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An Elder Law Firm Helping Clients Improve Life Today And Plan For The Future

There is a common misconception that elder law is just another term for estate planning. This is an important element, to be sure, but the practice area is much broader than that. Elder law is an area of legal practice involving the unique issues facing older people. As people age, their needs change – including their legal needs. Elder law exists to ensure that older people are offered the protections, security and opportunities that they deserve as respected members of our communities.

At the Jurist Law Group, PLLC, we are entirely focused on meeting the elder law needs of clients in Little Rock and surrounding areas of Arkansas. When you contact our firm, you and your case will benefit from more than three decades of experience as well as personalized attention and a supportive, relaxed office environment. No matter what your specific needs may be, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to solve your problems and exceed your expectations.

Elder Law Is Diverse And Wide-Ranging

Our elder law attorneys handle legal matters in the following areas:

  • Health care law: Helping clients with health care related issues, including the navigation of insurance policies and claims as well as the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid systems.
  • Long-term care: Planning for and facilitating long-term care, and the unique complex of issues that arise in situations where someone requires long-term and/or intensive care.
  • Estate planning: Using tools like wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney to map out a comprehensive plan for your assets and property during your lifetime and after your death, as well as a chain of command for decision-making in case you become incapacitated.
  • Guardianship: A structure of protection to employ when someone becomes legally incapacitated, which allows a friend, loved one, or appointed professional to take legal responsibility for their decisions to ensure their safety and well-being.
  • Probate: Helping clients navigate the long, often arduous probate process, during which the court must go over a will to ensure all creditors and taxes are paid before distribution to beneficiaries. Our attorneys can also help you and your loved ones avoid this process.

One major benefit to hiring a dedicated elder law firm is that you can take a more comprehensive approach to planning and problem-solving. For instance, we understand that many clients will need Medicaid in order to afford the costs of long-term care later in life. We can help you create an asset protection strategy that allows you to qualify for Medicaid while still retaining important estate assets to pass along to your children and other loved ones. If you served in the military during wartime, we can also explore your options for claiming additional long-term care benefits from the VA.

Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Elder Law

Elder law is a wide-ranging legal area, and many clients come to us with questions. On this page, we’ve answered some of the questions our attorneys often receive. After reading through this page, we invite you to contact the Jurist Law Group, PLLC, to ask us your own questions during an initial consultation.

What is elder care?

People often use the terms elder law and elder care interchangeably, but there is a notable difference between the two. Elder care, put simply, is providing care for people as they age. Properly approaching elder care requires a case-by-case examination of an older person’s needs, resources, and wishes, as well as those of their family members and spouses (where applicable), or whichever community they have around them.

There are many avenues that can be pursued as part of elder care, including:

  • Accessibility and assistance devices
  • Rehabilitation facilities (short-term and long-term)
  • In-home health aide visits
  • In-home health care (long-term)
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes and long-term care facilities

However, for older people and their loved ones, it may be difficult to navigate the many different options and providers. There are many agencies out there in the current landscape that specialize in elder care, and new ones are popping up all the time. Visiting Angels, Home Instead and BrightStar Care are just a few of the many companies that specialize in at-home care for seniors.

What sets your firm apart from other elder law practices?

We pull the concepts and principles of elder care into our practice of elder law. Often, clients come to us trying to figure out how to navigate, select, provide and pay for the care method that their older loved one needs. There is a constant fear, both from aging people and their families, of having to “go broke in a nursing home.”

However, we assure clients that we won’t let that happen to them. There are many solutions and methods that we can employ to prevent them or their loved ones from winding up in a situation like that. By integrating the two central veins of elder law and elder care, our attorneys take a holistic approach to providing the best possible services to older people and their families.

Is elder law and elder care planning appropriate for everyone?

With few exceptions, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, as a general rule, people tend not to plan ahead. They get caught up in the moment and live life day by day. People see others suffering for lack of a long-term care plan or a plan for what happens as they age, and they think that’s something that happens to other people, surely, but something that would never happen to them. But what happens when Mom and Dad get old? What happens when you get old?

As we age, we will all eventually need more and more help. This happens to everyone, no matter how strong and independent they may have been earlier in their lives. Let’s look at a typical scenario. Jason’s mom has been living life at home during her senior years, enjoying her retirement and paying her bills. Then, all of a sudden, she falls and breaks her hip. Once she gets into the hospital, she starts to decline rapidly, and Jason realizes that she can’t return home without help. Jason’s mom was widowed when his dad passed away two years ago. There’s no one else to take care of her or keep an eye on her. Now, as her child, Jason is faced with the issue of providing that care. And who’s going to pay for that? Jason’s mom has been living on Social Security. She has a house, and maybe she has a retirement account somewhere – but who knows? Jason has no idea what his mom’s finances look like. Jason is now in a crisis and wishes he had been more prepared to handle his mom’s situation.

When should someone start planning for long-term care and elder-related issues?

Planning early is the best course of action. Nine out of ten seniors have not prepared for the type of situation described above. If you have done even a little pre-planning, have given some pre-thought to your care or your loved ones’ care and maybe even bought long-term care insurance, you are already ahead of most people. But when push comes to shove, that’s still not enough. You can save yourself and your loved ones an enormous amount of stress, suffering, and money by simply putting a plan in place for what will eventually happen to everyone fortunate enough to live that long.

How much does long-term care cost in Arkansas?

Long-term care options in Arkansas generally refer to four main types of care: occasional in-home care, around-the-clock in-home care, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing home care. Long-term care costs can vary significantly, depending on the type of care you need and your location. Here are some typical costs for different types of long-term care services in Arkansas as of 2024:

  • Nursing home care: You are probably wondering, “How much do nursing homes cost in Arkansas?” On average, a semiprivate room in a nursing home in Arkansas costs around $5,995 per month, while a private room averages $6,692 per month. The price is generally lower than the national average of $7,756 for a semiprivate room and $8,821 for a private room.
  • Assisted living facilities: Assisted living facilities provide housing and supportive services like meals, housekeeping and assistance with daily living activities. In Arkansas, the average cost for an assisted living facility is $3,923 per month.
  • Home health aides: For those who prefer to receive care in their own homes, home health aide services cost an average of $4,195 per month in Arkansas, based on 44 hours per week of care.
  • Adult day health care: Centers that provide care and companionship for seniors during daytime hours. The average cost in Arkansas is $1,258 per month for adult day health care.

The average person cannot afford to make full upfront payments for long-term care in Arkansas, as the costs are very expensive. In that case, exploring financial options like long-term care insurance or veterans’ benefits can help you navigate long-term care expenses in Arkansas.

The costs above are statewide averages, but prices can fluctuate based on factors like:

  • Geographic location (costs are higher in urban areas)
  • Private pay vs. Medicaid
  • Supplemental services needed
  • Room type for nursing homes (private vs. semiprivate)

It’s important to research costs in your specific area in Arkansas and factor in any long-term care insurance benefits you may have. Advanced planning, with the help of our attorneys, can ensure you afford quality care as you age.

How Can We Help You? Contact Us To Discuss Your Needs.

The Jurist Law Group, PLLC, is based in Little Rock, and we serve clients throughout Arkansas. For more information on elder law in Arkansas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 501-400-7355 today. You can also reach out online.