Worcester Elder Law AttorneyPaula A. Smith, has two decades’ experience handling the needs of the elderly. Whether it’s preparing a will, administering an estate, or managing the trusts, Ms. Smith will take your matter from beginning to end and leave no stone unturned.

Estate Planning – Activities that pertain to a person’s estate (or property) before he or she has passed away.

  • Wills – A method through which people can designate the destination of their property after they pass away.
  • Trusts – A legal entity that is capable of “owning” property.
  • Revocable Trusts – A trust that is managed when you are living and can be changed at will.
  • Irrevocable Trusts – A trust that has been set up but cannot be modified or changed without permission from the beneficiary.
  • Powers of Attorney – A written permission that gives another person the authority to act as an agent, including making decisions and signing documents.
  • Health Care Proxy – Also known as a medical power of attorney, a health care proxy is a document that gives a patient the right to appoint another person to make decisions on his or her behalf related to health care issues.

Elder Law – Elder law encompasses all the standard legal needs of the elderly. Paula Smith’s extensive elder law services include estate planning, planning for possible incapacity, alternative decision making issues, and long-term care needs. Other priorities of Paula Smith include financing the cost of long-term care and preserving clients’ rights.

  • Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning – The high cost of long-term care has made planning a critically important issue for most Massachusetts families. Many seniors are unprepared for the significant financial burdens long-term care places on their family’s hard earned savings. The MassHealth program pays for nursing home care for those who qualify and in some instances, for assisted living and home care. Paula Smith helps seniors and their families navigate the complicated rules in order to maximize benefits and protect their estates.
  • VA Planning – Paula Smith helps elders receive all VA Aid and Attendance benefits to which they are entitled. This aid can be in an assisted living facility, nursing home, or by friends, family or other caretakers.
  • Special Needs Planning – Elders with children with special needs have unique planning requirements and will need care no matter their age. Paula Smith helps arrange for the long-term care of the special needs child in the elderly parent’s absence. These services include naming of guardians, managing trusts, finding suitable care providers, and proper housing, as needed.
  • Guardianships – If a loved one becomes incapable of caring for himself or herself, a guardianship may be necessary. A guardian is a court appointed person who makes health care and financial decisions for someone who is unable to do so. Paula Smith helps elder clients plan ahead and arrange their legal affairs so that this situation is avoided.

Estate Administration (or Probate Administration) – When someone dies without a will, estate administration (or probate administration) is the assignment by the court of a person who will handle the estate.