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Elder Law Lawyer Bergen County, NJ

Elder Law Lawyer Bergen County, NJ - nurse holding elderly hand

With life expectancy continuing to rise, it’s important to speak to an elder law lawyer in Bergen County, NJ soon. A lawyer can assist you with long-term care planning and protect your future. Here are some common myths about long-term care planning that you shouldn’t believe.

If You Use Medicaid to Pay for Long-term Care, You Can Lose Your House

Some people are reluctant to use Medicaid to cover the costs of long-term care because they think they will lose their home. If you or your spouse continue to live in the house while you’re using Medicaid, your home can’t be taken away from you. However, the state may try to file a claim against your estate after you die to recoup the costs of long-term care.

Medicare Always Pays for Long-term Care

Many individuals 65 and older use Medicare to cover the costs of healthcare. However, unlike popular belief, it will not pay for long-term care. Medicare is intended to cover the costs of short-term care, like rehabilitation. 

It’s Too Late to Begin Long-term Care Planning

Seniors who already have health problems and use services like nursing home care may assume that it’s too late to think about long-term care planning. The good news is that this isn’t true. While an elder law lawyer in Bergen County, NJ would advise you to start long-term care planning early, there are still various ways to start later. For instance, you may consider paying off your mortgage and then converting a non-exempt asset into an exempt one.

If You Have Family, You Don’t Need Long-term Care Planning

It’s not wise to assume that your family members will be able to take care of you full-time should you come down with a serious illness. They might move far away or be too busy with work and family obligations. Additionally, being a caregiver can be extremely stressful. You don’t want to put that kind of burden on your family members. If you start planning for long-term care, it will be better for everyone.

Your Savings Can Cover Long-term Care Costs

If you’ve made a good living most of your life and have substantial savings, you might think that you can cover the cost of long-term care yourself. However, if you come down with a severe illness or injury, it can eat up a large portion of your savings. It’s a better option to invest in long-term care planning right now.

To find out more about long-term care planning, contact an elder law lawyer in Bergen County, NJ from Kaplan Law Practice today. 

How Else Can An Elder Law Lawyer Help Me? 

While most people typically think of an elder law lawyer as just dealing with medicare and medicaid, this isn’t the case. There are many other areas that our loved ones need legal support and protection. An elder law lawyer can help you with necessities such as estate planning, unpleasant and painful situations such as elder abuse, and challenges such as workplace discrimination. For the best outcome, you will want to hire an experienced elder law lawyer Bergen County, NJ community members trust. Call Kaplan Law Practice, LLC now to set up a free and confidential consultation to talk about how we can support you in your time of need. 

Estate Planning

It is hard to think about, but we will all die one day. While dying is the end of one life, it leaves many challenges for those that remain unless there are good directives for loved ones to follow. Estate planning is essential for making sure that your assets are given to those you care about most. If you do not have a well written will in place, the courts may end up deciding how your estate is divided. You may assume that because you are married, or have children,  that they will receive your inheritance, but this isn’t always the case. A business partner or extended family member may come in and contest that they should receive a share of your estate. Furthermore, not having a plan can lead your family and friends to bicker over who gets what. But you can remove all of that hassle by sitting down with a lawyer, who will help you create a will that will stand up in a court of law and give you the power of deciding where your assets go. 

Fighting Ageism

When we think of discrimination, race and gender often come to mind first. Yet with an increasingly large portion of the workforce growing older, ageism is on the rise. If you believe you have been passed up for a promotion, receive a worse workload because of your age, were or let go of your position because of your age, you can seek damages from your employer. Speaking with a knowledgeable elder law lawyer in Bergen County, NJ from a firm like Kaplan Law Practice, LLC can help answer your questions about whether you have been discriminated against. Many times there is a pattern and you can document discrimination through emails, recordings, and other means. A lawyer will ask you questions and gather evidence of the discrimination to support your case. 

Elder Abuse

Our elders are often an overlooked portion of the population that suffers from abuse because they rely on others for their care. Abuse doesn’t only take place in a nursing home, although it certainly can. Elders can suffer from abuse in their home from family members, friends, and providers they rely on. If you think you or a loved one is being abused, don’t wait any longer. Sit down with a Bergen County, NJ elder law lawyer Kaplan Law Practice, LLC today to discuss your case and protect your loved one in a time of need.

If you need an elder law Lawyer in Bergen county NJ and you haven’t considered Kaplan Law Practice it’s time you did. For most people, life expectancy keeps getting longer. Because there are often more health challenges as you age, you’ll want to be as sure as you can be that ill health expenses can be handled without devastating your estate and your family with huge expenses. And in fact, elder law really began as a specialty with the average length of life began to increase significantly.[1]

Is Elder Abuse Always Easy to Spot?

If you’re unsure of whether you or a loved one is being abused, it is time to speak with an elder law lawyer Bergen County, NJ residents trust with their wellbeing. Abuse, neglect, and exploitation are rarely easy to identify because “symptoms” of these circumstances are so often also manifested under reasonable circumstances. For example, dehydration can be a sign of illness but it can also be a sign of neglect. If you’re unsure of whether you have reason for concern, speaking with a member of the Kaplan Law Practice, LLC team can help to clarify the truth and offer peace of mind. If no abuse is occurring, you can plan your next steps accordingly. If abuse is happening, we can help.

If I Speak Up, Won’t I Risk Retaliation?

Your abuser may have threatened you or you may simply be worried that if you speak about what is happening to you, someone will make your situation even worse than it is now. Understand that our firm has extensive experience dealing with situations like yours and we know how to manage getting abuse victims to safety as effectively as possible. If anyone tries to retaliate against you for speaking up, we’ll have your back.

If I Speak Up, Where Will I Go?

The Bergen County elder law lawyer team at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC is well-aware of the reality that many abuse victims do not speak up because they fear that they will have nowhere else to live if they escape their abusive environment. If you are being abused, ensuring that you have somewhere safe and stable to go and remain will be our priority. Please don’t force yourself to endue one more day of serious mistreatment because you’re understandably concerned about what will happen once you speak up.

Is Emotional or Social Mistreatment Abuse?

Abuse occurs in many forms. Elder abuse may be physical, sexual, mental, emotional, social, or it may manifest as negligence or exploitation. If you are being denied your basic needs or are being made to live in humiliation, shame, or fear, chances are good that you are being abused and can exercise rights under the law to make the abuser stop. Know that oftentimes, abusers can convince their victims that they either deserve mistreatment or are not being mistreated. If something feels wrong to you, trust your gut. Speaking with a member of our legal team in a risk free, confidential consultation setting does not commit you to any legal action whatsoever. But, if it turns out that your rights are being violated, we can help.

Is Financial Exploitation Abuse?

As the experienced legal team at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC can attest, yes, financial exploitation is a form of abuse. Additionally, utilizing your identity for someone else’s gain is also considered exploitation and is also considered abuse. If either loved ones or someone at a care facility is taking advantage of your finances or your identity, it is time to speak with an experienced Bergen County elder law lawyer about safeguarding your rights and clarifying your options under the law. In recent years, states have begun to crack down on lesser-understood forms of elder abuse in earnest. Allow us to help you exercise your rights.

Long Term Care

The real issue often becomes both the cost and the availability of long-term care. Let’s start with a definition of long term care. First of all, understand there is no exact definition. It depends on where you live and the definition used by any insurance you may have. It’s often contrasted with short term, which again has no specific definition.

Mostly though your common sense will help you figure this out. If for instance you need an in-home nurse for months or you move to some sort of a medical facility for months or even until you die, you’re dealing with a long term card.

How an Elder Care Lawyer Will Benefit You

The best reason in the world to consult with an elder care attorney is so they can help you understand the various laws around Medicare, Medicaid, your current health insurance, and the possibility of procuring long-term care insurance.

Unfortunately there is a ton of confusing information, misunderstanding and myths about elder care. It’s complex and it’s easy to make a mistake. You want to talk with a respected practitioner of Elder Law Lawyer Bergen County NJ. The Kaplan Law practice considers elder law one of its special practice areas.

Medicaid

Medicaid is probably the most misunderstood benefit for seniors there is. The program is run by your state, in this case New Jersey. It’s administered by the county you live in and its available to all who qualify.

Probably the most important program provided for the elderly through Medicaid is what’s known as ‘institutional Medicaid.’ This provides general health coverage and coverage for nursing home services.

Although you can apply for Medicaid without a lawyer, one with experience in Medicaid like the Kaplan Law practice can often help protect your assets when using these benefits. Generally, they will help you in four areas:

  • Analysis of your assets
  • Review of any existing estate plan
  • Suggesting the use of trusts and other instruments of planning to reduce your liability.
  • The use of special and supplemental trusts to protect the disabled

Elder Law Abuse and the Nursing Profession

You may have been subject to abuse by a medical professional. If you were a resident in a nursing home or hospital you may have a claim against any medical professional who caused you to suffer personal injuries. Contacting an elder law attorney is the best thing you can do if you or a loved one suffered abuse at the hands of a medical professional. 

When you consult an elder law attorney regarding your estate plan you should also consider any claims you may have against medical professionals who have treated you during the past. Each jurisdiction in the United States has registry indexes for registered nurses, and some nurses who abuse elderly people will move from state to state after they are reprimanded for abusing patients. 

You may have a parent, grandparent, or other family member who suffered physical, emotional, or emotional abuse from a healthcare professional. If you have a family member who has suffered cognitive decline due to alzheimer’s or some other cause you can still hold the responsible liable for your loved one’s injuries. 

It is important that you seek any documentary evidence that may be relevant to the abuse you or a loved one suffered while receiving care from a medical professional. The abuse you or loved one suffered may not be limited to physical abuse such as battery or assault. 

The Different Types of Elder Abuse 

Elder abuse is not uniform, and many different types of behavior constitute elder abuse. The following are some of the most common types of abuse suffered by elders: 

  • Sexual abuse 
  • Neglect 
  • Fraud
  • Scams
  • Psychological abuse 
  • Emotional abuse 
  • Physical abuse 
  • Financial abuse 

Oftentimes a medical professional or other caretaker will attempt to have an elderly patient sign over their assets and property to the caretaker. Many family members do not understand their legal options when attempting to prevent an abuser from taking the assets of a vulnerable patient. Abuse is not uniform and elderly patients may not be able to report their abuse due to cognitive problems that may make it more difficult for them to communicate. 

Emotional abuse and neglect are often witnessed at nursing homes. Patients may not be turned over on their beds for long periods of time. These patients often develop painful bedsores that may become infected and cause severe disease or illness. If you or a loved one suffered abuse from a medical professional contact Kaplan Law Practice, LLC today to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss the facts of your case and help you seek the financial compensation you deserve.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_law_(United_States)#History

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