We visited a so-called elder law attorney who advised us that it was too late to protect assets from medical spend-down. Your firm then did the planning to legally preserve over 40 percent of Mom’s assets, even though she was already in a facility. I now understand the professional distinction between a certified elder law attorney and someone who dabbles in elder law.
Rich J. — Whippany
Congratulations as the recipient of the first NJSBA Elder Law Section Distinguished Service Award for your significant efforts to protect elder clients and thereby benefit your fellow members of the bar while doing so, especially with the enactment of the DRA [Deficit Reduction Act].
John C. — Ocean
Thank you once again from fellow members of the Elder Law Bar for your successful efforts over the years regarding Medicaid planning by guardians (in re: Labis), your assistance to me on expanding that planning in In re: Keri, and your AB vs. DHMAS and Johnson vs. Guhl cases. Your 9-for-11 batting average on appellate division cases is hard to beat.
Don V. — Westfield
You prepared our estate/preservation plan before Dad became a nursing home resident. The plan saved 50 percent of his estate from Medicaid spend-down. We began spend-down to achieve Medicaid eligibility. Then we made the first mistake. When time for a Medicaid application, the nursing facility recommended use of a nonattorney agency to process the application and we agreed. Many months later, and due to that agency’s failure to include the cash value of his life insurance as a resource and not advising us that the Medicaid worker’s statement that we must cash in the life insurance was wrong, we were granted Medicaid eligibility two months after we requested at an additional cost of $20,000 in nursing home fees, in addition to the $6,000 fee charged by the agency, for a net loss of $26,000.
You were able to stop the liquidation of the life insurance, which had a death value of $10,000 and a cash value of $5,000 and would have caused the loss of an additional $5,000 in assets when Dad unfortunately passed away two months later.
I forward this note to hopefully avoid your other clients making the same mistake. Medicaid application by a nonlawyer agency proved costly in our case.
Steve D. — Mendham
We were initially concerned on your quotation of a fixed fee to perform the estate and asset preservation services. Instead, this provided us with the freedom to make the necessary inquiries. Your fee was less than the cost for one month of facility care, whereas you saved us the equivalent of two years of private pay. Thank you.
Ellen S. — Mendham
Before we met, we understood that the goal of preservation planning was to benefit our children if we became seriously ill. We were unsure of that goal, since we wished to provide for ourselves if we became ill and not to rely on public benefits.
We instead learned that the preservation/sheltering of assets was for our benefit by establishing a supplemental benefits trust, which would provide us many of the amenities that Medicaid does not provide. Upon our demise, the remaining balance would be distributed to our children, but that is not the primary purpose of your planning. We were both pleased and relieved when that planning was completed.
Les and Sue H. — Wharton
Please accept our gratitude for the timely and professional services you’ve rendered over the years regarding the long-term care needs of my parents. The long-term health care process is overwhelming for both the seniors and family members. … Your original services rendered years ago have now come to fruition with my mother’s current need for a nursing home. Your successful financial planning will allow my father to continue to live on his own without being impoverished.
Joanne C. — Clifton
On behalf of my father and sisters, I wish to thank you for your untiring efforts to protect my father’s assets through the favorable appellate division decision. I’m sure others would have given up long ago.
Frank V.P. — Morristown
I attended your presentation. I am a geriatric care manager. You are clearly passionate about what you do. I learned some interesting things about Medicaid, life estate deeds, supplemental benefits trust and gift tax that I did not know. I have heard many great comments about your firm and now understand why.
Donna G. — Denville
I wish to compliment your firm not only on the expertise you demonstrated in asset preservation planning for our family, but for your timely response to our many inquiries. You called us in evenings, after hours, on the weekend or whenever we needed your counsel on an important matter. That is unusual for attorneys and we wish you to know we appreciated it.
Ellen R. — Morris Plains
Your nickname of Don Quixote is earned by your willingness to fight the “windmills” created by the state agencies that limit seniors who are entitled to Medicaid. This is evidenced by your latest federal court victory on the expanded conditions on the caregiver child exemption the state attempted to impose. Keep up the good work.
Jerry K. — Freehold
Although aware of the need for long-term care planning, our family waited until a crisis existed for Dad to obtain public benefits, without impoverishing Mom at home. Despite having little hope of success, we were pleased with the saving of resources you were able to achieve in such a short period of time. You are truly professionals in your area of expertise.
Larry B. — Newton
We were introduced to you through the Macri Law Group website and were impressed with your 43-plus years of practice and 22-year concentration in elder law. This was the reason we chose your services, and the final outcome you achieved justified our choice.
Todd D. — Parsippany