What Questions will your Elder Law Attorney Ask?

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by Mark R. Friedman

We try to make our clients as comfortable as possible, but nonetheless, meeting an attorney for the first time can be intimidating. Often, people don’t know what to expect. So in this post I’ll set down a few questions that we’ll typically ask elder law clients (or their families) who are interested in Medicaid and long term care planning.  If you have a loved one who may need long term care, it would be helpful for you to bear these questions in mind.

Questions We’ll Ask You:

Your goals?
What are you looking to accomplish by seeing a lawyer? From a legal / financial standpoint, if we could wave a magic wand and fix everything, what would you want us to do?

Your family?
Are you married? How many children do you have? Are your children married? Do they have children? Are any family members helping you? Do you have good relations with everyone in your family? Does everyone in your family have good relations with each other? Is anyone in your family disabled?

Your care needs?
Why do you need care? Are your medical issues physical, mental, or both? Do you use a wheelchair? Are you able to live at home with aides? If so, how much help do you need from aides? Can anyone else help with your care? If you have to go into a facility, can you get the care you need in an assisted living facility, or is a nursing home necessary?

Your finances?
What are your finances? Do you own your home? If so, what is the value, and is there a mortgage on it? What are your assets – bank, investment and retirement accounts, insurance and annuities, etc.? What is your monthly income, and what are your monthly expenses? How much do you expect your care needs will cost? Have you made any gifts in the past five years?  Do you expect to get any windfall money (lawsuit, inheritance, etc.)?

Documents and Insurance?
Have you ever executed a will? Have you given anyone power of attorney? Do you have an advance directive for healthcare (aka medical power of attorney)? Do you have long term care insurance?

There are many more specific questions we’ll ask in particular situations, but these are some of the broader general questions that folks should keep in mind when working with an elder law attorney.  If you’re interested in Medicaid and long term care planning, FriedmanLaw is here to help, call or email us today.

As this website provides general information and isn’t tailored to your particular situation, it doesn’t constitute legal advice and may not take into account rules and exceptions that affect you. Although updated from time to time, this website may not take account of recent legal developments or differences in laws from state to state. For safety sake, obtain individual legal advice before you act! You assume all risk of acting on information contained in this website. This website doesn’t constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship exists unless FriedmanLaw and you execute a written engagement agreement. Please contact us at 908-704-1900 to discuss engaging FriedmanLaw to help resolve your legal concerns.
Homepage photo: Cows grazing at Meadowbrook Farm, Bernardsville, NJ by Siddharth Mallya. October 23, 2012.
Interior photo: Somerset hills pastoral scene by Lawrence Friedman.