Elder law is a term to describe a wide range of issues facing older clients and disabled clients. Those issues include long term care planning, guardianship, caregiver’s agreements, Medicaid, veteran’s benefits, and special needs trusts.



A guardianship proceeding is a case where an individual is seeking the ability to make financial, medical, or both types of decisions for an alleged incapacitated person. Generally this occurs when an individual does not have a power of attorney or advance healthcare directive in place prior to their incapacity. Pennsylvania Law provides levels of priority for people seeking guardianship over the alleged incapacitated person. The priority level is generally based on the familial relationship between the person seeking the guardianship and the alleged incapacitated person. Abernethy & Hagerman will work with the petitioner and the medical professionals in order to achieve the best interest of the alleged incapacitated person.


Long Term Care Planning / Medicaid

Having to plan to admit a loved one into a long term care facility is never an easy conversation to have.  Often, privately paying for nursing home care can range from $8,000 - $10,000 per month. Abernethy & Hagerman is committed to help the family achieve Medicaid benefit eligibility for their loved one in the quickest amount of time while preserving the most wealth for the family.

Medicaid is a federal program administered and funded by each individual state. Medicaid is a resource based benefit so the first step in the process of achieving Medicaid eligibility is determining the value of the non-exempt resources that the individual or the couple own.  Abernethy & Hagerman will help the family complete the Resource Assessment From (PA-1572) and file it with the County Assistance Office. Once the exact amount of resources that the client may keep is determined, we will work with the client in order to create a plan in order to spend down those resources appropriately in order to achieve Medicaid eligibility. Finally, Abernethy & Hagerman will complete the Medicaid Application for Benefits (PA-600) for the client and assemble the relevant documentation in order to verify compliance with the Medicaid laws and regulations.


Special Needs Planning

It is important to plan for all circumstances in life. If a minor child has a disability determination from the Social Security Administration and the family desires to set aside some wealth for the long term financial well being of that child, there are several options that Abernethy & Hagerman can offer the family. We work with financial professionals in order to establish ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts, special needs trusts, or pooled trusts, to maximize the benefits for the disabled child and provide peace for the family. Many new laws and regulations are promulgated in this area of practice and Abernethy & Hagerman makes certain to remain current on all new developments. 



Estate Planning

Creating a personalized estate plan for your family in order to provide an inheritance and legacy to your loved ones.
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Helping manage and settle an estate or trust after the death of a family member.
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