I have been to an attorney to assist with my mother (a surviving spouse). He said upfront "I am expensive and you do not have to retain me".... he was right, he requested $7,700 and he would do everything. I told him that my mother was a surviving spouse of 2 veterans, one being my deceased father who I have all the paperwork for (marriage cert, death certificate & discharge papers). For her 2nd husband (who she needs to file under) I have no information except his death certificate... when asked about this, he said you will have to write letters & call but otherwise everything else is taken care of with the $7,700. I honestly think this fee is outrageous... he did not go over much in our first interview and I assume he is going to want to put her assets in a trust (she is about 50% over the targeted $80,000) in order to protect them. I told him I don't want to "protect" her assets, but I would like them available to use for her ALF but also know that at $4,000+ per month her assets will dwindle quickly. I also asked him about her condo, I know that is not counted in the assets and is worth about $100,000. He said we would want a quick sale and she should ask $80,000 for a quick sale (that's what she paid for it back in 1998). I am unsure why he thinks it should sell quickly??
I also went to a seminar last night and this guy (an Iraqi ware veteran who is in business with his father) seemed more legitimate to me... I have an appointment scheduled with him in a couple of weeks at which time I hope he can answer my questions. Their services are free... he said there "could be" some legal fees, it will be interesting to find out what those might be.
I'm sure I can file the application on my own but am concerned that if I don't have assistance that my mother will be denied and I'll be at square one. If she does get denied can I then refile?