Columnist Expresses Gratitude For #1 Recognition -Again

For the second year in a row our office received a call from Main Line Today magazine this summer requesting a “head shot” and, despite having experienced the same call last year, I was amazed again at opening the August issue of MLT and finding that I had once more been named as the #1 elder law attorney in the Philadelphia suburbs. Since the designation follows polling of other attorneys familiar with our work, it is especially appreciated.

We have been going through a number of changes here at Colliton Elder Law Assocs., PC over the past several months, many of which are not yet visible but will be over the coming months, that we hope will make us even more valuable to clients.  First, we finally took the leap to formalize the fictitious name registration “Colliton Elder Law Assocs., PC” to clearly identify the office and our field of operation.  Are we “Colliton Law Assocs.” or “Colliton Elder Law Assocs.?”  Actually, both.

One reason we delayed with the formal name addition is the concern that those seeking our services might feel they had to be an “elder” to receive help.  This is not true.  We draft Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and other documents for clients regardless of age.  We work with disabilities, chronic care, access to health care, Medicare, Medicaid and at home, and assisted living as well as skilled care without reference to age.

Elder law is a comprehensive term and may mean many things to different people.  For us, planning can run the gamut from the more routine daily document preparation to assistance in locating services for clients, to preparation of applications for such benefits  as Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance, to budgeting payment for care, and even evaluating the care being received by the family member.

Diana Chryst, our Care Coordinator, is former Director of Admissions at Park Lane at Bellingham Skilled Nursing and former financial analyst at First Union (which later merged into Wells Fargo). She participates in Care Plan Meetings that, for nursing homes, are mandated by law, but expands on them to find what services are being offered, what services could be offered or could be improved, and what level of care is needed by clients.

Jeffrey Jones, my brother, and the principal of Life Transition Services, LLC, Certified Senior Advisor, has worked beside me for the past thirteen years with his own company and rounds out the team especially by keeping track of assets, a job we refer to as “administration,” and actually preparing the benefits applications.  We envision it as stretching the assets when faced with healthcare challenges.  Together we all work developing and implementing legal, financial, and care coordinated plans mostly for seniors and special needs individuals who are facing or might face catastrophic health care and long term care costs wherever they are living.

As more of our clients stay home, this raises the need for additional services and we have been working, intensively, recently to meet the at-home need.



If parents move in with an adult child or if an adult moves in with his or her parent to help out, there are all kinds of questions that need to be answered, some of them legal.  It is not just who will be the contractor and who will design the in-law suite, but also who pays for the work and how can parents handle it so that it will not be considered gifting and avoid possible catastrophic results if a higher level of care is needed later.

If Mom and Dad need hospice care, even if it is received at home, how does the caregiver get a break and how does the caregiver get help from other family members.   These might not seem to be legal issues but they are.

I said before but it bears repeating, our clients are the heroes.  Daily we have the good fortune to meet and work with people who are struggling with providing care for themselves or for elderly parents or spouses, children and loved ones, while trying to preserve their quality of life and trying to find the best individualized solutions.

Our new logo continues to highlight a green diamond.  The logo is a statement that, like diamonds, our clients are tough, forged under the immense stress of their circumstances, and extremely precious.

About the Author Janet Colliton

Esquire, Colliton Law Associates, P.C. Janet Colliton has practiced law for over 38 years, 37 of them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her practice, Colliton Law Associates, PC, is limited to elder law, Medicaid, including advice, applications and appeals, and other benefits planning including Veterans benefits, life care and special needs planning, guardianships, retirement, and estate planning and administration.

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