Medicare is a federal program for the disabled and people aged 65 or over. Medicaid is a federal-state program for low-income families with children as well as the needy, aged, blind and disabled.
Am I eligible to receive Medicare or Medicaid benefits?
Eligibility for Medicare is based mainly on eligibility for Social Security. If you are age 65 or older, have been disabled for at least two years or have chronic kidney disease, you may be eligible to receive Medicare benefits. The eligibility requirements for Medicaid, and which health services are covered, are determined on a state-by-state basis.
Is it illegal to transfer assets for the purpose of obtaining Medicaid benefits?
No. For many years, it was a crime to intentionally transfer assets or “spend down” to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements, but there is currently no risk of criminal prosecution for doing so.
What is long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance is a private insurance policy purchased to cover long-term care needs, such as home care provided by a paid caretaker, or residence in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Policies are often relatively expensive, but long-term care insurance can result in a huge financial savings when compared to the rising costs of long-term care. To determine if long-term care insurance will benefit you, you should speak to an experienced elder law attorney.
Do I surrender any rights when I execute a power of attorney?
No. A power of attorney allows an appointed agent the power to exercise only the rights that you provide for in the power of attorney document. For example, if you permit it, the agent can withdraw money from your bank account or write checks from your bank account. Because nothing in a power of attorney deprives you of these rights, you have not surrendered any rights. You have, however, surrendered the right to exercise exclusive control over your financial matters.
Why should I execute a living will or health care directive?
Living wills and health care directives are important planning tools that allow you to clearly state what medical treatment you wish to receive if you become incapacitated. You can appoint the person you wish to implement your wishes for medical treatment should you be unable to do so. These documents also guide your family and physicians when unanticipated medical decisions arise. A living will or advance directive relieves your family members of the difficult decisions related to life-sustaining measures and serious medical procedures.
Can I change my power of attorney or advance directive after I sign it?
Yes. Powers of attorney or health care directives can be changed at any time provided the signer is not currently incapacitated. You may change your designated attorney-in-fact or agent, add or subtract powers that they have, or revoke the document entirely. If you wish to change the power of attorney or advance directive, you must notify your attorney-in-fact or agent of the changes, however. To avoid confusion later, you should also alert other people such as your physician, your banker or another financial adviser.
How can I adjust to my role as caretaker for my parents?
Caring for elderly parents or other loved ones can be demanding when balanced with work and your own family life. Maintaining your personal health, including daily exercise and a steady diet, will help to preserve your physical and emotional strength. Additionally, many organizations exist to provide support to families called upon to care for elder loved ones.
What is the difference between a guardianship and a conservatorship?
Depending on the state, guardians and conservators may have different roles. In states with both guardians and conservators, guardians’ duties typically involve making decisions to protect the physical and mental health of a ward, while conservators typically make financial decisions. Some states use these terms interchangeably. Regardless of the term used, if the judge determines the ward is incapacitated, the judge also must determine the scope of the duties of the guardian or conservator, and whether it will include making physical, medical or financial decisions for the ward, and other matters.
Disclaimer: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.