February 24, 2024

Local Elder Law Attorney Debbie Britt has become a trusted legal resource in the Golden Isles since moving her practice here in 2016. She combines her 32 years’ experience as a practicing Georgia attorney with her love of people and community to provide a caring experience for her Elder Law clients and their loved ones.

Debbie says, “The true value of my Elder Law practice is helping clients share the gifts of planning: for themselves, and also for their families, friends, and caregivers.” She believes the primary benefit her clients receive is a genuine peace of mind that results from having carefully customized legal plans in place.

Elder Law attorneys help older individuals and those with special needs. The practice of Elder Law focuses on the unique person, rather than a particular law or legal discipline. Long-term care planning for seniors is often first on the list. Understandably, people want to know how they can age gracefully with the most independence and the best quality of life possible. “At Debbie Britt Law, we help our clients think about where and how they want to live as they age; how their spouses and children will continue to be supported; when they might require medical services and/or assistance with daily living activities from families and/or other caregivers; and how their wishes and goals in these areas might be funded,” says Debbie.

Beginning with the passing of the Older Americans Act in 1965, reauthorized through 2024 by the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, we continue to have a wide range of social services for seniors in our community. Knowing how to identify and access those services is key and can be a true gift for older adults and their loved ones. Working with an experienced Elder Law Attorney can make all the difference. For example, Medicaid will pay for long-term nursing home care only if certain eligibility requirements are met. First the need for skilled nursing services must be present. Second, applicants must demonstrate that they meet established income and countable resources (i.e. financial assets such as bank accounts and real property) thresholds. Planning for financial eligibility is where the Elder Law Attorney can be extremely helpful. Each State has its own Medicaid manual with specific rules for eligibility, processes, and exceptions. Planning is crucial – the earlier the better. With a 5-year lookback on asset transfers in most situations, it is best to plan far ahead of when long-term care services may be needed.

Addressing incapacity and inheritance, the cornerstones of traditional estate planning, are also important gifts at the heart of Debbie Britt’s law practice. “Having the right people appointed for the right roles to serve at the right times for the right reasons is so important,” Debbie says. “We help clients of all ages name people to serve as their health care agents, their agents for financial and digital powers of attorney, guardians and conservators, and executors and trustees of wills and trusts.” Knowing who will handle things when the time comes is a personal gift every person should give themselves. The individuals being named for various roles also receive the gift of knowing they are helping carry out the wishes of their mom, dad, sister, brother, etc., and, that they have been given the legal authority to do so through carefully prepared legal documents.

Breakout:

Debbie Britt serves St. Simons Island, Brunswick and the Golden Isles, and surrounding counties and focuses her law practice on Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law. She can be reached at 912-268-2655 (office); 912-223-3257 (mobile); and [email protected]. Learn more by visiting her online at www.debbiebrittlaw.com. Consultations may be scheduled by phone or email or directly from the website.

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