Elder Law and Medicaid

An intrinsic part of elder law is Medicaid, so in order to get a better understanding of elder law, some basic knowledge of Medicaid is useful. Medicaid refers to a State-run program which focuses on providing health insurance coverage to people in the low income bracket and the middle class. The term differs from state to state across the United States. For instance, it is called “MassHealth” in Massachusetts, “TennCare” in Tennessee and “Medi-Cal” in California.

The terms “Medicare” and “Medicaid” are often confused with each other. The major point that distinguishes the two is that Medicare is an entitlement linked to Social Security, and if you are a retiree receiving Social Security, you will be entitled to Medicare. Medicaid however, is applicable only if you fall under the social category of “impoverished”.

Although elder law usually gets slotted along with Medicaid, in actual fact, it has a much wider scope; Medicaid is just one aspect, albeit a major one, of elder law. As the name indicates, elder law concerns itself with legal matters pertaining to the elderly and disabled. This is an extremely specialized field and there are dedicated lawyers who deal exclusively with such cases.

The practice areas of elder law include but are not limited to

  • Medicaid planning and litigation
  • Nursing Home Negligence
  • Elder Abuse
  • Veterans pensions
  • Special needs
  • Guardianship matters
  • Estate matters
  • Social Security Disability
  • Medicare Appeals

There are law firms which specialize in all matters pertaining to elder care. As the list of firms is quite exhaustive, this compilation of the ten most prominent elder law firms in Tampa should be quite helpful in filtering down your search for a good elder law firm to match your needs.

Top Ten Elder Law Firms in the Tampa Bay Area

  1. Charles Law Offices

This law firm introduces itself as “an accomplished Attorney providing Tampa Bay area residents with counsel in estate planning, probate and trust administration, Medicaid planning, veteran’s aid & attendance benefits and other elder-related matters”. With such a declaration, Charles Law Offices is apparently solely dedicated to elder law.

With offices at Largo, Clearwater and St Petersburg, this company is well-equipped to cover all regions across the Tampa Bay area.

The founding attorney, Susan Charles is an attorney thoroughly committed to the cause of elder law. She has an LL.M in elder law, due to her preoccupation in this subject from her very early days. Susan received her LL.M in elder law in 2008, after graduating from J.D., Stetson University College of Law in 2004.

Facebook rating: 5 stars

  1. Cynthia Waisman, P.A.

At the very outset, the company website of this law firm located at Tampa states that they specialize in elder law, as well as immigration. The branches of elder law that this company specializes in are estate planning, probate/trust administration and matters concerning guardianship.

The founder member of this law firm, Cynthia Waisman, is a well-reputed member of the State Bar of Florida, District of Florida and State Bar of Illinois. She is as well-versed in elder law matters as she is in immigration law. Cynthia has also spent considerable time working abroad, and has clients throughout the world. She is well-qualified, with a degree in journalism from the University of Florida, and a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

Facebook rating; 5 stars rating: 5 stars

“Cynthia is very professional and I have enjoyed working with her over the years. She is personable and hardworking. She dedicates herself to helping clients with estate and immigration issues. I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for an honest attorney who cares. She is very family oriented and she understands the needs of real people.” – Tracey J Fierro

  1. Gibbons, Neuman, Bello, Segall, Allen & Halloran, P.A.

Dealing with all aspects of Elder Law, Gibbons, Neuman, Bello, Segall, Allen & Halloran, P.A was established in 1984 and is located on Henderson Boulevard, Tampa. The founder members of the Gibbon family trace their law background back to four generations, which gives them a firm foundation in the legal world. As many of the attorneys in this firm have lived in Tampa for all their lives and are not likely to move on, the firm continues to be one of the most stable law firms in Tampa. All aspects of elder law are covered from estate planning and probate law, to Medicare and Medicaid issues.

The main features of this firm are that they adhere strictly to litigation management guidelines and employ an experienced paralegal staff. The company also puts a lot of stress on computer resources and databases, which keeps them technologically up-to-date in the market. rating: 4.8 stars

  1. Joseph F. Pippen, Jr. & Associates

Established by Joseph Franklin Pippen in 1982, this law firm has been rendering quality legal services for over thirty years. Located on East Bay Drive in Largo, Florida, the company deals with trusts, state trials, international tax and real estate, and elder law.  Joseph F Pippen, Jr. & Associates has eight attorneys who work independently in their respective areas of specialization. Joseph Pippen also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Virginia Tech, which he received in 1962.

 Avvo rating: 10 out of 10

“I spoke to Joe about an estate matter involving my mother who lives in Florida. He offered excellent and well-conceived advise and his expertise in these matters was very evident. He knew how to solve the problem in a most efficient way. Most importantly he was kind and caring and was genuinely interested in my concerns and in solving my problems. Quite simply, Joseph Pippen is the best of the best.” – Steven

  1. Joseph R Kalish, P.A.

This law firm boldly declares that it is a “Preeminent Tampa, Florida Lawyer with 39 Years of Experience Provides You with Compassionate Service”. Established in 1974, Joseph R Kalish P.A. is located on the North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. The declared practice areas of this law firm are probate law, wills and trusts law, real estate and foreclosure, and issues concerning trusts and estates.

Joseph R Kalish has an “AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating” by Martindale-Hubbell®, which is the most notable recognition that a firm can receive with respect to professionalism and ethics. On graduating from Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Kalish earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida in 1968. He finally graduated in law from St Mary’s School of Law in 1973, and started practicing from the following year. With over 35 years of experience, this law firm is considered as one of the most well-established and reliable in the Tampa Bay area. rating: 5 stars

  1. Lins Law Group, P.A.

Located on the N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, Florida, this is another well-reputed firm of legal practitioners, who deal in elder law. Lins Law Group has been servicing clients in the Tampa Bay area for over 25 years. The company specializes in estate law where it helps out in the transition planning and enactment of plans after the demise of a family member. They are particularly well-versed in helping military families through complex legal issues like benefits and military pay.

The founding partner, D Michael Lins graduated from the Florida State University College of Law in 1984. He is also a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Florida Bar, and the Association of Florida Trial Lawyers, among other associations and organizations. rating: 5 stars

  1. Phillip A. Baumann, P.A.

Phillip A. Baumann, P.A. has been at the same location in Sun City Center, on East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, for the last 25 years. Phillip Baumann has over 30 years experience as a legal advisor, and he employs the most qualified and experienced staff that is well-versed in all aspects of elder law. He has a BA (Honors) from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Suma Cum Laude and has a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University School of Law. He also has the distinction of being one of the first lawyers in Florida to be accredited in wills, trust and estate law.

Mr Baumann was also president of the Tampa Bay Estate Planning Council, and was chairman of the Florida Bar Trust Law Committee. He comes highly recommended, and he was named as one of “Florida’s Legal Elite” by Florida Trend Magazine in 2007. rating: 4.9 stars

Avvo rating: 8.9 out of 10

  1. Rosenkranz Law Firm

A native of Tampa, Jack Rosenkranz did his schooling at Gorrie, Wilson and Plant. He has practicing since 1989, soon after passing out of Mercer University – Walter F. George School of Law. Rosenkranz is also a prolific speaker, and between 1993 and 1999, he addressed numerous conferences like the Florida Bar Elder Law, Planning for Incapacity and Long Term Care, and Medicaid Eligibility and Planning.

Avvo rating: 10 out of 10

“I have been a client since July 2011 and have paid about $18,000 to the firm since. I’m thankful to the firm for helping me place my mom in an assisted living facility four years ago, where she is still today. I don’t think she would be alive now if I didn’t have Jack Rosenkranz’ guidance on how to use my Power of Attorney. Other notable accolades are helping my mom apply for and win her VA Aid and Attendance award; and filing a contingent remainder deed. I gave four stars because there is room for improvement.” –  Annette

  1. Tampa Bay Elder Law Center

Headed by Debra L Dandar, attorney-at-law, the Tampa Bay Elder Law Center deserves a mention in the list of top elder law practices in Tampa. The center specializes in all aspects of elder care from Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits, to estate planning and probate. According to Debra, the center not only considers the financial situation and goals but also keeps in mind the possibility of long term care.

Yelp rating: 5 stars

Facebook rating: 5 stars

“Top rate law firm with aggressive yet ethical attorneys who will go to trial for their clients and seek justice.  The attorneys conduct the initial interview and return your calls personally when necessary.” – Martin H, Tampa.

  1. Wetherington Hamilton, P.A.

This law firm has been around since 1996 when it was founded by R. Wade Wetherington and Theodore Jay Hamilton. Located at downtown Tampa, it has an AV rating in the Matindale Hubbell Law Directory. Wetherington Hamilton P.A. has a dedicated department, staffed with competent and qualified lawyers, specialized in wills and probate law.

The company is also highly committed to community service, and has raised funds for breast cancer through its campaign “Passionately Pink”. It also actively participates in the “Meals On Wheels” program which supplies meals to homebound persons. Wetherington Hamilton P.A took part in a cycling fundraising program in support of Autism awareness. The firm also sponsors the Fletcher High School Law.

Facebook rating: 5 stars

” Amazing Attorneys!!! Check them out!!! You won’t be disappointed!!! – Jenny Bates-McClure

Top Ten Elder Law Firms in Tampa Conclusion

From the above account of lawyers and law firms in the Tampa Bay area, it becomes very clear that the area is well-endowed with elder law firms, and getting legal assistance should not be too much of an issue. However, in the eventuality of needing legal help in elder law, it could prove confusing to get onto the internet and pinpoint a good lawyer, who will be able to offer trustworthy legal advice. It is hoped that this list of some of the best lawyers in Tampa can contribute towards making a search for a decent lawyer, should you need one, somewhat less tedious.

About the Author