Elder Care 101: A Guide to Elder Law – Finding the Right Elder Care Attorney
According to research, 15% of parents in the US are also caring for an elderly adult. With the population of seniors at 47 million (and on its way to doubling), many people are either facing the incapacitating effects of old age or are responsible for caring for a senior person.
In many of these cases, the services of an elder care attorney might be needed.
These types of attorneys specialize in what is known as elder law. Understanding elder law and the areas where elder law attorneys can help can be of great benefit if you are elderly, or if you are taking care of someone who is elderly.
Read on to find out what constitutes elder law, the unique and specialized roles that elder law attorneys play, and how this can benefit you.
What Is Elder Law?
Elder law attorneys specialize in legal matters that commonly affect seniors.
These include financial services like:
- Estate planning
- Administration of trusts and estates
- Power of attorney
- Resolution of fraud/scams directed at seniors
Assistance in care arrangements, such as:
- Long-term care placement decisions
- Preservation of funds to protect against spouse impoverishment happening through long-term care
- Transfer of assets to protect against spouse impoverishment
Assistance with medical insurance and benefits:
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Social security grants
- Veteran grants
Besides these roles, elder law attorneys can also assist with guardianship processes in the event that an elderly person cannot care for themselves to the point where they need a legal guardian. Elder law attorneys are also qualified to handle cases of abuse of seniors.
What an Elder Care Attorney Can Do for You
As you can see, the list of areas where an elderly law attorney can assist is extensive.
By engaging an elderly law attorney you can protect finances, have outside (non-emotional) assistance arranging the right type of care, professionally deal with estate matters, and set up a durable power of attorney.
All of these are highly important issues where it is often wisest to have professional assistance.
How to Find the Right Attorney for Your Case
If you require help with the types of issues that elder law attorneys handle, then the next step is to find a reputable and trustworthy attorney near you.
To do so you can start by asking people you trust for recommendations. Also, you should take a look online and see what attorneys are near you. To gauge their level of professionalism, check for things like 5 star Google reviews and good ratings on sites like Avvo.
Once you have selected a few candidates, book appointments with the top options. Be sure to bring a list of areas/issues you need help with so that you question them on what their process would be. Ask details about rates, and inquire about their licensing, how many years they have been practicing, and their level of experience in each of the areas of elderly law.
While meeting with potential attorneys, gauge if you like them and if you would feel comfortable working with them. This is highly important.
You Do Not Have to Handle Everything Alone
Growing old, and caring for an elderly person, can both be very challenging. There are many obstacles and tough decisions to face, some of which can have far-reaching consequences.
For this reason, it is often wise not to handle everything alone, but instead to take advantage of the services of an elder care attorney.