Estate Planning & Elder Law
The attorneys in our firm have acquired and maintained the specialized knowledge required to address the increasingly complex legal issues facing senior clients and their families. Legal representation provided by our attorneys includes matters such as protecting vulnerable seniors from financial exploitation, obtaining court appointments as conservators and guardians for incapacitated adults, and planning for Medicaid eligibility for payment of the costs of long-term health care.
One key aspect of elder law is Medicaid eligibility planning. This involves the preservation of assets in the face of impending long-term health care expenses for a loved one. Our services can range from an office consultation on the available options under Medicaid asset transfer rules to active representation before an administrative hearing officer or a court to rectify an erroneous denial of Medicaid benefits. Our goal is to explore the applicant’s family and financial circumstances and develop optional strategies for preserving assets and income while establishing or maintaining eligibility for applicable government benefits.
Another aspect of elder law involves special needs trust planning. A special needs trust is an asset management trust designed to provide for the quality of life of a beneficiary who is or will be receiving government aid, while preserving those trust funds from the typical “spend-down” requirements. Federal and state laws require compliance with very technical rules if such a trust is to achieve the purpose intended, so the planning process requires careful analysis in order to prevent the inadvertent loss of eligibility for benefits. Special needs trust may be created by a third party (such as a parent or grandparent) or by the disabled person (usually through a legal representative), and the permissible distribution terms for each will vary significantly. Our attorneys are well versed in special needs planning.
Guardianships and conservatorships are often a component of elder law planning. A guardian is a person appointed by the court to manage the personal affairs of an incapacitated person, while a conservator is an individual (who may be the same person as the guardian) appointed to manage financial affairs for the person adjudged to be incapacitated. Our attorneys can advise you of the need for a guardian or conservator and assist in every aspect of the process.
Unfortunately, the elderly are vulnerable targets of financial exploitation. Our attorneys are equipped to address legal problems whenever they arise in the context of senior clients and their families, including the abuse of powers of attorney, the exertion of undue influence in the execution of estate planning documents, and the unauthorized access to the often limited resources of the elderly individual.
Contact Attorney Bob Prior About Elder Law
BOB PRIOR is a Partner with Prior, Daniel & Wiltshire, LLC. Bob, a Madison native, is a 1982 graduate of Morgan County High School. He received an appointment to the United Stated Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and graduated from Annapolis in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
“I highly recommend Bob Prior for anyone that has estate planning or elder law needs. I first hired Bob over 15 years ago to create an estate plan for my husband and me. Since then, he has guided me through my husband’s death, handled the probate of his estate, created a detailed elder law plan for me, and provided tax advice that has led to substantial income tax savings. He is always patient, kind, and knowledgeable. He explains legal concepts and options in a clear way I can understand. I completely trust him to advise me in making legal decisions and have come to think of him as a friend.” – Judy Phillips, Lake Oconee
“Bob Prior has been our family attorney for over ten years. He has guided us through many legal issues including an elder law plan for my mother and probate of both of my parents’ estates. He also prepared an estate plan for us as we transitioned into retirement. Through all of this, Bob was fantastic. He patiently explained each step of the process, kept us informed, and educated us on areas that were unfamiliar. He has more than gone out of his way a number of times to answer questions and explain things and has had the patience of Job. It’s a shame people cannot see the smile that breaks out on our faces when we speak of him. The thing that people really need to know is that he truly cares about his clients. Whether it’s meeting with him in person or speaking with him on the phone, he makes us have the “warm and fuzzy feeling” that comes from the heart. We enthusiastically recommend him for anyone that needs estate planning help!” – Barry and Melanie Turner, Elberton, GA
Prior, Daniel, & Wiltshire is very pleased to report that partner Robert “Bob” Prior was specifically commended in connection with his donation of the construction lot and his outstanding legal service to Madison and Morgan County during the “Home Sweet Hero” week of the hit television program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.