As we age, we face a unique set of legal, health, and financial challenges in Missouri that require specialized expertise and compassionate guidance. Failure to obtain this guidance and create a comprehensive plan that effectively addresses these challenges means your wishes may not be fulfilled at the time you most need them. But many people simply do not know where to start or whom to contact.

At Your Estate Ally, our elder law attorney in St. Louis is committed to seniors as they plan for their futures, ensuring they receive the care and protection they deserve during their golden years. We will walk you through each decision you make so that it is well-informed and considered fully. Contact us today at 314-332-0011 to schedule a complimentary consultation and to protect your choices and overall well-being. 

Understanding Elder Law in Missouri

Elder law addresses the specific needs and concerns of seniors. It encompasses various legal issues, including estate planning, Medicaid planning, long-term care, guardianship, and elder abuse prevention. 

  • Estate Planning. Comprehensive estate plans, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and help your heirs and beneficiaries avoid long delays caused by probate and legal challenges.
  • Medicaid Planning. Seniors should plan for long-term care needs by developing strategies to qualify for Medicaid benefits while preserving assets for loved ones – waiting to do so means you could forgo these benefits.
  • Long-Term Care. Families should consider all long-term care options, including nursing home care, assisted living, and home care to facilitate the transition when the time comes.
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship. In cases where seniors are unable to make decisions for themselves, having established guardianships or conservatorships might be necessary to protect your interests.
  • Healthcare Decision-Making. Healthcare decisions, especially those in our late years or end of life, are decisions we want to be able to make for ourselves, and in case of incapacity for any reason, advance healthcare directives can make sure your medical preferences are respected.
  • Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation. Seniors are a vulnerable group who are targeted for physical, mental, and emotional abuse and financial exploitation, and making yourself aware of these abuses can help you identify harm and take action to hold wrongdoers accountable.

At Your Estate Ally, Sheri Tucker, Attorney provides tailored solutions to protect the rights, assets, and health of our beloved seniors in our communities.

Laws Important for Missouri's Aging Population

Elder law is influenced by various federal and state laws. Three specific federal laws that in part are very relevant to the needs and concerns of seniors include:

  • Elder Justice Act, which addresses the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults. 
  • Older Americans Act (OAA), which supports essential services and programs for seniors, including nutrition assistance, caregiver support, and elder abuse prevention
  • Social Security Act, which provides retirement benefits and disability insurance for eligible seniors, ensuring financial security during retirement
  • Medicaid and Medicare, which provides health insurance and long-term care coverage for seniors, depending on their eligibility and specific needs

At Your Estate Ally, Sheri Tucker will help you understand these laws specifically as well as state laws that have a direct impact on what and how seniors should prepare for their futures. 

The Challenges of Elder Law in Missouri

Elder law presents unique challenges due to the vulnerability and specific needs of aging individuals. First, elder law is intricate, dynamic, and complex as it includes everything from Medicaid eligibility rules, asset protection strategies, and capacity assessments, which require specialized knowledge and experience. Second, the legal landscape concerning elder law is continuously changing at both the state and federal levels, requiring attorneys to stay updated on the latest regulations and court rulings to provide accurate advice.

Simply ensuring that the rules are followed accordingly is tough enough, but more importantly, aging adults must make sure their plans and strategies are tailored to their specific, unique situations. There's also the emotional side of elder law. Sensitive family dynamics must be considered, especially when addressing emotional issues surrounding health, finances, and end-of-life decisions.

At Your Estate Ally, we take these challenges head-on. The firm strives yo remain on top of the changes in law and inform clients in real-time to make any necessary changes. Sheri is  frank in her conversations  to help you understand exactly what you want and need so that you get the best legal advice and representation possible in Missouri.

Why Retain an Elder Law Lawyer in Missouri 

Elder law attorneys focus on legal issues that affect older individuals, but you do not have to be older before reaching out to the firm as your elder law attorney. Various situations may necessitate our services.

Do you need estate planning?

You do not have to be older to start planning your estate – in fact, we recommend that you start sooner rather than later. Estate planning includes things like drafting or updating wills and trusts, establishing powers of attorney for healthcare and finances, planning for the distribution of assets, and minimizing estate taxes. The elements of any given estate plan depend on the person, their wants and needs, and their estate.

Do you need Medicaid planning?

Medicaid planning is a legal and financial strategy aimed at helping individuals or families qualify for Medicaid, a federal and state government assistance program that provides healthcare coverage to certain individuals. This planning is typically sought by people facing the high costs of long-term care, such as nursing home expenses. While Medicaid is designed to help, eligibility criteria can be complex, and individuals may need to plan carefully and structure assets to qualify without depleting all resources.

Do you need long-term care planning?

Planning for long-term care is a critical aspect of financial and healthcare planning, and it's generally advisable to start considering it well before the need arises. Long-term care planning can involve nursing home care, long-term care insurance options, and the development of strategies to protect assets while ensuring quality care.

Has an immediate family member become incapacitated?

Old age can lead to diminished mental capacity, like dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or physical incapacity due to severe physical illness or disability, and when that happens the individual may not be able to care for themselves or handle their own health and financial matters. This situation may lead another individual, like a family member or an organization, to seek legal authority (through guardianship or conservatorship) so that they can make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated or vulnerable elderly individual.  

Do you have Social Security and retirement benefits?

It is always good to get smart legal advice on Social Security benefits, including disability and retirement benefits, and to address issues related to pensions and retirement accounts as part of a comprehensive plan for when you retire from the workforce.

Have you or a loved one experienced any kind of abuse or neglect?

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately one in ten Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse – this is just one of many alarming statistics. Our elder law attorney knows how to handle elder abuse cases. Legal action may be taken against care facilities, family members, friends of the family, caregivers in the home, or whoever is inflicting the abuse or neglecting the elderly individual. 

Have you or a loved one experienced financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation of the elderly is significant. Being proactive and consulting with our elder law attorney can (1) help you identify red flags and (2) plan your finances and protect your assets. If you experience financial exploitation or fraud, our elder law attorney can take the appropriate legal action.

Do you or a family member have special needs?

Whether it is you with a special need (e.g., disability or mental health issue) or a child (minor or adult child) with a special need, proper planning can help make sure you or your loved ones are protected. What that protection means, however, depends on the unique circumstances of your situation. Like all things with elder law, it is best to prepare now rather than later when it might be too late.

Do you have real estate? 

If you have real estate, then estate planning is particularly important. You do not have to wait until you are old and retiring before making an estate plan. In fact, you shouldn't wait. Part of elder law is handling property transactions, like selling or transferring real property. Depending on your circumstances, a real estate sale might be best while in other circumstances, placing the property in a trust might be best. These things may also influence your Medicaid eligibility.

Do you have specific end-of-life preferences?

Speaking with your healthcare provider is important in terms of specific end-of-life decisions, like Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), Do Not Intubate (DNI), and Allow Natural Death (AND) orders reflect your values and wishes. At Your Estate Ally, the firm can help, too, by providing guidance on advance healthcare directives and living wills. In addition the firm focuses on legal assist with the administration of estates after a person passes away.

Why Choose Sheri Tucker, Attorney in Missouri

At Your Estate Ally, the firm is committed to each  client. As it is, I have family too, and understand the need to keep ourselves and families safe, healthy, and protected. 

Further, knowing that these types of matters are very personal, we provide innovative, comprehensive solutions that are also personal – tailored to meet your unique needs. Developing the right strategies is important to protect your assets while, if applicable, helping you qualify for government benefits and long-term care services.

Ultimately, Sheri acts as an advocate for seniors with the aim is to ensure you obtain some peace of mind in knowing that your future is secure and your rights are safeguarded.

Contact an Elder Law Attorney in St. Louis Today

Your Estate Ally, is committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance, personalized solutions, and strong advocacy for seniors and their families. Contact our elder law attorney in Missouri today by calling our office at 314-332-0011 or filling out the online form and start your process to schedule a complimentary consultation so that you can secure the care and protection you deserve during your golden years.  Book Now