Law Office of
Eric M. Kearney, LLC
Guardianship | Medicaid | Special Needs
Every adult is assumed to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court decides otherwise. If an adult becomes incapable of making appropriate decisions due to a mental disability, the court will appoint a substitute decision maker, called a "guardian." The person who is under guardianship is called the "protected person."
The guardian makes legal and health care decisions for the protected person. The guardian may have to seek court approval for various decisions.
I help clients determine whether a guardianship is necessary or whether there are other less restrictive alternatives available. Once the proceeding is established, I continue to guide and advise clients regarding their duties and responsibilities.
Long-Term Care Planning
If the hospital tells you that your loved one is not going to be able to go back home without significant support, it is time to do some immediate planning.
There are so many things to consider in such a short period of time. Can they afford to go back home? Who is going to care for them? How will the caregiving bills be paid?
If they need a facility, how do you pick a good one? How will you pay for that? What resources are available?
I help people sort through these issues and more. I can connect you with placement professionals, and guide you to other helpful community resources.
Conservators are appointed for people who have lost the ability to manage their own finances due to illness or disability. If a person is deemed to be financially incapable, the court will appoint a suitable person to manage all of the protected person's finances.
Conservatorships are subject to ongoing court supervision, and have stringent accounting and reporting requirements. Every penny of the protected person's funds must be accounted for.
I help clients figure out whether conservatorship is necessary. If it is, then I help establish the proceeding with the court, and guide them through the administration.
Maybe the "bad" brother has filed a petition asking to be appointed Guardian or Conservator over your parent. You need to put a stop to it, but aren't sure how. Maybe you don't think that a guardianship is appropriate, or that the nominated guardian is inappropriate. Maybe you are thinking about filing but are worried about objections by other family members.
Not all attorneys have the experience to handle contested matters. I do. Let's talk about your options.
Don't just leave things to chance. We can talk about whether a will or a trust is right for you and make sure that your wishes are carried out. In addition to wills and trusts, I help people create power of attorney documents and can assist with Oregon's Advance Directive forms.
Long-term care is expensive. Most individuals and families can't afford to pay upwards of $6,000 per month for care in a Memory Care, Assisted Living Facility, Nursing Home, or Adult Foster home. That's where Oregon Medicaid comes in.
Medicaid is the joint Federal and State program that helps individuals and couples pay for this expensive long-term care.
The rules are complicated and there are specific tests that the Medicaid applicant must pass before they are eligible for help. I help people determine whether they are (or can be) eligible for Oregon Medicaid services. I also help with the application process and work with Medicaid caseworkers.
I can answer your questions about Spousal Impoverishment; Asset Protection; Disqualification Periods; the 5 Year Look-back; and Estate Recovery.
It is never too early to plan for the possibility that you or a loved one might need Long-term care. Everyone knows someone who has had a parent or a loved one who needed help due to age, disability, or traumatic injury.
It is important to plan while you still have the mental ability to do so. I help people come up with plans that really reflect their individual wishes and desires. Let's put a plan in place that doesn't leave things to chance or place undue burdens on your family members.
Special Needs Trusts
Special Needs Trusts fulfill two primary functions: The first is to manage funds for someone who may not be able to do so himself or herself due to disability. The second is to preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits, whether that be Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), public housing, or any other program. They come into play in a multitude of situations, including parents planning for a disabled child, a disabled individual coming into an inheritance or winning or settling a personal injury claim, or one spouse planning for a disabled spouse.