Our Practice Areas

Our Approach to Elder Law and Our Clients

Our firm takes an education-based, client-centered approach. We know that legal planning in the areas of long-term care planning, estate planning, and asset preservation can be confusing and unfamiliar for many people. Whether it is learning to navigate the Medicaid system, understanding laws that effect you or a disabled or elderly family member, or understanding documents we have prepared for you, personal attention to your case matters. You should feel comfortable with the options, the approach, and be an active part of the solution.

Long-Term Care Planning

Some people need home health services, while others need a long-term care facility for an extended period of time, perhaps years. It could be that you, or your loved one, needs a specific type of medical treatment, or custodial care, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and the need for other similar activities of daily living. What is the result? A drastic difference in the cost of care based on the circumstances of each person.

Learn More

Medicaid Planning

There is no concise way to describe Medicaid planning. Within Medicaid (called “MO HealthNet” in Missouri), there are a variety of different programs, and each has different criteria. One constant is that an applicant’s resources must be below $999.99 on the date of application (for a single person). But other variables, such as transfer penalties, income rules, and rules for spousal resources, vary between programs. The rules can vary further based on whether the person is single or married. Further, a person who is on Medicaid may be on other programs, such as HUD or Food Stamps, that have a completely different set of rules, and the rules of each must be considered when implementing a Medicaid plan.

Learn More

Veterans Benefits Planning

There are several requirements to be eligible for Veterans Administration (“VA”) Benefits, and there are a number of different VA Benefits programs. This firm focuses on the planning aspects of VA Benefits prior to eligibility and primarily deals primarily with Aid & Attendance benefits, therefore, this page will focus on the VA Aid & Attendance Benefits and how to determine eligibility for those benefits.

Learn More

Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan is not just about telling your loved ones who gets your property after you die. It encompasses decision-making during your lifetime, ensuring that those you wish to leave your property to are protected, and ensuring efficiency to save you and your loved ones time and money.

Learn More

Special Needs Planning

If you are the parent or family member of a disabled person, it is important that you learn more about special needs planning and why it is so important for the disabled person. As you grow older, you may be concerned with who is going to help meet the needs of your disabled child when you are no longer able to help in your child’s care. And, after your death, you have options to protect the disabled child’s inheritance to make sure the child’s essential needs are always met.

Learn More

Probate Administration

Probate is necessary for all property that does not pass by other non-probate transfers after a person’s death. The two most common means to eliminate the need for probate of property include adding beneficiary designations to property and establishing a trust. But, if you are reading this page, you may already be in the circumstance of handling a loved one’s estate who did not do any planning, or where your loved one did some planning but perhaps missed a step or two along the way. And, as a result, you now have “probate asset.”

Learn More

Settlements and Awards from Lawsuits

There are special considerations when the plaintiff in a lawsuit is disabled and anticipates receipt of settlement funds or judgment proceeds. The cash must not simply be delivered to the plaintiff. The type of benefits must be analyzed to determine if there will be a harmful effect if the disabled person receives the settlement or judgment, and appropriate steps should be taken to protect the disabled plaintiff’s benefits.

Learn More

Client Testimonials

I was at a total loss as to what to do about my parents estate when my father passed away and my mother was diagnosed with dementia. Melissa was (and is) a savior for myself and my family. She is brilliant, astute on the law, thorough, and she genuinely loves her work. Hire her, you will be glad you did, I assure you. - Paul

Client Testimonials

Ms. Melissa is the real deal, she is professional, courteous and very knowledgeable. She puts her elderly clients at ease with her calm and reassuring manor. She fully understands the different family dynamics and gets the best outcome for her client. I'm very glad I hired Elder Law attorney Melissa Leavy to be my mother's attorney and advocate. Would definitely recommend her and would definitely call her again if I need to. - Lisa

Client Testimonials

Melissa has been a fabulous attorney and consult regarding various legal matters and needs from legal guardianship to creating living will/power of attorney and a trust fund for my girls as well as even a special needs trust. She is thorough, well knowledged and very reliable on finding answers to my many questions on my various legal needs and replies in a timely manner. I HIGHLY recommend her for any legal need you may have. Comparable pricing and just amazing. - Dawne

Client Testimonials

Melissa provided my family with up to date information and offered knowledge based opinions for application for VA Spousal benefits for my Mother. The VA Administration changes it's review policy annually, and Melissa has the necessary training and experience to guide her Senior Clients through the process. Her firm also updated necessary legal documents for my Mom at a reasonable fee. Our family appreciated Attorney Melissa's well informed approach. - Heddy