Wills and Elder Law

"Elder Law" can be a misleading term.  In reality, it involves areas that affect everyone, not just the elderly.  We hope you will learn more about our elder law, estate planning, and probate practice on this page.  

Estate Planning - Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Trusts

 

Wills.  The Dove Law Firm provides counseling and guidance to clients in the process of planning the distribution and management of their estates. We discuss your wishes and concerns in order to tailor an estate plan to fit your needs. 

Powers of Attorney. A comprehensive estate plan includes more than just a will.  It should also include documents to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so.  Powers of Attorney can be used to appoint a trusted individual to handle your financial and medical affairs if you become unable to do so, whether by injury or illness.  The document is made before you become incapacitated, and allows another person to make decisions on your behalf.  It is important to create these documents while you have the capacity to do so.

Trusts are commonly used by our estate planning professionals to help meet our clients' needs. There are many different types of trusts that can be used to meet estate planning goals, including revocable trusts, Miller trusts, and special needs trusts.  A trust can be used before or after death to distribute property in accordance with the grantor's wishes.  To make the best use of a trust, a qualified and reliable trustee should be appointed to manage the trust.    

Elder Law - Medicaid Planning, Veterans Pension Planning, and Elder Abuse

 

Medicaid Planning.  10,000 Americans turn 65 years of age every day.  The senior population in the U.S. is growing, and many of our seniors will one day face the need for long-term care, the cost of which is high and rising.  Many seniors will be unable to afford to privately pay for the cost of nursing home care on a long-term basis.  Medicaid is the only government program that will pay for long-term nursing home care.  There are, however, medical and financial requirements that must be met before a senior qualifies for Medicaid benefits.  Our firm assists clients in meeting those requirements, and, through the Medicaid planning process, helps clients to preserve their own assets.  

 

Veterans Pension Planning.  Wartime veterans, and the surviving spouses of wartime veterans, may be entitled to receive a monthly cash benefit (often referred to as "Aid and Assistance") if they meet certain financial and medical criteria.  Our firm assists clients in determining their eligibility for Veterans Aid and Assistance benefits, meeting those requirements if not already met, and filing the necessary paperwork.

 

Elder Abuse. Elderly citizens are, sadly, vulnerable to abuse.  That abuse can take many forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, negligent care, and financial exploitation, to name a few.  Often times the perpetrators are caregivers and trusted family members.  These are sensitive situations.  At the Dove Law Firm, we provide our clients with the legal counsel they need to navigate these troubled waters.

Probate, Guardianship, and Special Needs Trusts

Probate simply refers to the process of finalizing the affairs and transferring the property of a deceased person to the rightful heirs.  In Texas, the process can be very simple .  It is meant to help the heirs clear title to property as quickly and easily as possible.  That said, the time immediately following a loved one's death is a difficult time for any family.  There are many decisions to be made, including how best to handle outstanding affairs of the deceased.  The right attorney can help you make the decisions regarding the probate of an estate, and assist you through the entire process.  

Guardianships of the Person and the Estate are statutory vehicles for managing the affairs of a minor or other incapacitated individual.  Texas has a formal process to declare a guardian.  A court must first determine that the proposed ward meets the requirements for incapacity as set forth in the Texas Estates Code.  Once a guardian has been appointed, the court will supervise the guardian's care of the ward and the ward's estate.  

Special Needs Trusts are special trusts designed for the benefit of individuals with disabilities, either physical or mental.  They are written in such a way that the disabled can enjoy the use of the assets held by the trust without jeopardizing his or her rights and entitlement to receive needs-based government benefits.  

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