Elder Care Tip: Have an Emergency Plan

Elder Care Tip: Have an Emergency Plan


Today’s tip of the day for case management is to have an emergency plan. Ask yourself some questions. If you were to fall ill tomorrow and you had to go to the hospital, do you have someone to lean on? Have you written down your preferences? Do you know what hospital you would want to go to, what pharmacies you’d want to use? Even if it were a long stay, do you know what rehabilitation facilities you would want to use or what home health agencies you’d want to use?

Think about your trusted person, do they know your preferences? Have you written them down? If you haven’t, then now is a good time to start. And if you are not so sure how to start with all of those options and need some help, a case manager is right there for you. They’re in touch with these agencies all the time and oftentimes can tell you the good and the bad about many of them, even payer sources, and how to get help to pay for some of these things if they’re not covered by insurance.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, At the Law Offices of Amy B. Van Fossen, we’re always here to help. Contact us with any questions regarding case management.


Amy B. Van Fossen Celebrates 18 Years Practicing Elder Law

Amy B. Van Fossen Celebrates 18 Years Practicing Elder Law

The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen is celebrating 18 years as a legal service specializing in estate planning, elder law, and closely related practice areas.

How We Began

The former Law Office of Amy B. Jackson P.A. officially became the Law Office of Amy B. Fossen P.A. in 2004. Ms. Van Fossen established a practice in Brevard County that would serve Florida’s interests related to elder care, including multiple specialties. Through the years, specialties have expanded to include Estate Planning, Case Management, Guardianship, Probate, VA Planning, Medicaid Planning, Silver Divorce, and Civil Litigation. The most recent specialty is Trust Management, including Trust Maintenance.

Ms. Van Fossen’s road to serving the elder community in Florida began with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Behavior from Rollins College, followed by her JD from Barry University School of Law earned in 2003. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2004.

Why We Are “Family”

When establishing her company, Ms. Van Fossen realized that many people need or want legal counsel but may be intimidated by the idea of talking with a lawyer. Her goal was to create a comfortable, relaxed environment where people could ask important questions. One of the goals of the company is to become your “counselors for life.” They achieve this by listening to your goals and concerns, getting to know you, and offering legal solutions in easy to understand language. In all these years, more than a few clients have become lifelong friends through this process.

In addition to this comfortable environment for you and your family, The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen has quite literally become a family affair as well. Ms. Van Fossen’s two daughters, Katie and Savannah, also share her passion for the elder community. Katie is now a second-generation attorney, chairing the Probate, Medicaid, & VA departments for The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. And, Savannah is also contributing to the care of the elder as an RN.

Interests, Awards, and Accolades

Ms. Van Fossen’s passion for elder care has earned her and her company many accolades, including:

  • Client Champion 2021 – An exclusive achievement that fewer than 1% attain
  • Accreditation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for Aid and Attendance Claims, making her one of Brevard County’s only VA accredited attorneys
  • Business Partner of the Year for Holland & Palm Bay Elementary Schools (2015-2016)
  • Overall Small Business Partner of the Year Award for Brevard County Public Schools (2016)
  • Business Spotlight for Florida Today (May 2015)

In addition to these business recognitions, Ms. Van Fossen herself has a strong personal interest in local youth, animal rescue, and supporting individuals with special needs. She is a Club Esteem Ambassador which serves youth from economically disadvantaged communities.

Where We Are Now

From its establishment in 2004, The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen now has three additional full-time attorneys as well as ten employees who serve as legal assistants, benefits specialists, paralegals, case management, administrators, and office assistants in our new location in downtown Melbourne, Florida.

At The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, we are proud of our 18 years of elder care law serving Florida residents in and around Florida’s Space Coast. For all your elder law needs, please contact our caring team at 321.345.5945. We look forward to meeting with you!

Helping to Navigate the Complexities of Life as we Age

Helping to Navigate the Complexities of Life as we Age

Many older adults find it difficult to remain independent. Simple abilities like driving, taking medications, or running errands become much more difficult tasks to the person who is losing their vision, hearing, or even just using an assistive device such as a walker. Because many people choose to move to Florida after they retire, their families are often geographically distant and are not always able to help oversee medical care for their loved one. Seniors and their families need help navigating the complex world of senior resources, including complex government and insurance regulations, and management of their personal and medical needs. A geriatric Case Manager can help do just that. They also help families of seniors to maintain their own independence, assuring that loved ones are in safe and knowledgeable hands. 

Geriatric Case Management is a profession dedicated to assisting elderly people and their families by developing plans for long-term care, as well as living arrangements. Case Management also involves assessment of needs, coordination, and management of daily and long-term support services, including medical, social, legal, financial, housing, family, and personal needs.

Who Needs a Case Manager?

More and more people are turning to Geriatric Case Managers. These professionals handle everything from assuring that the person is eating properly to arranging for legal and financial services. By serving as the family’s eyes and ears, a geriatric Case Manager provides peace of mind. Having a Case Manager offers seniors and their families a comprehensive range of services with a distinctly personal touch. The Case Manager’s purpose is to help clients maintain quality of life, independence, and personal dignity by carefully assessing their needs and providing the most desirable, yet affordable solution, and monitoring progress. 

Is Case Management Affordable?

Although Case Management services are typically paid at an hourly rate, most families find that the service is invaluable. Not only can a Case Manager save your family time and frustration by tending to everyday needs, but a geriatric Case Manager is often able to save the client thousands of dollars in other areas by reducing hospitalization costs through continuous medical monitoring and guiding toward the appropriate resources for financial and estate planning.

How Do I Communicate with My Case Manager?

Your Case Manager will be in contact with you periodically to simply check in and see if you have any need for services. It is encouraged that you reach out to your Case Manager directly anytime there is a change in your baseline status. This means if you have a hospitalization, change in your primary caregiver or physician, change to your address or living environment, or change to your physical abilities.

Your Case Manager is available in crisis as well as just to answer questions. He/she will be available by cell, email, or through the direct line at the offices. You will be given a magnet as well as a wallet card that will indicate contact information for your Case Management team. Please share a copy of this card with your medical team when you are at physician appointments, move into an assisted living or skilled facility, or in the hospital. Your medical professionals can copy it and keep it on file along with your insurance cards. It is also recommended that you store your case manager’s phone number in your cell phone under “ICE CASE MANAGER”. “ICE” stands for “in case of emergency.”

If you believe you would benefit from a Case Manager send us an email or give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Makes “Silver Divorce” Unique?

What Makes “Silver Divorce” Unique?

Elder law is a large legal umbrella covering many fields of law with a focus on planning for the legal needs of individuals in their later years. Some of these legal needs include divorce.

Yes… many people divorce in their later years as well. In fact, there has been such a rise in this area of practice, that the process has claimed the nationally recognized nickname of “silver divorce”. Over the past two decades, divorce in people over the age of 50 has grown from 1 in 10 couples, to a staggering 1 in 4.

What is “Silver Divorce” and Why is it Unique?

A silver divorce is defined as the dissolution of marriage for couples over 50. There are many theories on this astonishing increase. Some attribute this growth to the increase in life expectancy, while others give weight to a shift in society’s values, changing the way that Americans view marriage in general. But one cause of divorce strikes our older population more than any other age group… finances.

Finances are one of the most common causes of divorce for all age groups. Opposites may attract for many reasons, but when two people are opposite in their financial strategies, divorce often follows. Imagine a situation where one person is a spender and one is a saver. The philosophy of saving for the future vs. living for today can often lead to conflict in which divorce becomes the only conclusion.

However, for our older population financial reasons for divorce may be vastly different than other age groups. In fact, sometimes older people who love each other and have no desire to divorce, find themselves confronting that possibility due to medical costs. Unfortunately, we see all too often that a couple faces costly care needs for one, but not both parties. In these cases, funding sources such as the VA Aid & Attendance Program, Medicaid, and Long-term Care Insurance can often help. But because government financial requirements are so strict for many public benefits, these couples sometimes face a situation where divorce is the best, if not only, financial option.

Why Choose an Elder Law Attorney for your “Silver Divorce”?

Older couples who divorce will face unique challenges. They are less likely to be discussing child custody or visitation. Instead, they will likely be faced with the concerns of alimony, retirement funding, division of assets, and long-term care. Of course, these topics are important to any age group, but for those over the age of 50, who have fewer working years to make up for any losses from a divorce, these topics become critical in planning their future wellbeing.

If you are over 50 and considering divorce, also consider that not all attorneys are accustomed to representing the unique legal needs facing the senior client. Many divorce attorneys are busy with younger clients. They may not be cognizant of the fact that the way your divorce settlement is handled today, could have permanent and drastic effects on your future ability to receive public benefits, including VA and Medicaid. They may not be familiar with the impact of taxes, the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, or your Estate Planning. The Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. can assist all your Elder Law needs, including:

  • Contested and Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage
  • Equitable distribution of assets
  • Pensions & Retirement funds
  • Pre-marital assets & gifts
  • Real Property, personal property, & Financial asset distribution

And if you ever decide to marry again, we will be able to help you with a prenuptial agreement to protect your golden years, should you find love a second time around. If you think a private consultation about the impact of divorce may help you, we invite your call. To schedule an appointment, call us at… We look forward to serving you! Call to schedule a consultation at 321-426-1848 or send us an email.