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Elder Law Attorney Specializing in Medicaid Planning & Estate Planning

At Swearingen Elder Law, we concentrate on ensuring you get the best care possible while protecting the assets you've worked so hard for. 

estate planning

Planning your estate involves difficult decisions about private matters related to the disbursement of property and assets. This includes Wills, Power of Attorney, Deeds, Special Needs Trusts, Long-Term Care Planning and Advanced Directives.

asset protection

Having no plan is having a plan to fail.  Swearingen Elder Law specializes in creating strategic plans that protect client assets from the rising cost of living, potential need for Long Term Care, and the expense involved in the probate process. This type of planning offers future protection for spouses, children, and those with special needs.   

medicaid planning

There are legitimate planning strategies to qualify for Medicaid assistance without “spending down” all the family’s hard-earned wealth. With our expertise in Medicaid law we help clients prepare for the expense of long-term or in-home healthcare.  This type of planning benefits clients previously admitted to a nursing home, or those who may enter a facility in the future.  Even if you have been previously denied Medicaid coverage there may still be planning options available. 

home health​care planning

In Home Healthcare Planning is a type of legal service designed to help clients who wish to remain in their homes, avoiding the transition to a Long Term Care Facility.  Sometimes remaining in the home is the best option for illness recovery, rehabilitation, and continuing an independent lifestyle.  When the choice is made to receive care in the home, our office serves as a guide through the Asset preservation process.  Often, this type of planning may involve coordination with such organizations as Aging and In Home Services and the Indiana Medicaid Waiver Services program.     

Frequently Asked Questions

Elder Law attorneys focus on helping seniors with matters regarding Medicaid planning, long-term care planning, guardianships, wills and trusts, estate planning, and special needs trusts. An elder law attorney can help advocate for seniors along with providing legal services to parents, spouses, children, among other family members. An experienced elder care lawyer understands that each client has their own unique circumstances and works closely with all clients to make sure that all matters are resolved.

1. WHAT IS ELDER LAW?

Elder law is an area of the law that helps people who are planning to retire, people with disabilities, people who may need medicaid services or people who are worried about Nursing home costs. Elder law attorneys are specialists in the needs of seniors and elders with regard to estate planing, asset protection, medicaid planning and family law. As our loved ones age and become seniors, we have many questions around finances, assets, estates, health care and long term care, to name a few.

2. WHAT IS THE COST OF LONG-TERM CARE?

Long-term care is very expensive and living in a nursing home facility in Indiana can cost as much as $14,000 a month.  Home Health Aides can also be costly and charge about $20 per hour of care. Assisted living facilities can have fees up to $5,000 per month. In order to minimize these long term living costs, it is important to set up proper estate and financial planning. Our elder care attorney fees are extremely reasonable in relation to how much money we are typically able to save Clients who plan with us.

3. HOW CAN I PROTECT MY ASSETS FROM NURSING HOME BILLS?
  • Your loved ones can become increasingly frail or forgetful and you may need to think about Nursing Home access.
  • Paying for a Nursing Home can be extremely expensive and it is very important that you consult experienced attorneys at Swearingen Elder Law who can provide essential estate planning guidance to help protect your assets from expensive nursing home costs.
  • Placing your assets into an Irrevocable Trust will protect them from Nursing Home bills, if such a transfer was made five years or more from the time one gets into the nursing home.
4. WHO IS CONSIDERED AN ELDER BY LAW

While there is no legal benchmark to be classified as an elder, the practice of elder law usually involves clients over the age of 60.

5. WHAT IS MEDICAID PLANNING OR LONG TERM CARE PLANNING?

When people talk of Long Term Care or "Medicaid Planning" for those who are disabled or elderly, they generally are describing a person who needs medical care in excess of what they or their family, can provide. Medicaid Planning can be as simple as assistance with the collection and preparation of documents, or as complicated as a complete re-structuring of one’s financial assets.​ 

Much of the complexity associated with Long Term Care and In Home Healthcare planning occurs when an individual’s monthly income or resources are over the financial eligibility limits set by the State and Federal government. One other major complicating factor is when one spouse requires long-term care and the other can live independently. How are their incomes and assets divided? 

These are the challenges that Swearingen Elder Law helps clients daily to overcome..

6. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICARE AND MEDICAID?

Medicare
Medicare provides health coverage to those over age 65 (or under 65 but disabled). However, Medicare generally does not cover nursing home care or, if so, only for the short term. That’s where Medicaid comes in.

Medicaid
Medicaid pays for nursing home care for low-income individuals. That means that the individual or couple must deplete their own assets before qualifying for nursing home coverage. There are legitimate estate planning strategies to qualify for Medicaid assistance without spending down all the family’s hard-earned wealth. With our expertise in Medicaid law, we can assist you in planning for the expenses of long-term care as well as planning for the protection of resources for you and your family.