Lawyer Monthly - January 2024

No grieving spouse wants to visit the attorney after a spouse has passed, only to be told that yes you do have to probate his or her will, or worse, go through an intestacy process to transfer assets. The biggest hardships are oftentimes with blended families, where it is so important that spouses have a solid estate plan in place. No one wants to find out after a spouse has passed away that the house the couple had shared for maybe 30 years does not fully belong to the survivor. In Texas, if you die without a Will and you had a blended family, the deceased spouse’s share of the home, generally half the value, goes to the deceased’s children, not the surviving spouse. Having a proper plan in place, whether that be a Will or a Revocable Living Trust, can prevent that. For many people, a big concern is the possibility of running out of money. As we age past 65, the likelihood of needing some form of skilled nursing care only increases. With average costs for semi-private rooms running upwards of $6,000/month, it can be daunting for most people to consider how that would be covered. This is My job as a Certified Elder Law Attorney is, at its essence, helping people with all matters relating to aging, retirement, incapacity, and death. WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 7 where Medicaid planning can be really helpful. I find that a lot of people don’t realize the benefits that may be accessible, many because they’ve never even considered it. That extends to Veterans Benefits as well. There are many programs available through the VA that I consistently find that veterans have never been told of. A prime example of this is the VA Pension program, which provides additional financial assistance for war-time veterans who have medical expenses they may have a hard time covering. That program could potentially give a veteran and his spouse up to $2,600 or more, depending on the need and qualification. These are incredibly helpful benefits that, unfortunately, I find far too many of our service men and women are not aware of. These conversations are so valuable for us as attorneys to have with our clients. Our job as elder law attorneys is so much about guiding our clients and helping people find the tools for them to live out their later years, as much is possible, in the manner they would like. When clients come in to talk about how they “need a Will” I feel it is

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz