Elderly couple signing legal document

Considering that all of us are aging, elder law is often denied the attention it deserves. At Kallio Law Firm, LLC we focus on elder law both from the perspective of the seniors who have to make adjustments to accommodate the aging process, and that of their loved ones who are also charting new territory as facilitators and perhaps potential caregivers. Our attorney, Eric Kallio, is more than a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. He is a compassionate person whose goal is to meet the needs of all types of clients and brings his knowledge, experience, and education having a certificate in taxation and an LLM (Lawyers Masters degree) in estate planning and elder law to provide you with a cost-effective solution that meets your needs and not what some profit-hungry firm wants to sell you. We say it shouldn’t cost your life savings to protect your life savings.

Eric’s background as an Army medic, an Army helicopter pilot, a volunteer firefighter, and EMT attests to his commitment to helping those in need. He continues to assist the community of Prairieville, Ascension Parish, and the Greater Baton Rouge area with his exceptional legal skills. If you live in Louisiana and are looking for outstanding elder law legal counsel, contact Kallio Law Firm today.

Although the health of most seniors is not as robust as it once was and many have to consider planning for potential long-term care, a significant number of older people are enjoying elongated careers and active retirements. Once again, our practice is responsive to the needs of both. 

Once you become our client, we will listen carefully to what you have to say and help you make wise decisions about protecting your assets, providing a meaningful inheritance for those you love, and leaving a legacy you can be proud of. We will also assist you in planning ahead so that if you become incapacitated, you will receive the kind of healthcare you want and leave your family well-protected.

Elder Law Services We Provide

Along with the many elder law services we offer are:

  • Asset protection from costly probate, excessive taxation, creditors, 

unwanted beneficiaries, lawsuits, and scams

  • Healthcare planning with health care proxies, advanced medical directives, known as a living will, and durable power of attorney
  • Long-term care planning for assisted living or home health care
  • Maintaining eligibility for Medicaid through tools such as irrevocable trusts, Medicaid-compliant annuities, or other planning options.
  • Establishing trusts for specific purposes, such as for children with special needs, 

beneficiaries who are irresponsible with money, pets you may predecease

  • Creating conservatorships or guardianships if it becomes necessary

Estate Planning for Older Clients in Louisiana

In Louisiana, as elsewhere in the U.S., a very high percentage of people have never created an estate plan or even a will. Even many of those who have taken this important step did so years ago and have never updated their documents. Apart from the risks involved in dying intestate (without a will), keeping your plans and documents updated is crucial to making sure that you keep current with significant changes in your financial situation (new investments, inheritance) and your family structure (births, marriages, divorces). Now is the time to contact our qualified estate planning attorneys to get things in order, not only for you, but perhaps for your elderly parents.

Foundational Documents

While we recognize that each of our client’s needs are unique, we make sure that each has the following:

  • Last Will and Testament (Will) to designate beneficiaries and succession representative (executor or personal representative), and guardian for minor children.
  • Durable Power of Attorney to give a trusted individual the authority to manage financial and legal matters if you become incapacitated.
  • Health Care Proxy to appoint the person you want to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to communicate.
  • Advance Directive (Living Will) to state your wishes concerning end-of-life care, detailing which life-saving measures you want taken or not taken if you are unable to express your wishes.
  • HIPAA Release form to name the family members you want to have access to your private medical information.

Trust-Based Estate Plans

While for many of our clients, a will-based estate plan is appropriate, there are a few situations when trusts may be needed such as a blended family or when property is owned outside of Louisiana. Many ‘so-called estate planning attorneys push the revocable living trust and the notion that everyone should have one with claims of avoiding the probate process and simplifying an estate. However, they often overlook the complexity, cost, and tax consequences of using a trust. This process, which supports a will, can be costly and time-consuming, especially for clients with high-net-worth estates or estates with complex issues, such as properties in more than one state or country. Once we understand the specifics of your situation, we will determine whether a trust-based estate plan is right for you. There is no one-size-fits-all all solution and don’t let yourself be pushed into any plan that doesn’t truly meet your needs.

Possible Incapacity and Long-Term Care

Though most of us would like to die in our sleep, the fact is that the majority of us will need long-term care before we pass away. At Kallio Law Firm we deal with this sensitive issue practically and empathically, making certain that our clients have plans in place for potential incapacity and end-of-life care. 

Few can afford to pay out-of-pocket for private nursing care at home or in nursing facilities, so our elder care attorneys will guide you to either purchase long-term healthcare insurance or to prepare to qualify for Medicaid eligibility while protecting your assets. In most cases, planning ahead so that you are eligible for Medicaid is the best solution. Since Medicaid is a means-tested program with a 5-year look-back period, we will help you prepare well before you will likely require Medicaid services by gifting your heirs to reduce your assets and/or establishing an irrevocable trust that takes your assets out of your ownership.

Guardianships/Conservatorships

In some cases, there may be a need to protect a vulnerable older person who becomes physically or mentally disabled. If this occurs in your family, we can assist you in establishing a guardianship or conservatorship through the court if it becomes necessary. 

While both guardians and conservators offer protection and guidance, the guardian helps the ward manage everyday life, while the conservator offers only financial assistance. Nonetheless, in many cases, the same party serves both roles. 

Contact Our Experienced Elder Law Attorney Today

Whether you are an older adult looking to create, revise, or update your estate plan, or a loved one seeking guidance about how best to assist an older relative, getting in touch with us is the smart thing to do. Eric Kallio will provide you with strong legal counsel as well as patience and understanding. As Bette Davis said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” and Eric Kallio is brave enough to tackle it head-on.