Elder Care Law Attorneys.
A time to consult and hire an elder care law attorney will come sometime in your life, or a loved one when you start thinking about long-term care, for example, or how to qualify for government benefits.
In some cases, people may start looking for an elder care lawyer when they realize they don’t have a clear knowledge of what is involved or required in taking care of your old age or your elderly parent.
Besides, now, people are cautious about some sensitive legal and financial matters because actions taken knowingly or unknowingly may have unintended consequences, necessitating their consulting with or hiring someone who is an expert in Elder Law.
Members of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (https://www.naela.org/) are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others.
The elder care law attorney field is a growing specialized area of the law. For simplicity, it can be broadly divided into the elder financial and legal matters.
Areas of Operation
In a nutshell, an elder care law attorney can help aging adults, including their family members to deal with the complicated eldercare coordination, legal protections, and financing matters facing the senior citizen.
This service’s cost will depend on the option chosen and the enormity of the disability the attorney will have to deal with, like physical and mental limitations, abuse, financial and estate problems, care, and long-term care.
Please bear in mind that no elder care law attorney is a ‘jack of all trades’ – none specializes in all aspects of the laws that affect aging seniors.
Because of the amount of knowledge-base involved in the eldercare laws, the attorneys usually work in tandem with other specialized professionals, like estate and long-term care planners, psychologists, social workers, etc.
You may need an elder law attorney to assist you with any or all the following areas:
This is the most common area, though some healthy aging seniors may not (at the least initially) require it since they are healthy enough to carry out their normal day-to-day duties.
These duties could include scheduling a doctor’s appointments, needing no help doing household chores, paying utility bills, etc.
But when the elderly are in no position to make decisions for themselves or do any of those duties mentioned above, somebody will be given a power of attorney to make decisions for the aging senior.
It is recommended that the aging senior choose this person when he is of sound mind. This power of attorney will be essential down the road. However, if not already established, the court will have to appoint a legal guardian when it comes.
Specifically, an elder lawyer can guide any of the following areas:
Elder Care Planning
This could be a simple agreement or a more detailed contract where the elderly could express her preferred care plans. Generally, it is used to coordinate payments of all the care services, including long-term care.
With an Elder law attorney guidance, you may qualify for government benefits like Social Security – Medicare and Medicaid – while protecting your assets. Your attorney will help you achieve this.
An elder law attorney will help you establish a durable power of attorney to take charge of money matters such as tax guidance, coordinating with financial planners, etc.
The areas described above are simply a few examples. Seasoned elder care law attorneys will go above and beyond those to get you what you or your loved one deserve. They know the law; they understand you are not a lawyer; that’s why you came to them in the first place.
In the ‘How To choose ..’ section below, I have made my recommendations, and you cannot go wrong with them.
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How To Choose an Elder Care Law Attorney
Many elder care law attorneys are claiming to have the training, knowledge, and experience to advise aging seniors on elder care matters. If you have no training in elder care laws, how would you choose?
I would not go with any of those. I would rather ask questions and consult organizations that work with or certifies elder care, law attorneys.
I would contact the National Elder Law Foundation (NAELA) for more information and recommend a certified elder law attorney in my city or state. Why? Because every member pledges to uphold the ‘Aspirational Standards’ as a requirement of membership.
Documents for your first meeting.
All relevant financial documents including:
. Your most recent bank account statements, including checking, savings, and money market accounts
- Your most recent retirement or investment account statements, including pensions, IRAs, and 401(k)s
- The most recent appraisal of your home or other documentation of your home’s current value
- Your most recent property tax statements
- The most current account statements for any debts that you or your spouse owe, including mortgage loans, car loans, credit card accounts, and personal loans
- Detailed information about any income that you or your spouse receive, whether it is from employment, pensions, Social Security benefits, annuities, VA benefits, or another source
- Documentation of the make, model, and year of each vehicle that you or your spouse own
Please note that all the information I have provided in this post is simply a guide and not intended as legal advice. Only qualified Elder Law attorneys can provide such advice.
I cannot overemphasize that no elder care attorney practices every aspect of elder care law: they specialize in a particular area.
Therefore you need to take your time to explain your needs during the first consultation meeting, and she will generally point you in the right direction.
You can be sure you are getting your money’s worth with the services provided by an elder care lawyer because they usually work in tandem with other specialized professionals, like estate and long-term care planners, psychologists, social workers, etc.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post and gained some knowledge from it. If so, please let me know using the comments section below. Thanks for visiting.
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