Lamson & Cutner receives a large number of client referrals from different sources, including present and former clients, nursing homes, social workers, accountants, bankers, and others. We are also very pleased to receive referrals from law firms and attorneys.
If you are an attorney who is thinking about referring a client to Lamson & Cutner, you can be confident that your client will receive excellent advice and service, and will be grateful to you for the referral. Since Elder Law is our sole practice area, you can also be comfortable that we will encourage the client to seek your advice regarding any matter outside the limited scope of our engagement.
Attorneys typically refer to us in the following circumstances:
(1) Your firm has no Elder Law experience. Elder Law is a distinct practice area where knowledge of the laws, rules, and regulations affecting government benefits (particularly Medicaid) for the elderly and disabled is essential. Also, in providing effective and pleasing solutions for clients, it is important to have familiarity with local practices, and with the staff and decision makers at relevant agencies and providers, such as nursing homes and home care agencies.
(2) Your firm, though it has some relevant experience or expertise, has billing methods or billing rates that are not cost-effective or acceptable for the Elder Law client. For example, your corporate, litigation, or real estate client may mention a concern about an elderly parent who needs long-term care. We will be able to analyze the elderly parent’s situation and develop an effective strategy at the initial consultation, and then quote a cost-effective fee for our services. Our extensive experience with Elder Law issues allows us to propose all-inclusive fixed fees, when other law firms may feel the need to charge by the hour or to ask for additional fees if unanticipated contingencies arise.
(3) Your firm anticipates referring an Elder Law matter to another firm, but intends to participate in the representation of the client. For example, you may have very competent trusts and estates attorneys in your firm, who lack knowledge and experience with Elder Law issues. You may want Lamson & Cutner to prepare the client’s Medicaid application and guide the process, while your firm prepares the client’s Will and any trusts that are needed.
(4) You are a Personal Injury or Medical Malpractice Attorney. As a result of a defendant’s negligence, your client has suffered a severe injury and is now disabled, leading to ongoing medical and health care expenses that the client cannot afford. The client’s financial position has been further eroded by loss of employment. The client is receiving Medicaid assistance, and perhaps other benefits such as SSI. After winding its way through the court system, the client’s case is finally settled or goes to trial. You have produced a great result, but, now, the client’s receipt of the settlement or judgment proceeds will jeopardize his Medicaid or other benefits. In this situation, the Elder Law attorneys at Lamson & Cutner can assist in protecting the client’s benefits, and in preserving the compensation and damages recovered in the lawsuit. What is required is a Supplemental Needs Trust, which is specially designed to achieve these twin objectives. Read more about the Supplemental Needs Trust here.
(5) You are a Matrimonial Attorney. You have been called upon in a divorce action to deal with a situation where the couple has a Developmentally Disabled Adult Child.
While a disabled child who is 18 years of age can apply for Medicaid or SSI without regard to the parent’s resources or income, a family court in New York could order child support until age 21, or beyond. Where child support payments would jeopardize a disabled child’s eligibility for Medicaid or SSI, a Supplemental Needs Trust should be considered to give the child the benefit of both the support payments and the valuable government benefits that he may be eligible to receive. It may still be possible to create a Supplemental Needs Trust for the child even if the Court has already ordered child support. Read more about the Supplemental Needs Trust here.
If you wish to discuss a possible referral or joint representation in a matter, please give us a call.
If you are an attorney in another state, such as Florida, New Jersey, or California, your Medicaid laws are of course different from the laws in New York. However, if you need information about New York law — because your client’s Mom or Dad lives in New York, or otherwise — please give us a call.