When Should I Consult with an Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law attorneys assist seniors or their family caregivers with legal issues and planning that related to the aging process. These attorneys frequently help with tax planning, disability planning, probate and administration of an estate, nursing home placement and many other legal issues.
Forbes’ recent article entitled “Hiring an Elder Law Attorney,” explains that elder law attorneys are specialists who work with seniors or caregivers of aging family members on legal matters that older adults face as they age. Many specialize in Medicaid planning to help protect a person’s financial assets, when they have Alzheimer’s disease or another debilitating illness that may require long-term care. They can also usually draft estate documents, including a durable power of attorney for health and medical needs, and even a trust for an adult child with special needs.
As you get older, there are legal issues you, your spouse or your family caregivers face. These issues can also change. For instance, you should have powers of attorney for financial and health needs, in case you or your spouse become incapacitated. You might also need an elder law attorney to help transfer assets, if you or your spouse move into a nursing home to avoid spending your life savings on long-term care.
Elder law attorneys can help with a long list of legal matters seniors frequently face, including the following:
- Preservation and transfer of assets
- Accessing health care in a nursing home or other managed care environment and long-term care placements
- Estate and disability planning
- Medicare, Social Security and disability claims and appeals
- Supplemental insurance and long-term health insurance claims and appeals
- Elder abuse and fraud recovery
- Conservatorships and guardianships
- Housing discrimination and home equity conversions
- Health and mental health law.
It is best if you consult with an elder law attorney who also versed in the areas of taxation (both income taxation and estate and gift taxation), asset protection planning, business entities (especially clients who own businesses), and especially Medicaid planning.
To learn more, read: What Is Elder Law? It Includes Many Areas and Do I Need to Update My Estate Plan? and Gift-Tax Exemptions are Treated Differently by IRS and Medicaid and When Should I Consult with an Elder Law Attorney?