1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80218

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Denver, CO Elder Law


As experienced Elder Law attorneys, we focus on the needs of older adults and disabled individuals, whose needs are different and unique from many younger people. We handle a wide range of legal matters affecting seniors and disabled people, including issues related to estate planning, health care, long term care planning, guardianship, retirement, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, and other important matters. We can handle financial and estate planning matters and also assist with the day-to-day issues that affect care, such as assisted living and benefits planning. We are experienced in helping people deal with sensitive emotional and physical situations in a compassionate way.

Below are some common issues in the area of Elder Law (see also Special Needs Planning)

Estate Planning

Guardianships and Conservatorships

If you have a loved one who is unable to take care of themselves or handle their personal finances, they may need a guardian or conservator.

A guardian is a person or persons appointed by a court to assist with the personal affairs and make decisions on behalf of a minor or an adult who is incapacitated. A person under a guardianship is called a ward.

A conservator is a person, or persons, appointed by a court to manage finances and property for an adult who is incapacitated, and whose assets may be wasted or dissipated unless management is provided; or if protection is necessary for the adult to obtain or provide money for the individual’s or his/her dependent’s support.

As Denver elder law attorneys, we can help you when faced with the difficult decision to take action to safeguard your loved one’s personal and financial safety.

Senior Housing & Long-Term Care Planning

The Long Term Care Dilemma

As our population ages, more and more of us confront elder law-related issues, whether for ourselves or our parents. One of the most pressing issues is long-term nursing home care, which usually is not covered by traditional health insurance. Depending on where you live and the level of care needed, nursing home care can cost from $35,000 to over $150,000 a year. The average stay is slightly more than three years. Most people end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted, then they may qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost.

Careful planning, however, can help protect your assets, whether for your spouse or for your children. The belt-and-suspenders approach is to purchase long-term care insurance while you are healthy enough to qualify, and to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled under Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare

Clients are frequently confused over the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Though their names are very similar, the programs are quite different. Medicare is an entitlement program, a federal health insurance program in which most people enroll when they turn 65 years old. There are no financial qualification rules. Medicare has two primary parts: Part A and Part B.

Medicare Part A covers in-hospital care, extended care after a hospital stay, some home health care services, and hospice services. The rules for nursing home coverage are very strict and, in fact, Medicare pays for less than 9 percent of nursing home care in this country.

Medicare Resources

Colorado Medicaid & Veterans Benefits

Senior Housing Options

Helping a parent move to senior housing can seem more intimidating than orchestrating a rocket launch. The death of a spouse, declining health or safety concerns can trigger the need to move. The first phase comes with the realization that what has been home is no longer suitable. Emotional ties to a place are hard to overcome. Finding a new home that is appealing and appropriate is no easy task, and neither is culling through a lifetime's accumulation of "stuff."

Here are some tips to help make the transition easier:

  • Plan ahead. Don't wait for a health crisis to start the process. The smoothest transitions occur when the person moving is in the driver's seat.
  • Get a full assessment of the current situation. Physical care needs and financial resources are where to start. Consider the costs of staying in place, including renovation and ongoing maintenance. Add the cost of rising utility bills and taxes, and don't forget transportation and food. Make a list and decide whether it's cheaper to stay or move to a community designed for seniors.
  • Take a multi-phase approach. Seniors often take longer than a year to actually make the move.
  • Fully explore new housing options. Senior living offers a broader range of options than ever before.

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