PB Elder Law is the only firm in WNY whose practice is dedicated to elder law. Mel speaks with one of the partners from the firm, attorney Daniel J. Schuller. He says the name of the firm is Pfalzgraf Beinhauer Grear Harris and Schuller, better known as PB Elder Law and they are a law firm that focuses on elder law. They have five attorneys there and the basic field of elder law is estate planning to estates upon someone’s passing, the use of trusts or assets protection and Medicaid for people who need payment for long-term care costs. They also do guardianships for people who are incapacitated and do not have a power of attorney. So, he says they generally speaking we are a firm who focuses entirely on elder law and they have support staff for each department.
When asked who they help in Western New York, he says typically they have three different client bases. They have a family who is newly married with children and they can set up estate planning documents to make sure their children are cared for in the event they both predecease their children reaching the age of 18. They can also create trusts so that the assets are protected in such a way that the children can’t access the assets before a certain age. They also have a client base where people are starting to acuminate wealth and they can update their estate plan and maybe start trusts to help preserve assets for the future and they have clients who are retired and are who looking to protect their assets for long-term care but also to create an inheritance for their future. They can use trusts, and other estate planning devices to make sure those assets are protected in the event they require something like Medicaid to pay for long-term care costs.
Schuller says the misconception is that if you don’t plan ahead, there can’t be any planning. He says that is incorrect. There is last minute planning that can be done but it is always better to get out ahead of things because then you can have more input into your planning and there is a better chance of preserving wealth for the future.