West Orange Estate Planning Lawyer

Family-Based Legal Solutions in New Jersey

For most people, few things matter more than protecting their family. We care about maintaining a family member's emotional and physical health if they have to move to a nursing home or assisted living facility. We want to protect a disabled family member financially and emotionally, whether they are an adult or a special needs child. In each situation, we want to use their assets and ours judiciously for their care, preserving as much as we can for their supplemental needs, and making sure that any remaining assets are distributed appropriately.

Attorney Focused on Elder Law in Union County and Surrounding Areas

Elder/disability law is a fast-changing area of law. Because it is the focus of our law practice, we are able to keep current with all developments in this area. At The Law Offices of Brenda McElnea, whose main office is located in West Orange, we offer clients throughout Essex and Monmouth counties and generally in northern and central New Jersey, the representation they need in legal matters, including:

  • Elder law: We help clients with such issues as Medicaid planning, preparing Medicaid applications, guardianships and creating and reviewing lifetime planning documents (general durable powers of attorney, health care proxies and living wills), as well as traditional wills and trusts.
  • Special needs planning: We work with clients to help them maximize the government benefits to which the disabled person is entitled — including Social Security Disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and Medicare — while also maximizing the protection of private funds for them by means that include third party and self-settled special needs trusts. As part of this planning, we also assist clients with transition planning for their special needs child, including guardianships, so that the parent(s) can manage their child's financial affairs, as well as medical care.
  • Guardianships and conservatorships: We work with clients to create guardianships and conservatorships to protect loved ones who are unable to make good financial or medical decisions on their own and who do not have sufficient mental capacity to execute a power of attorney, living will or health care proxy.
  • Estate planning and estate administration: We draft and review wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies and living wills. We also work with executors and administrators to identify the decedent's assets, pay appropriate creditors, prepare necessary inheritance and estate tax returns, and finally, make proper distribution of assets.
  • Medicaid planning and making gifts: There can be unintended Medicaid consequences to a gift you give to a loved one. Financial planners often urge seniors to make gifts to members of a younger generation, and are unaware of Medicaid law and regulations. We can help you determine if making a gift works with your estate plan and advise you of your options.

Many people are worried about the amount of time and energy they will need to invest when they may be in a somewhat chaotic state after the death of a loved one. Brenda McElnea and her staff are here to help you.

We understand that you time is valuable. We can conserve your time and do a great deal of work with you via phone, e-mail or Skype.

With more than 30 years of experience, we have the knowledge to offer clients the solutions they need, and we strive to make clients comfortable at every step of the process. Discuss your situation with us by contacting us online or by calling 866-241-8477.