Our Law Office
celebrating 25 years of practice
We are focused to better serve you: in Central Indiana, we serve the legal needs of the elderly, persons with disabilities, & their families, business owners, estate planning and guardianship services for all ages, & estates both large and small. We provide state-wide Medicaid, probate estates, & trust administration legal services.
John Longnaker is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF). Elder Law is an accredited law specialty in Indiana requiring passage of a day-long exam, specialized experience, and favorable attorney peer reviews.
With each chapter of life, you have unique needs and concerns, such as:
SS, Medicare or Medicaid benefits programs
protecting assets & Medicaid benefits for nursing & home care
simple wills & trusts or complex estate & planning for individuals, couples, & business owners
wills & trusts to support a loved one who has a disability or special needs
dealing with difficult issues following a divorce or remarriage, or personal injury
avoid probate with a Revocable Living Trust or estate planning strategies for "problem" heirs
plan for incapacity with Power of Attorney, Advanced Directive, or Living Will
Call to set an appointment and be advised, at any age, on these and other elder law, special needs, long-term care planning, business succession, wills, trusts, guardianship, probate & estates issues.
940 Meridian Street
Anderson, IN 46016
Areas of Practice
Medicaid Planning & Applications
When an elderly client seeks estate planning assistance, discuss long-term care too. A need for a special will or trust drafting, or pursuit of other asset-protecting strategies and long-range planning may be required. Applying for Medicaid, VA benefits, etc. has become so complicated, that many clients ask us to do it for them, even if asset-protection planning services are not needed. Medicaid will pay for home health care, assisted living, or nursing home care, as long as you do planning to reduce income and assets to below income and asset limits by asset protection, not simply spending. For your first appointment, gather up documents about assets, income, shelter and medical expenses, personal ID such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, driver’s licenses, SS and health insurance cards.
The time and cost of guardianships are much larger than its alternative — power of attorney document — but one is required if the person lacks the understanding to have a power of attorney prepared. In a guardianship court action the Judge appoints a person (called the “guardian”) over another person needing help, (called the “ward” or “protected person’), and often over finances too. The guardian is an agent for the protected person, who is incapacitated, either by being impaired by a physical illness/condition, or mental illness/ Alzheimer’s/dementia. The guardian must keep records of every transaction. Every two years a written report and financial accounting must be filed with the Judge. The guardian cannot act or spend monies without the Judge’s permission. For the first appointment, you need to bring asset and income information, plus personal information for the protected person and a doctor’s letter stating the need.
Real Estate / Property law
Common services include: advising clients concerning the sales; preparation of a deed, lease, sales agreement, land contract, sales installment contract, option to purchase, grant of easement. The sale or purchase of a home or real estate, is usually the largest transaction a person or couple will have, but often they go through the process without an attorney. Often problems can be avoided if an attorney is used. For the first appointment, bring a copy of the deed or sales purchase agreement, and the names of the parties, addresses, terms of the sale or lease, the contract duration, interest rates, down payment, credits to buyer/seller, and division of expenses or closing costs.
Wills & Trusts, Estate Planning
Estate planning is: (1) the minimization of estate taxes; (2) the avoidance of probate proceedings; (3) planning for a person’s future impairment through advance directives; and/or (4) the orderly transfer of the decedent’s assets to succeeding generations. Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorneys, Healthcare Power of Attorney, or Living Wills, are prepared after careful review of the clients financial and health information, and the client’s values and goals. Special circumstances call for special will or trust clauses. Special trusts are helpful to avoid probate; to save taxes, such as a Qtip or credit shelter trust; or protect a loved one who has a disability, such as a special needs trust.
Services include the formation of a new corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or the maintenance of the business records or reports required, the transfer of stock, sale of a business, contracts and leases, issues relating to and for compliance with federal and state safety and labor laws, and business succession planning as a part of your estate planning.
The process of probate estate administration is to file the Last Will & Testament of the deceased person with the court (called “probate the will” (note, if the person dies without a Will, then a default “will” is provided by the state law of intestacy); have the property identified, inventoried and appraised; make sure the bills are paid, and property is sold or distributed to the heirs. What to bring to the first appointment: (1) original will and codicils; (2) bank and investment monthly statements,or account numbers (3) deeds (4) bills (5) death certificates (6) life insurance policies, stock certificates, annuity contracts (7) contact information for the beneficiaries named in the Will.
… coming soon …
Many military veterans and their spouses (& dependents) are not even aware of benefits they could receive. Veterans disabled by military service can receive a monthly “Compensation” award. Monthly “Pension” for the veteran or surviving spouse are available for wartime military veterans (combat service not necessary) and you are over the age of 65 or disabled. The “pension” types include: standard, home-bound, and aid & attendance, which require difference levels of care requirements, and income/asset limits.
Special Will or Trust clauses
Today's families are increasingly challenged - for example, grandparents raising their grandchildren, grown children returning to the empty nest, drug abuse, lack of education and employment, and a variety of anti-social behaviors and mental illnesses. Therefore, additional will or trust clauses may be fundamental to drafting effective wills and trusts to avoid will contests, trust contests, and contested guardianships.
Elder Law Issues
What is Elder Law? Many define the Elder Law profession by the characteristics of the client, such as any issue faced by senior citizens, disabled persons, individuals with long-term care and capacity issues where the attorney assists the elderly or disabled person in a holistic manner. Elder Law can also be defined by the issues faced by the client: preserving personal dignity (both health and social issues) and financial security; obtaining good medical and custodial care; dealing with issues of aging and incapacity; dealing with the governmental red tape of Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and Disability, tax and estate planning; guardianship, probate and trust administration; health care and competency issues; and abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the person. An estate plan which neglects such planning may have a detrimental effect on the planned bequests to spouses, children and others.
trust administration & Probate avoidance
Trust administration is similar in many ways to the probate estate administration, but the chief difference is a trust administration is considered “non-probate” because the administration does not involve Court proceedings. The trustee performs the same duties as an executor, but instead of reporting to a Court, the reporting is to the trust beneficiaries, the persons who are named in the trust to receive the inheritance from the trust. “Avoiding probate,” can be accomplished with TOD and POD beneficiary forms as often suggested by other professionals, but unless you have an attorney carefully review your and your loved ones’ financial and health situations, a disorderly and even damaging transfer process will conflict with your goals and values.
Let's see if we can help.
You may also email or call us to make an appointment. Otherwise, use the form below to contact us regarding your legal inquiry. Please be as detailed as possible. Include your situation along with any specific document requests. To help us best service your inquiry, we recommend that you first describe the issue you’re having before telling us what you want to achieve. This does not establish a client-attorney relationship. No legal questions will be answered without an appointment. If no prompt response is made, please call us.