I apply my legal and interpersonal skills to help middle class seniors and their families seek Medicaid assistance and administer trust, probate, guardianship and conservatorship estates. Or, in more human terms, I help families face the challenges of aging, and eventually dying, with kindness, responsibility, dignity, respect and minimal stress.
The toll on my spirit from nearly 20 years of representing clients embroiled in disputes as a general litigation attorney was wearing me down. In the early '90's I decided to re-focus my practice away from legal combat towards legal counseling and problem solving. In doing so, I found myself drawn to the legal, financial and emotional pressures that particularly beset seniors and their families. The transition seemed natural. My aging parents provided some direct or firsthand familiarity. But more profound was the realization that the service emphasis of Elder Law fit my personal rhythm far better than the adversarial emphasis of litigation, but with no loss of intellectual challenge.
A senior owned (and still owns) an undivided half interest in a half-million dollar duplex jointly with one of her daughters that lives two thousand miles away. Normally the value of Mom's interest would be a countable asset disqualifying her from receiving Medicaid benefits. By Colorado Medicaid Rule, however, the listing of Mom's half interest for sale with a real estate broker at its full value (to avoid any appearance of violation of Medicaid's transfer/gifting rules) prevents Mom's interest from being counted against her. Because potential buyers have not wanted to pay full value to invest with an out-of-state "partner," Mom and her daughter have remained joint owners for more than five years while Mom has been receiving Medicaid benefits. If this continues, which seems likely, when Mom passes, the full ownership of the duplex will pass to the daughter free of any claim for reimbursement by Colorado's Medicaid office.
A senior was over 90 and living alone in her own home when she fell and found herself hospitalized. As she recovered, the hospital personnel felt that she was not capable of safely returning home and contacted Denver's Human Services Adult Protection office. The Adult Protection case worker then initiated proceedings seeking the Department's appointment as the senior's guardian so the Department could place her in the "safety" of a nursing home. The mere idea of living in a nursing home was horrifying to her, which I learned in no uncertain terms when I started to represent her. In order to prevent the misery she would have suffered under the Department's authority, I was able to arrange for the temporary appointment of a more sensitive guardian which freed the lady from the Department's control. Once she was freed I was able to arrange for her to receive Medicaid assistance for the care she needed at home for the last four years of her life. So, during these final years, she preserved her dignity and she was able to live with more than a pretense of independence. After she died, I was able to negotiate with the Medicaid office and compromise its claim for reimbursement so that more than half the proceeds of the sale of her home could go to the beneficiaries she listed in the will I drafted for her.
AARP and Nolo customers only.
I generally charge for my services at the rate of $200 per hour but I offer short consultations (up to 45 minutes) to AARP members at no charge. I will do the same for clients who mention finding me on Nolo when first contacting me.
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
My office hours are flexible. I regularly meet with clients in the evening and on weekends in my office and in their homes; to suit their needs and convenience.
I observed that middle class seniors seemed to be largely ignored by the legal profession. Focusing on elder law was a way to offer assistance to middle class seniors experiencing the slings and arrows that aging is heir to.
I am all in favor which I often demonstrate by enthusiastically assisting people to empower themselves to succeed.
I often do so, and gladly.
Again, I often gladly do so.
I've been practicing law since 1973.
Nearly 40 years of working with people beset by legal difficulties.
I am a good listener. I understand clients and their problems and goals before I offer advice. I have the ability to translate subtle and sometimes complex legal concepts into understandable language to empower clients to make informed decisions.Personal interests:
My interests are varied and ever changing. For many years, I was active in an Old Time Radio club collecting recordings of radio shows and acting in radio show re-creations. Over the years, with camera at the ready, I have spent some 100-150 nights as a backpacker below the rim of the Grand Canyon and a lesser number in the Colorado high country. I have spent countless hours paddling canoes as a guide and for personal pleasure on white water rivers and Boundary Waters lakes. I have often ridden my bicycle commuting to my office and I have taken longer trips; one as a lark from Denver across Kansas to St. Joseph, Missouri. I am a voracious reader - of history, science, social commentary, and, to a lesser extent, short stories. I regularly attend live theater and folk music performances, and I am an addicted fan of American Cowboy poetry and Australian Bush verse.
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