Elder law attorneys represent the elderly and their loved ones. Elder law attorneys can handle many legal issues affecting older people or those who are disabled, such as long-term care planning, guardianship, retirement and Social Security/Medicaid.
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Elder law attorneys can be described as “specialists” in many ways. They focus on older adults’ needs, which are often more complex and different than those of younger people. They can handle estate and financial planning issues, as well as day-to-day concerns affecting seniors’ care, including assisted living and planning for the future.
Elder law attorneys are also better equipped to deal with the emotional and physical needs that older adults or those with disabilities. They can handle many difficult situations.
What can an Elder Law Attorney do for me?
Any of these issues can be handled by an elder law attorney:
Discuss the importance and benefits of wills and estate planning. This includes planning for minors or adults with special needs. Probate proceedings are also discussed.
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Make a durable power to attorney.
Offer assistance with planning and health care, including long-term care options, patient rights and Medicare.
Financial representation: This includes financial planning (including durable power of attorney), planning for housing, income and estate planning, gift tax and gift tax matters.
- Guardianship: Help with the selection and appointment a legal guardian.
- Assist with the cost of assisted living and finding long-term care facilities.
- Help file claims and explain the rights of residents in nursing homes.
You can draft a living will, or other advance directives. This includes a durable power-of- attorney and long-term planning documents.
For simple cases, you may be able to create a living trust, power of attorney or living will with DIY forms.
How do elder law attorneys bill for their services?
Based on the nature of the work, elder law attorneys charge an hourly rate. Elder law attorneys may charge a flat rate based on the nature of the work. This includes review and signature of documents, tax returns filing, will preparation, and so forth.
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What questions should I ask an Elder Law Attorney?
Many elder law attorneys don’t specialize in all areas of law that affect seniors. It is therefore important to find an experienced attorney in your area of concern. You should also feel confident that the elder law attorney will represent you and your loved ones in a compassionate and understanding way.
These are some questions to ask:
- How long have been you practicing law?
- How much time do you spend on elder law?
- Are you a specialist in a specific area of elder law?
- What information should you prepare for your first meeting?
- How are your fees calculated?
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How to find an elder law attorney?
There are many ways to find an elder law attorney qualified. Online research, friends and family may also be good options. You should be aware that not all websites are created equal. If you don’t live in the same area as your relative or have unlimited time online, it is a good idea to search FindLaw for an elder law attorney.