Rothkoff Law Group Continues Focus on Needs of Elderly
I am writing this article from Cleveland, OH, where I am attending a conference of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.
During the conference, I was sworn in as the President of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA). The LCPLFA is a national association of elder law firms which provide health care advocacy within the elder law practice. The honor of being President of our national association has led me to reflect on how and why I started my elder law practice and what it has become today.
Where our firm is today has also necessitated a name change. That is why as of October 1, 2012, our elder and disability law firm name has been changed to Rothkoff Law Group.
Over the years, via this newsletter, I have attempted to chart the evolution of my elder law practice from opening my own office approximately 13 years ago to the present date. Thirteen years ago, our identical twin daughters were 1 year old. As a means to support my family while my wife stayed home with our little girls, I explored the potential of opening my own law office. I thought specializing in elder law, given the ever-increasing age of our population, was an area that was ripe for growth. However, at first, the thought of opening my own office was simply a means of putting food on the table for our growing family. I could not have imagined that it would turn into my calling.
Like almost every elder law attorney thirteen years ago, I thought elder law was about protecting assets from the nursing home, drafting estate planning documents, and guardianships. Over the years, I have learned how narrow minded my views actually were.
Clients and their caregivers were coming to our office with typically more pressing issues than simply “protecting the money.” Issues such as how to convince dad to leave the home to keep him safe, how to best take away dad’s car keys, and how can therapy be maximized under insurance coverage. I realized I needed to do better to truly address our clients’ever increasing concerns.
In 2005, our firm adopted the “Life Care Planning” practice model by incorporating social work to assist families in advocacy for their loved ones. Life Care Planning has enabled us to truly provide “holistic” services that our clients need and deserve. Over the years, we have expanded our services to include Veterans benefits, client education programs, and additional advocacy in a home and community based setting. Most recently, beginning this year, we added health insurance advocacy via our health insurance advocate, David Goldwasser, to assist clients with the increasing complexity of coordinating Medicare and other health insurance benefits for maximum coverage.
Thus, for the past several years we have been counseling clients and their caregivers on public benefits, Veterans benefits, estate, tax, long term care, care coordination, health insurance, disability planning, and many more services not found in a traditional elder law firm. Our new firm name better reflects the full range of services we provide.
The evolving needs of our clients and our commitment to serve them will require an even wider range of talent and skill sets in today’s rapidly changing insurance and regulatory environment. Therefore, we will continue to enhance the services we offer.
As I look back on these past thirteen years, I have probably learned more from my clients than they have learned from me. The most important thing I have learned is to listen. Listen to the clients’ wonderful stories about the wars they have fought, the places they have been, and the people they have met. We have much to learn from the elderly and disabled, and they have much to share. It has been an honor and privilege assisting seniors, the disabled, and their families these past thirteen years to get the best care possible while determining how to pay for expensive care. It is a responsibility that we take quite seriously.
I want to thank you for allowing the Law Offices of Jerold E. Rothkoff to serve you through the years. All of us here at the Rothkoff Law Group look forward to a continuing relationship with you and your family as you plan for life’s future events.