Elder Law

Don Mills represents the Elderly throughout North Texas, including Denton, Collin, Wise, Dallas, Fort Worth, and others. He understands the need of the Elderly as well as the problems that the family members face. Elder Law needs to address two primary issues. First, we must address Elder Abuse, physical, financial, and otherwise. Then we must address the various state and federal “benefits” programs available to our Elders.

ELDER ABUSE

young-nurse-blanketing-elderly-ladyStop Elder Abuse. Stop Elder Abuse. If you trusted a nursing home or assisted living facility to care for a family member or loved one, and now you suspect abuse, you are not alone. Sadly, abuse among our elderly is on the rise. Every year one out of four facilities is cited for causing injury or death to a resident.

Abuse can take many forms – ranging from neglect to physical assault. Some of our most vulnerable elders are the most susceptible to abuse, including those with dementia or disabilities. No matter what form it takes, nursing home abuse is illegal and needs to be stopped.

Incidents of abuse are rarely reported to the proper authorities. Residents may be reluctant to complain for fear of retaliation or embarrassment, and family and friends of the victim might be unaware of the common signs of abuse.

Know the Signs of Abuse. If you notice that your loved one exhibits warning signs of abuse, take immediate action. Warning signs may include any of the following:

  • elder-abusePhysical Injuries
  • Neglect
  • Emotional or Behavioral Changes
  • Broken bones
  • Bed sores and bruises
  • Medication overdose
  • Head injury
  • Dehydration or malnourishment
  • Poor hygiene
  • Soiled bedding
  • Agitation, withdrawal or fear
  • Frequent crying
  • Complaints of poor treatment

Contact me for a free initial consultation on any of these issues.

BENEFITS PROGRAMS

There is no doubt that we all owe huge debts to our Elders.  We are all where we are today because of their sacrifices.  The federal and state benefit programs are there to assist the Elderly in North Texas.

elder-abuse-womenThe subject of elder law is becoming one of increasing importance to people in North Texas and Denton County and throughout the United States. What happens when a person becomes incapacitated by illness, injury or dementia? Who has authority to make legal and financial decisions for an elderly person who can no longer speak for himself or herself? How can an elderly person make his or her wishes known regarding life support and end-of-life care? These are only a few of the questions that frequently come up in the field of elder law. I help our clients find answers to these and other questions, and I am ready to assist you with your case as soon as you contact me.

The subject of elder law is becoming one of increasing importance to people in North Texas. What happens when a person becomes incapacitated by illness, injury or dementia? Who has authority to make legal and financial decisions for an elderly person who can no longer speak for himself or herself? How can an elderly person make his or her wishes known regarding life support and end-of-life care? These are only a few of the questions that frequently come up in the field of elder law. I help our clients find answers to these and other questions, and I am ready to assist you with your case as soon as you contact me.

NORTH TEXAS SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

I offer assistance with a number of different solutions in the field of elder law. One of these is the special needs trust, which is used in cases in which my client is concerned about being able to leave an inheritance to a child or other family member who is dependent due to mental or physical impairment. If the parent leaves too much in a will or trust, the dependent could be denied benefits through Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income on the basis that he or she would now be ineligible for these means-tested programs. With a carefully planned special needs trust, it is possible to provide the beneficiary with enough to enjoy a comfortable standard of living while still preserving eligibility for benefits.

HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVES IN NORTH TEXAS ELDER LAW

seal-of-texasOther common elder law instruments are advance healthcare directives, also referred to as a designation of healthcare surrogate and a living will. The healthcare surrogate is given the authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself due to incapacity or inability to convey your consent. The living will is a document used to clearly state your wishes concerning what types and what extent of life-sustaining treatment you would want to receive in the event that you should become incapacitated. It can also address the issue of end-of-life care and under what circumstances you would wish to be removed from life support. With a healthcare directive in place, you can spare your loved ones the emotional distress of having to deliberate over what to do and then wondering if they have made the right decision, as well as making your voice heard when you cannot speak for yourself due to illness or injury.

TEXAS MEDICAID

Without long-term care insurance, it will be necessary for you to use your own resources to pay for nursing home costs or apply and qualify for Texas Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home care. As a Texas elder law attorney, I can help you develop a properly designed Medicaid “spenddown” plan that may allow you to protect the assets of an elder family member to be managed by other family members, enabling the elder family member to qualify for Medicaid benefits and pay for the costs of a nursing home. Even if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets, you could still qualify for Medicaid benefits for nursing homes or assisted living with the proper planning. Some assets are not counted, such as a home (up to $500,000), personal effects, wedding/engagement rings, medical equipment, and some types of burial funds. Additionally, there are a variety of legal strategies that are available to restructure and protect assets in order to quickly obtain Medicaid eligibility.

VETERANS AID & ATTENDANCE IN NORTH TEXAS

elder-law-veteran-seniorSome elder law clients need help applying for benefits through the War Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Program. This program is provided for certain veterans, and their spouses, when they are no longer self-sufficient and require a caregiver on a daily basis. The amount of benefits available depends on whether the claimant is a veteran, the surviving spouse of a veteran, or a married couple, and can be increased in cases where the veteran has dependent children living with him or her. I assist in determining eligibility for this program, as well as preparing the petition and representing the client in clearing up any complications that may arise. To learn more about this and other similar issues, contact me.

Contact information

1011 Surrey Lane, Bldg 200
Flower Mound, TX 75022
Phone: (214) 617-2260
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