Page 80


What Does An Elder Law Attorney Do, Anyway? by Mike Cabrerra photos by Aaron Leyser and White Sands Photography


lder Law has as much to do with who I serve as the kinds of matters I handle,” explains Attorney Meg Pauken. She practices Elder Law at The Gertsburg Law Firm in Chagrin Falls, and frequently speaks on the topic. “Elder law includes nearly any issue that an older client might encounter, but I particularly focus on estate planning and asset-protection strategies for individuals and families who may be facing long-term care,” she says. Ms. Pauken has been a lawyer for over twenty-five years, and her practice has evolved over that time to focus on elder law, estate planning, and special needs planning. As our population ages, it is a skill set that is in high demand. Approximately 10,000 people will turn 65 every single day through 2029, which is a substantial number of individuals contemplating retirement, and planning for long-term care needs. Ms. Pauken often receives calls from adult children who are grappling with the diminished capabilities of their parents. It may have begun gradually, with shortterm memory loss, or perhaps worsening vision and reaction-time. Driving skills might have declined. Parents might have forgotten to pay bills, or fallen prey to financial scams. “Adult children call me because they want to know what they can do to care for their parents. The kids are worried about their parents’ safety, their health, and how to pay for it,” Meg says. “It is a very stressful time for a family. I reassure them, and advise them about their options: perhaps making use of powers of attorney, setting up a conservatorship, or even a guardianship. The best option often depends on where the various family members are located, and what specific health issues may be involved.”

Meg Pauken, Esq.


Fine Lifestyles Magazine Cleveland

How to pay for care is another issue that frequently arises, not surprisingly. The statistics are sobering. Currently only about 3% of nursing home costs are being paid for by long-term care insurance. The

Fine lifestyles magazine cleveland vol5 issue3 2017  

Awesome Editorial on Cleveland Ohio's Local Businesses and Culture. -Fine Lifestyles Magazine Cleveland Fall 2017