Robin L. Folts
Partner/Chair of the Elder Law Department/Management Committee (MC) Member, Lacy Katzen LLP
Years in current role: Chair of the Elder Law Department since 2018, partner since 2014
What has been your biggest success over the past year?
Successfully obtained public benefits for multiple clients when faced with large long-term care costs including nursing homes, hospitals, and at home, but one case in particular stands out. In that case, my clients were in a second marriage with adult children and one spouse made gifts. The gifts imputed penalties in acquiring public benefits (unknown to both families prior to my representation) and I used Social Services, Estate and Insurance laws with additional tax planning to accomplish wealth preservation for both clients while eviscerating Medicaid penalties and tax liability. During the process, albeit complex, the families became closer than before our representation. Estate, tax and elder law planning can coalesce families.
What are your expectations for the rest of this year?
To continue to represent clients and alleviate as much stress as possible when they are faced with loved ones’ declining health as well as large nursing home, hospital, and in-home care costs with the uncertainty of quality of care in health care facilities. I receive a tremendous amount of joy in helping families protect wealth for their spouses, children, and extended families while guiding them through the process of choosing a facility that meets their care needs. I am honored they give me the opportunity to do so.
What advice would you give someone starting a trusts and estates practice right now?
Think through all possible outcomes and advise clients of each option so they can make an informed decision and never give up. Do not fear reaching out to attorneys who may have more experience to obtain guidance and of course, search for every possible solution to your clients’ problems, knowing it may be a fact you overlooked or did not inquire about that could change your clients’ options. Look at the target and beyond.
If you could practice one area of law that you haven’t practiced in your career, what would it be and why?
Entertainment Law. I received the highest grade in this class in law school. I have been and always will be interested in music and entertainment and would like to represent artists and watch them achieve their goals and make sure they are adequately represented.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
Obtaining my pilot’s license and owning my own aircraft. Everyone should have goals no matter how big or small.