Home Health and Wellness How an Elder Law Attorney Helps Families

How an Elder Law Attorney Helps Families

Spend Downs with Jim Koewler

Elder Law and special needs attorney Jim Koewler helps those who need long term care now, as well as people who are worried about needing it in the future. In cases where someone already needs care, he helps find ways to pay or the care, either through Medicaid or VA benefits or other means. If they have too much money, he can help them shelter some of their funds to help them qualify for benefits.

Jim also works with care coordinators who look after their care, if they’re in a home setting. His care coordinators are nurses. He helps people throughout Ohio with legal and financial work, but the care coordinators want to see their clients in person monthly, so they limit themselves to areas near their office in northeast Ohio.

If you’re outside of Ohio, and want to find someone with similar services, go to lcplfa.org, the website of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.

Learn more at http://www.protectingseniors.com or email Jim at jkoewler-afe@protectingseniors.com.

Transcript

Suzanne: And welcome back everyone to Answers for Elders Radio Network. And we are here this hour talking to Jim Koewler, who is an elder law and special needs attorney based in Richfield, Ohio. And Jim has been a dear friend of mine for a very long time. An amazing, amazing man that is there to advocate for those of us who are seniors like me and also those with special needs. And Jim, it’s so great that you spent the first half of this hour talking about Medicare. But I wanna dive in a little bit… a lot of people may not know what an elder law attorney does. How do you help families?

Jim Koewler: Ok. Now I won’t say this is what all elder law attorneys do. There is a national organization, and if you pay the dues, you can call yourself an elder law attorney. So what I do is ,I help people who need long term care. People who are worried about long term care in their future, or people who have special needs or, well, frequently through the families of either the ones who need care or the one who have special needs. But my client is the one who has special needs, or the one who needs care, or they’re worried about care in the future period. I won’t do it any other way.

In cases where someone already needs care, I am usually helping them figure out whether Medicaid for long term care is the approach that they should use or VA benefits to pay for long term care, which most people call Aid and Attendance. But technically, it’s called the pension program. And then helping them implement those, and if they have too much money to qualify for those, I can, if they choose, help them keep some of that money where they want it to go, which is usually inside the family, and still help them qualify for benefits. They won’t be able to shelter all their money and qualify for benefits. That’s not how it works, right? But I can shelter some, which usually helps them feel better about their situation because they didn’t lose everything, and they left a legacy.

And then, as I have mentioned before, although it may have been edited out because I talk too long,I work with care coordinators who look after my client’s care. If they need care, they look out after their care and services, if the services means not in a nursing home. If they are in a home setting, which definitely applies to special needs, but can’t also apply to long term care.

My care coordinators happen to be nurses, so I can help people all over Ohio with the legal work and can also give them advice on if we’re gonna pay, use their money to pay. Your IRA, 401k, your CDS, your savings bonds. Which one makes sense to spend, which is kind of a cash flow and tax thing, and ease of inheritance thing. And so not so much legal work as what makes sense and how do we lose the least money overall. But my care coordinators — because we want to see our people at least once a month, we literally wanna put eyes on them once a month, not phone in, we want to see them — they can only cover so much. So my main clientele are in northeast Ohio. I have a care coordinator in Highland Heights, which is right up near Lake Erie, and she can go as far away as Lorraine County and, that’s in Cogar County. She can go one county in many directions. And then I’ve got two care coordinators in southwest Summit County, which is where Akron is, and they get around there.

Suzanne: We’re thrilled to be broadcasting the show in the state of Ohio. But if somebody’s interested in what you do, how did they reach out to someone like you in their state?

Jim Koewler: Ok. If you want to reach out to someone like me who has care coordinators, go to lcplfa.org, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. And I’m actually going to a meeting of that organization tomorrow.

Suzanne: I will make sure that we post that information in on our show notes. So in the meantime, how do people reach you if they’re in the state of Ohio? I know you have a great website address…

Jim Koewler: ProtectingSeniors.com., which is short for my tagline, protecting seniors and people with special needs. There is a contact button there. You can also check out my blog or protecting seniors news, but it’s way out of date.

Suzanne: We will absolutely be right back and we’re gonna talk a little bit about Jim’s podcast that is going to be featured on Answers for Elders very soon.