~ Elder Law Guardianships & Medicaid Planning ~

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Elder Law Guardianships & Medicaid Planning

What is Elder Law?

Elder law concerns the common legal matters that tend to affect our seniors. The Law Office of Elizabeth A. Beck provides assistance in the following areas:

  • Planning for Long Term Care
  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare
  • Power of Attorney for Property
  • Guardianships for persons with a disability


One of the biggest worries many people face is what will happen to them when they are no longer able to care for themselves at home. Ideally, planning for long term care takes place before the need for this type of care arises. With the average cost of nursing home care at about $6,000.00 per month, planning for such an enormous expense is critical. Medicaid is the program administered by the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services which helps eligible seniors pay for their nursing home care. The rules for eligibility are complex and ever-changing. Elizabeth A. Beck has advised many families with a loved one who is facing the challenge of paying for long term care.

Elizabeth keeps up-to-date on the ever-changing rules for Medicaid Eligibility through her participation in associations such as National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and the Illinois State Bar Association Elder Law Section. Elizabeth has also been one of the presenters at the National Business Institute’s Continuing Legal Education Seminar entitled “Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid”. She is available to advise you on this matter and to assist with completing the Medicaid Application.


With a Power of Attorney for Healthcare you name the person who is to be in charge of making healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so. In the Power of Attorney for Healthcare you give this person, known as your agent, instructions as to what kind of care you do and do not want, including your wishes regarding life sustaining treatment. By preparing a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, you give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that a person you trust will be making decisions for you. Your loved ones also have the benefit of knowing that they are carrying out your wishes and do not have to wonder if they are “doing the right thing”.


Do you have someone fiscally responsible who can handle your finances, manage the filing and payment of your taxes and sell property in the event that you become incapable of addressing those needs? If no, consider granting a trusted person the Power of Attorney to tend to your property and finances. Many times these are drafted so that the agent will not have authority to act until a physician determines that you are unable to manage your own affairs. In this way, you remain “Captain of your Ship” but you have designated someone to take charge if you are no longer able. Having this Power of Attorney for Property may negate the need for a guardianship.


For those individuals who no longer possess the ability to make personal or financial decisions, and have not designated a Power of Attorney to make those decisions, guardianship may be necessary. Guardianship is established by an action filed in the Circuit Court. Elizabeth A. Beck has represented many families who have found it necessary to institute guardianship proceedings for the protection of a loved one.


Elizabeth is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a professional organization of attorneys who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services to the aging population and to people with special needs. She also stays abreast of changes in the Elder Law area through her membership in the Illinois State Bar Association Elder Law Section. Her knowledge in this area was noted by National Business Institute, which selected her to be a speaker at its March 2015 Continuing Legal Education seminar, “Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid” and its March 2016 Seminar “Medicaid Planning”. She not only knows the ins and outs of the rules and regulations regarding guardianships and long-term care applications but she has personal experience in dealing with government agencies such as Department of Human Services and Medicaid.

Having represented clients in the area of Elder Law for over 30 years together with her own personal experiences in caring for aging loved ones, Elizabeth understands that planning for a loved one’s long term care needs can be filled with confusion and emotion. She understands that the decision to enter long term care or seek a guardianship is not arrived at lightly. It is her goal to ensure that these processes are smoothly and competently managed.