Elder law attorneys are legal professionals whose field relates to seniors and older people. Usually, you’d want to have an experienced elder law attorney if you have aging parents, spouse, or you’re the aging subject. These legal professionals can help you answer some tricky questions about the future and how to manage it for yourself and your loved ones.
Hiring an expert elder law attorney here is the first step to securing the future. You need to know that your choice of elder law attorney has what it takes to foresee and advise accordingly based on the present facts. You also want to be sure that your attorney can help with issues relating to when your aging parents or loved ones can no longer care for themselves, where they’ll live, and how they’ll get the help needed when they become dependent.
Before jumping into the hiring pool, knowing what an elder law attorney does can help you understand the difference between a good attorney and a subpar one. In most cases, your elder law attorney can help with issues relating to topics and subjects like;
- Application for veteran’s benefits for qualified and eligible seniors
- Disability planning with respect to the financial and medical powers of attorney
- Elder care abuse prevention and/or representation
- Estate planning
- Guardianship and conservatorship education and establishment in cases where seniors have become legally incapable of granting a power of attorney
- Long-term care planning for the elderly
- Structuring finances around payment for long-term care and education on available benefits like Medicaid planning.
Taking the above descriptions into account, the two most important ways an elder care attorney can impact your life and those of your elderly loved ones include;
Planning for the future and asset protection
Planning for the future is an important step, especially for elders looking to pass on their estates to loved ones seamlessly. It is also important for seniors looking to get the best care and attention in their old age. With help from an elder law attorney, seniors may be able to perfect a plan to ensure their financial and health independence while leaving something behind for their loved ones.
Most elder law attorneys will often answer complicated questions relating to Medicaid, adult care, protecting assets, and more.
Ensuring legal documents are correct
The second most important service an elder law attorney renders is to ensure that all documents are right and detailed to meet each state’s requirement. They go through important documents like living wills or advanced directives, power of attorney, and wills to ensure they are correct and legally binding.
Given the importance of their job, you’d admit that finding the right one is an important step towards securing the future for yourself or your elderly loved ones.
Finding a Good Elder Law Attorney
Ask For Referrals and Recommendations
Asking for referrals and recommendations will never go out of fashion. This is because you’re asking known people who have directly tried the services rendered and offer first-hand information about their experiences. By asking for referrals and recommendations, you can effectively weed out elder law attorneys who aren’t up to standard based on your referral’s experience with them.
Referrals and recommendations also significantly reduce the stress and hassles of searching for and hiring an elder law attorney. You can leverage the social proof and good reviews the referring person offers to build strong confidence in the attorney.
Ask colleagues, friends, family, or your existing lawyer for referrals. The chances are that they’ll have a good lineup of qualified elder law attorneys for you to vet and choose from.
Check the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Looking for something more concrete to work with? Visit the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) to check out the recommended attorneys in your area. You can also use other online search platforms dedicated to helping you find attorneys in different fields in your community or state.
Tips for Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
Referrals and recommendations are great; however, hiring an elder law attorney may not be as easy as you imagined. Here are some tips to make the process easier;
Meet the elder law attorney for a consultation: Most attorneys will offer a free initial consultation meeting allowing you to get a feel of what they offer. Take it.
Find out about their experience with similar cases: The initial consultation meeting is a good time to find out about the elder law attorney’s experience with cases similar to yours. Your confidence rises knowing that the attorney has helped many people in similar situations as yours.
Evaluate customer service: A good attorney with poor client service or client experience is not worth it. Consider how quickly your inquiries are responded to and how you’re treated. Ask who will be handling your case.
These tips can help you weed out the bad eggs while improving your chances of hiring a good elder law attorney for yourself or your loved ones.