As each person ages, wants, actions and needs change. When a person is thirty, they might want to speculate in stocks, buy new cars, etc., but as each person nears retirement age, retires, or faces disability their concerns change.
Now the person is at a stage in life when inheritance tax, Medicaid, nursing home costs, and preserving assets in their estate are of prime concern, particularly during a period of care in a nursing home.
An Elder Law Attorney is experienced in protecting the rights and assets of senior clients and their families. They will coordinate their recommendations with your personal attorney and any previously executed wills, trust documents, etc.
The Elder Law Attorney is committed to preserving the rights and legal remedies available to senior citizens.
An elder law attorney may be helpful or necessary:
When doing long term planning such as estate planning or creating trusts
If you feel there has been a violation of your rights, but you are somewhat uncertain
When reviewing official documents or contracts
In an emergency, when you feel as if you need to make quick decisions
If you or a loved one has been denied benefits by Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security
When drafting wills, advance directives, power of attorney or other legal documents
If you feel your elder has been abused in any way
For the oversight or administration of wills, estates or benefits
In the dispute of insurance claims or settlements
Elder law attorneys can most easily be described as attorneys who specialize in working with seniors and families involved with issues like those listed above. Since many different types of legal areas can fall under the overall theme of elder law, these attorneys have generally chosen to focus on areas of the law that involve subjects such as Medicare, Medicaid and long term care issues. However, elder law attorneys frequently assist with important family and later-life issues such as estate planning, trusts, wills, advance directives and power of attorney, just to name a few. Finally, many elder-focused attorneys will specialize in specific areas such as abuse and neglect or social security benefits. If you need assistance in any of these areas, seek the advice and counsel of an elder law attorney, and make sure to consider the questions listed below.
Things to ask yourself when evaluating an elder law attorney:
Does this attorney regularly practice in the legal area with which you need assistance?
How long has this attorney practiced elder law?
Does the attorney have any special certifications in specific elder law areas?
What percentage of the practice is devoted to elder law?
Is there a charge for an initial consultation?
What are the attorney's rates and how does the attorney bill?