Elder Law

As loved ones age, the task of planning for their future care can be overwhelming. Elder law focuses on the financial, legal, and health care needs of individuals aged 65 and older. As elder law advocates, our attorneys are committed to providing solutions to the needs and concerns of clients in this group and their families. Preserving a lifetime of savings and protecting one’s dignity requires a solid understanding of complex state and federal laws and the practices of Medicaid workers in individual counties.

Through active memberships in the Elder Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, our attorneys stay informed on the latest issues affecting their clients.  One of our attorneys is accredited by the Veterans Administration and is able to represent veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims before the Administration.

Relationships between elder law attorneys and their clients are very personal. Therefore, we offer clients a single point of contact for all their elder law needs. Our services include:

  • Nursing home and medical assistance planning
  • Asset protection
  • Gifting and divestment planning
  • Medicare and Medicaid benefits
  • Social Security benefits
  • Insurance analysis (including long-term care insurance)
  • Residential housing and other living options
  • Planning for individuals with special needs
  • Tax planning
  • Durable powers of attorney for property and finances
  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Marital property agreements
  • Real estate
  • Guardianship
  • Conservatorship
  • Veterans’ benefits

Ruder Ware publishes an electronic newsletter titled Elder Law Advisor addressing current elder law issues written by attorneys who regularly provide counsel in this changing area of law.

Founded in 1920, Ruder Ware provides business, employment, estate planning, and litigation services through its offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A full-service law firm, over 40 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

Getting Started: Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on January 15, 2020 by

For many people, the first time they start thinking about an estate plan is when they start to have family members that depend on them financially – typically, a spouse or a child. Let’s take, for example, a young married couple with young children. The couple may think they need a will, but they might […]

Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act

Posted on January 7, 2020 by

The federal appropriations bill enacted into law on December 20, 2019 changed federal law in ways that may affect your retirement assets, including 401(k) plans and IRAs.  Those changes, often referred to as the “SECURE Act,” may affect you during your lifetime and also the way those retirement assets may be distributed to your beneficiaries […]

Upcoming Travel Plans? How to Temporarily Delegate Parental Authority

Posted on December 19, 2019 by

Picture this: you are lying on the beach in sunny Aruba, thinking about your best friend, Kristin, who valiantly volunteered to watch your three children while you and your spouse got away from the Wisconsin winter for the first time in ages – when all of a sudden you see a hotel staff member racing […]

My spouse is on Medicaid, now what?

Posted on November 14, 2019 by

It is common for a client whose spouse is receiving Medicaid to lack adequate estate planning to protect those Medicaid benefits in the event the client dies before their spouse. Yet, after all of the time and energy spent to qualify for Medicaid, it would be awful to see those benefits lost simply because proper […]

Create Your Digital Estate Plan

Posted on October 9, 2019 by

It seems like our world becomes more digital each day.  We can manage almost every aspect of our lives online.  But, unless you have updated your estate plan in the last few years, chances are good that your estate planning documents do not address what will happen to your electronic documents, e-mails, text messages, blogs, […]

My Parents Want to Leave My Son With Special Needs an Inheritance…Will He Lose His Benefits?

Posted on August 28, 2019 by

Leaving an inheritance to a loved one with special needs who is or will be receiving government benefits (SSI, medical assistance, long term care services) is tricky and can have unintended negative consequences if not done carefully. Well-meaning gifts may result in the loved one (who I will refer to as the “Special Needs Beneficiary”) […]

Long-Term Care Insurance – Is it an Option for You?

Posted on July 17, 2019 by

As our aging population grows so does the cost of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care services.  Contrary to popular belief, Medicare will only cover certain short-term stays and typically will not cover non-rehabilitative long-term care.  This leaves many elderly and disabled individuals with few options for covering costs.  Often, at first, family […]

Is My IRA Safe From the Nursing Home?

Posted on June 11, 2019 by

After working and saving, clients are concerned that unexpected costs will become unplanned for drains on their Retirement Accounts (e.g, 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, 403(b), etc.). As the need to pay for nursing home care nears, those concerns grow and questions begin to be asked about whether retirement accounts are safe from the nursing home. […]

Who Gets Your Property if You Die Without a Will?

Posted on May 16, 2019 by

Some clients decide to hire an attorney to prepare their estate planning documents because they do not like the default laws in Wisconsin about who gets their property if they die without a will.  In Wisconsin, if you die without a will, or your will doesn’t give all of your property away, your property will […]

Myth Busters: Dispelling 5 Myths About Medicaid’s Long-Term Care Coverage

Posted on March 12, 2019 by

Did you know that Medicaid is the largest source of funding for nursing home care?  Medicaid, often called Medical Assistance or Title 19, has many rules that are confusing, and thus a mystery to many people.  Even more of a mystery surrounds the idea that you can protect your assets and still be eligible for […]

More Insights...