January - February 2018

Written by Chad Eichorn
From his column Elder Law

picture-placeholder-elder-law-00-00_enews.jpgEditor’s note: In this edition, we welcome Rev. Chad Eichorn, J.D., as a columnist. Chad is a Nazarene elder and attorney who is no stranger to Pensions and Benefits USA. We are pleased that he has accepted the invitation to share his expertise in the areas of ministry and Elder Law with our readers.

 

 

Hello! I’m thrilled to be part of the P&B team—again. Because of my unique set of education, experiences, and training, I was asked to consider writing a column about elder law. I’ll be doing that over the coming months, but for my first article I want to answer three questions to set the tone for what is to come.

(1) Who is Chad Eichorn?

I’m Chad, great to meet you. I grew up in Ames, Iowa, in a family dedicated to our local Nazarene church. I attended Southern Nazarene University where I studied philosophy, theology and ministry. While there I had the good fortune of meeting my wife, Sarah, and talking her into marrying me. After graduating from SNU, I attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, earning a master of divinity degree. While at NTS, I worked at Pensions and Benefits USA. It was there that I first began to understand the importance of retirement and estate planning, and developed an appreciation for the financial and legal situations people face as they grow older. Upon graduation from seminary, I spent 10 years in local church ministry and district administration. During that time, I was ordained and also attended law school at Drake University in Des Moines. After graduation, I started my own practice, focusing on estate planning and elder law. Last year, I joined Pearson Bollman Law, a respected firm specializing in estate planning and elder law.

(2) What is Elder Law?

elder-law-00-18_article.jpgElder law is a broad term that encompasses several areas. A good deal of elder law involves estate planning, which is important for any adult, not just the aging. Estate planning helps people answer the questions: “Where do I want my resources to go when I pass away? How do I want them to get there? and What special circumstances exist in my family that I need to take into consideration?” The answers usually lead to either will- or trust-based planning tools, both of which have their own strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately lead to either probate or trust administration at the time of death. In every circumstance, determining who is most appropriate to function as power of attorney for healthcare and finances is essential.

The other primary element of elder law is benefit qualification. As the cost of assisted living and long-term care continues to skyrocket, qualifying for benefits like Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance are essential, especially if there is a spouse who will be remaining at home. I spend much time helping families create qualification plans that allow their loved one to qualify for benefits. My experience in ministry has been vital in preparing me to walk alongside clients and their families during these difficult moments.

(3) Who can benefit from the information in this column?

Every adult needs to plan ahead for when things go wrong, because they will.

You can! If you are retired, this is for you. If you are thinking about retirement, this is for you. If you have parents who are aging, this is for you. If you have small children, this is for you. Every adult needs to plan ahead for when things go wrong, because they will. You and I can’t prevent disability or death, but we can be prepared for them. I hope you’ll join me as I seek to provide practical lessons and information to help you prepare for life’s storms.

Chad Eichorn is an attorney licensed in Iowa only. This article is provided as legal information only and is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions regarding your specific situation, please contact an estate planning and elder law attorney licensed in your state of residence.