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Jessica Merkel

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C.

Jessica Merkel

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C.

Jessica Merkel

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Jessica worked in public sector leadership in both Human Services and Public Health.  She utilized skills developed through her Master of Social Work degree to advance relationships with families and strengthen community partnerships.

Jessica has advanced expertise working with families experiencing challenges with mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. It’s because of these roles that she believes in clear communication and not relying on legalese to explain and outline options and solutions for clients.

At Ruder Ware, Jessica continues her passion for advocacy, this time for our elderly clients providing counsel on the use of irrevocable trusts for asset protection, medical assistance eligibility, and special needs trusts.  Jessica engages families by listening, empathizing, and  supporting their choices to achieve their goals.  In addition, she counsels clients on estate and trust planning, taxation, powers of attorney, probate, and trust administration.

A Marshfield native (and current resident), Jessica and her husband, Ryan, enjoy introducing the world to their toddler by attending community events, spending time outdoors, gardening, and fishing.

Firm Description

Ruder Ware is a full-service law firm with locations in Eau Claire and Wausau, Wisconsin. Nearly 40 attorneys provide counsel in the areas of Business Transactions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment, Labor & Benefits, and Trusts & Estates.

At Ruder Ware, we work diligently to earn your trust by providing sound, responsible counsel to proactively manage and minimize legal matters so you can focus on your profit goals.

Hours

Day From To
Monday 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM 5:00 PM

Cost

Flat-fee pricing for most services.

What Is an Elder Law Attorney?

Main Office

500 First Street
Suite 8000
Wausau, WI 54403

402 Graham Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

222 Cherry Street
Green Bay, WI 54301

On the web

View Firm Website

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Social Media


Medicaid 101
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

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How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

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Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

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What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

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Medicaid Planning Strategies

Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.

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Estate Recovery: Can Medicaid Take My House After I’m Gone?

If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

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Help Qualifying and Paying for Medicaid, Or Avoiding Nursing Home Care

There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.

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Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Care?

Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can't afford to take care of themselves.

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Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

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Alternatives to Medicaid

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.

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ElderLaw 101
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

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Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

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Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

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Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

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Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

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Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

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Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

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Long-Term Care Insurance

Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.

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Medicare

Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.

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Retirement Planning

We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.

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Senior Living

Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.

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Social Security

Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

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Special Needs Planning

Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.

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Veterans Benefits

Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

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