Pittsburgh Elder Law Attorneys
Providing High-Quality Elder Law Services For 40+ Years
At James M. Herb & Associates, our attorneys have over four decades of collective experience. If you or a loved one need help with an elder law matter, our attorneys can help you navigate drafting a will, creating a trust, implementing powers of attorney, protecting your assets, and dealing with a variety of other elder law matters. We can also answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
Our clients are our priority, and we are recognized, by our peers and clients, for being experienced and trusted advocates. After listening to your needs and concerns, we can work tirelessly to ensure you understand your legal options and can make an informed decision.
Learn more about our services by scheduling an initial consultation online or calling (412) 533-4821.
What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do?
Elder law attorneys typically handle a range of legal matters that affect the elderly and disabled, such as long-term care planning, retirement issues, Social Security, etc. They act as advocates who ensure that your wishes are honored and that you are protected if the unexpected happens.
Elder law attorneys can help you or a loved one:
- Be advised of how you can obtain guardianship of incapacitated family members who did not have healthcare directives in place
- Draft estate planning documents for adults with special needs or yourself
- Draft powers of attorneys
- Ensure you have a plan concerning future long-term care and financial concerns (i.e. housing opportunities, financial power of attorney, estate and gift taxes, etc.)
- Find long-term care facilities that meet your needs and help manage the costs
- Understand nursing home resident rights and file a claim in instances of abuse (i.e. physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, self-neglect, financial exploitation, etc.)
- Understand the importance of wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents
- Address any other estate planning concerns related to older or disabled persons
What Questions Should I Ask an Elder Law Attorney?
You want to make sure that the attorney you work with is reliable and understands the elder law area that you need help with. You should have assurance and be confident that the attorney who represents you can help you meet your goals. When you have your initial consultation, you can ask some of the following questions.
- How long have you been practicing law? Of that time, how much time have you been practicing elder law?
- How much time do you currently devote to elder law?
- How much are your fees? Do you charge by the hour or a flat-rate fee?
- After hearing about my case and my concerns, what would be your strategy to help me?
- Do you have experience in the area of elder law in which I need help?
Elder Law Is an Important Part of Estate Planning
At James M. Herb & Associates, our elder law attorneys have been serving the Greater Pittsburgh area for over 40 years. If you or a loved one need help with an elder law matter, we offer comprehensive services including:
- Wills. Our attorneys have experience helping clients draft a standard and living wills. A standard will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the division of your assets and estate upon your death; a living will, on the other hand, outlines your wishes concerning healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to make a decision yourself.
- Trusts. When you put assets in a trust, you give legal ownership/control of the trust to a trustee who will manage the assets for the trust beneficiaries. If you want to protect certain assets from creditors, avoid the expense of probate, or reduce your gift or estate taxes, you may create a trust.
- Powers of attorney. A power of attorney document allows a person (called an agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions (concerning finances, healthcare, etc.) on your behalf if you are incapacitated. There are multiple types of powers of attorney (POAs), including a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, a general power of attorney, and a special power of attorney. Each type of POA affords the agent control over different details and decisions.
- Guardianship. Elderly guardianship (or conservatorships) can be put into place when a person no longer has the cognitive capacity or sufficient functionality to make decisions concerning their health and safety. After a major health event (i.e. stroke, heart attack, etc.) or a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, you may need a guardian to be appointed, and the court can appoint one. With a sound estate plan, you can avoid the need for a guardian by having a durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, or living will in place.
- Asset Protection & Medicaid (or long-term care) planning. The cost of nursing home care is consistently increasing. Currently, the average cost of a nursing home in Pittsburgh is about $8,580 per month and in Pennsylvania, the average cost rises to $9,480 per month. If you ever need long-term care, without proper planning, you may have to rely on and drain your pension account, savings, and other streams of income. With Medicaid planning, you can work to ensure your assets and income do not disqualify you from Medicaid and that your assets are protected from Medicaid estate recovery.
To schedule an initial consultation, call (412) 533-4821 or complete this online form.