This month Grace Care highlights VA Accredited San Diego Attorney Stuart Furman and his law practice at the Southern California Legal Center. For elders and their loved ones finding a trusted attorney to help handle long-term care planning is essential, which is why we like to introduce you to some of our most highly respected resources.
Stuart’s law practice has concentrated on elder law issues, including long-term care for seniors, planning for Veterans and accessing VA benefits, Medi-Cal planning, living trusts, wills, powers of attorney, advanced medical directives and other peripheral issues. His planning takes a comprehensive approach to long-term care planning considering personal, financial and legal issues, and implementing the plan.
Stuart is a frequent speaker on elder law issues. He has educated nurses, discharge planners and social workers in many of the southern California hospitals. Stuart sits on the board of directors of the VNA California, a large home health and hospice company in Riverside County. Stuart’s law practice also includes retirement planning, forming legal entities, such as corporations and limited liability companies, and drafting contracts for business clients.
In Stuart’s personal life, he has enjoyed his marriage to Jayne of over twenty years. He is an accomplished violinist having begun the study of music at the age of nine. He has sat on the board of directors of several musical organizations and has played as a member of several professional orchestras across the United States.
What is your area of specialty in law?
My area of expertise is long-term care estate planning. Costs for long-term care have become so outrageously expensive that if a client does not plan for how to access public benefits when they have a catastrophic event, there is no need to have a living trust or will! Simply, there will not be anything left to give to the heirs!
Public benefits planning includes accessing Medi-Cal benefits if a client is in a nursing home, or accessing VA benefits (technically the “non-service connected disability pension with aid and attendance”) if they live in an assisted living community or are receiving care at home. These benefits can make the difference between getting the care that the client needs or not.
The planning typically includes drafting VA Asset Protection Trusts or Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trusts to not only reposition assets to qualify for these benefits but to also protect assets against any liens or claims after the death of the applicant.
How you do your services differ from other trust attorney’s in San Diego?
My services are not the “one-size-fits-all” type plans. My resulting plans are comprehensive and always account for long term care issues that are critical to helping the senior not outlive their money and feel like they are a burden on their family.
I am not the cheapest attorney in town but I am also not the most expensive either. I feel I provide an excellent service for a reasonable fee. For over 30 years, my clients have consistently been extremely satisfied with my legal services.
How do you see yourself working with Grace Care’s geriatric care management team?
Geriatric care managers can be quite helpful in dealing with navigating the elder care health arena. I am constantly amazed at the real mess that our medical system is currently in. If I can’t figure it out, how can the client navigate this maze? A geriatric care manager’s focus is exactly in this area and they help the family at their time of incredible stress. Yes it will cost some money but I believe that it is money very well spent to alleviate frustration, stress and strain. I submit that the money clients spend paying a geriatric care manager for their professional services will be much less then they save the family over time.
A geriatric care manager thus can become a valuable team member to help manage the overall health care crises of the senior.
What are you most passionate about in your practice?
I love to win! When I implement a long-term care plan for example, I submit an application to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS); I am like a pit bull until we get an approval. DHCS is not an easy agency to navigate and a client should not file an application on his or her own. Over the years, I have learned the many traps for the unwary and there are more discovered with every application. This area of practice is also in flux with the laws in California about to change. So constant monitoring and taking continuing education in this area is a must. Knock on wood … I have a 100% approval on my Medi-Cal cases over the last 30 years.
What do you want people to know most about yourself and/or your practice?
I have prepared thousands of revocable living trust packages and have been very successful. I enjoy a great reputation not only in San Diego County, but throughout California as well.
What is the best way for someone to find out more information about your services?
A prospective client can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 877-820-3335. This is a toll free number since I am located in San Diego County but also work with many clients in all parts of California. A phone call will start the process to explore what might be right for the family.
Clients can visit my website at www.socallegalcenter.com for more information. I also have archives of blogs that I have personally written over the years.