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Sarah Randal Watchko

Hill & Watchko

Sarah Randal Watchko

Hill & Watchko

Sarah Randal Watchko

Hill & Watchko

Sarah R. Watchko’s practice areas include elder law and estate planning, Medicaid benefits for nursing home care and Department of Veterans Affairs pension benefits, special needs planning, and trust and estate administration. Sarah was selected for inclusion in the 2018 Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” in the area of Elder Law. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. She is also one of very few Georgia Certified Elder Law Attorneys (“CELA”) by the National Elder Law Foundation, the only national certifying program for elder law and special needs attorneys, and serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia's chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Sarah developed a passion for working with elderly and special needs clients at Wake Forest School of Law’s Elder Law Clinic during the summer of 2007. Upon graduation, this led her to Atlanta Legal Aid’s Georgia Senior Legal Hotline, where she volunteered and eventually worked as a staff attorney from 2008 – 2009. In 2009, she joined attorney Steve DeBaun in his estate planning and elder law practice. In 2013, Sarah made the difficult decision to leave Mr. DeBaun’s practice and start a new path at Bettis, Hill, & Vann (now Hill & Watchko), a firm focusing primarily on those individuals she wished to serve.

Firm Description

Our primary goal at Hill & Watchko, LLC is to be the best in our field, as it relates to the level of service we provide, the quality of the work we produce, and the value we deliver to our clients.

We believe that estate planning, elder law, special needs planning, trust and estate administration, business planning, and related services are more than just the production of documents. We are not LegalZoom™. Rather, we see ourselves as counselors and advisors who help you develop the best plan for your loved ones. We see planning as an act of love and responsibility taken by those who care deeply about their families, friends, and organizations and who desire to leave a lasting legacy.  Our clients put their trust in us with this life altering planning, and we take that trust seriously.

Our mission is to help our clients plan for and protect the significant things in their lives: the people and organizations they love and the assets they have worked diligently to acquire, and to do so through our four fundamental values: compassionate, client-first service; an easy and efficient client experience; the highest quality of work product; and creative, comprehensive, and individualized advice.

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What Is an Elder Law Attorney?

Main Office

1815 Lockeway Dr.
Suite 106
Alpharetta, GA 30004

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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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Medicaid’s Eligibility and Transfer Rules

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
Medicaid’s Eligibility and Transfer Rules

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.

READ MORE
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.

READ MORE
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.

READ MORE
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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