Why Elder Law Attorneys Aren’t Just for Seniors

Elder Law attorneys specialize in providing legal services for the elderly and disabled. The provide assistance getting Advance Directives in place so it is you who chooses how you are taken care of – and by who, rather than it being left to chance, or worse – a court hearing.

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Far too often people assume family members will “take care of things” which leads to a number of unnecessary problems, primarily as a result of the burden placed on your loved ones when they are forced to make difficult decisions for you, without the luxury of knowing your preference.

Elder Law attorneys also specialize in preparing for the financial planning in the event one becomes chronically ill or disabled. This is a major issue to be discussed with an Elder Law attorney who can help understand how stalling until finances run dry is a terrible option.

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Hiring an Elder Law attorney is a necessity for anyone who is experiencing advanced aging, particularly when a debilitating disease or condition is likely to be involved. The following special legal issues are covered by an Elder Law attorney:

  • Health and personal care planning (health care powers of attorney, living wills)
  • Financial representation (financial power of attorney, financing housing options, estate, income and gift tax matters)
  • Will and trust planning (planning for elderly or disabled through special needs trusts)
  • Planning for long-term care (determining public benefits such as Medicaid for long-term care needs and protecting assets)
  • Capacity (avoiding or handling a guardianship and conservatorship court process)
  • Rights of residents in long-term care facilities (nursing home claims)
  • Retirement and employment matters (age and disability discrimination, grandparents’ rights)

An Elder Law attorney can ensure you retain as much control of your own life as possible by helping you make decisions for yourself  in advance. He or she will draft documents so you can decide:

  • Who will make decisions about your health care if you are unable to
  • Who will handle your financial affairs if you are unable to
  • How your friends and family will come to understand your wishes and avoid arguments over who should get to be in charge.

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In addition, an Elder Law attorney will also determine whether you need legal documents to assist you with funding long-term care, such as:

  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Medicaid planning to pay for nursing home care

Dissimilar to most legal fees, an Elder Law attorney can be cost effective, since the costs incurred are usually limited to one or two visits, in addition to document fees. Frequently an Elder Law attorney will not charge for the consult and will bill a flat package-rate depending on what documents are needed for each individual case.

It is imperative to locate an attorney that specializes in Elder Law. There are general practice attorneys who may have some experience with Elder Law, but the regulations are ever changing and can be highly complex.

Read more: http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/elder-law-attorney-not-just-for-seniors-156693.htm

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