Elder Law Attorneys specialize in handling a wide range of legal issues that affect seniors financial and legal security. Even if you feel confident in your own abilities to plan for the future, there are many laws that may complicate your plans.
Elder law varies greatly by state. If your senior parent resides in another state and you are legally acting upon their behalf, seek out all specific documents necessary to prepare for that state in which your senior loved one resides.
Most attorneys focus on protecting assets while providing for the best care possible.
Consulting an attorney on a variety of options that may be available for your loved one is key. Allow the attorney to:
- prepare important documents such as a last will and testament and medical directives.
- work on social security and disability claims
- help with financial planning and estate planning.
- provide key information on Medicaid and Medicare applications.
- assist with signing nursing home contracts.
- be your advocate if problems arise once a senior is already in a residential care facility.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) can assist you in finding a qualified attorney in your specific area/state.
It is vitally important to make decisions on who will act legally on the behalf of a parent while they are mentally competent.
- Know your senior’s financial history current and past.
- Gather documents such as Power of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Last Will and Testament, and other documents that have been prepared.
- What are the senior’s current care needs?
- What goals are you seeking on behalf of your senior? If your senior is a veteran, or a surviving spouse of a veteran; bring proof.
- Is the attorney a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?
- How much elder law training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
- How large is the firm? How many attorneys will be working on your case? What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to elder law?
- Will the attorney let you know up front how much long-term care planning will cost?
- Are flexible payment plans available?
- What is the attorney’s experience regarding the specific concern?
- Will a paralegal who is familiar with your case be available when the attorney is busy?