Attorneys Specializing in Elder Law Near Me

 

“Aging people’s challenges, including health care, housing, financial security, and long-term care, are familiar to anyone caring for a parent, spouse, or aging relative. Despite the difficulty of navigating the complex waters of aging, an elder care attorney can help you devote more time to the people you care for.”

Attorneys Specializing in Elder Law

 

Attorneys specializing in elder law help seniors and their families with legal and estate planning issues. Elder law attorneys provide many legal services: tax planning, disability planning, probate and administration of estates, nursing home placement, and many other legal matters.

Social workers, geriatric care managers, and other professionals with experience in assisting older adults often have professional relationships with elder law attorneys. The following are things to keep in mind when looking for Attorneys specializing in elder law near me.

 

When do you need an elder law attorney?

While most lawyers working in specialized areas focus on a specific field of law. The attorney specializing in elder law is focused on meeting the unique requirements of a particular client. Elder law lawyers provide advice to meet the specific needs of seniors and their families. They act as advocates for the rights of senior citizens and help them navigate the state, federal, or local laws, regulations, and regulations. They should be aware of the full range of public and private aid and laws about senior citizens’ civil rights and health.

Elder law attorneys should not be misunderstood as estate planning attorneys, although the two areas of expertise typically overlap. Estate planning is mostly focused on the transfer of wealth following the death of a person. In contrast, Elder law is concerned with preserving assets for personal gain and support while the person is still living. In most cases, elder law lawyers are also skilled in estate planning. An experienced lawyer for elder law will analyze and defend the client’s financial and legal circumstances, both current as well as in the future.

With age, legal issues may change for you, your spouse, and your family caregivers. For example, having durable powers of attorney for financial and health matters is essential in case you or your spouse become incapacitated.

If you or your spouse moves into a nursing home, you might also need an elder law attorney to ensure that your life savings do not go on long-term care. When a loved one suffers from a debilitating illness or needs long-term care, an elder law attorney can help family caregivers understand their options.

For example, a lawyer specializing in elder law will help clients find the least restrictive residential environment and make other health care and financial decisions. Similarly, elder law attorneys must first clarify who their clients are to develop a holistic strategy.

A lawyer who practices elder law can also help protect seniors with diminished capacity from financial and personal exploitation.

 

What can an elder law attorney assist with?

Among the legal issues seniors face often, elder law attorneys can assist with:

  • Transferring and preserving assets. Elder law attorneys knowledgeable in Medicaid planning can help you understand the “look back” period for Medicaid to determine if you are eligible if you need to apply. An asset protection strategy can protect a surviving spouse from Medicaid reimbursement for long-term care expenses.
  • Disability and Medicare claims and appeals.
  • Claims and appeals for long-term health insurance and supplemental insurance.
  • Wills, powers of attorney for health and financial matters, and living trusts are all part of the estate and disability planning.
  • Care in nursing homes, other managed care environments and long-term care facilities.
  • You are paying debts and taxes and distributing assets to your heirs via probate and administration.
  • Cases involving elder abuse and fraud.
  • Trusteeships and guardianships. In case of physical or mental incapacities, guardianship can give the conservator control over your finances, medical care, and other decisions.
  • Home equity conversions and housing discrimination.
  • Mental health law and health care.

 

The benefits of working with an elder care lawyer.

 

The benefits of working with an elder care lawyer.

 

NAELA, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, defines elder law as a multitude of fields of law, and elder law attorneys specialize in many specialties, including:

  • Management of trusts and estates
  • Probate and estate planning
  • Financial documents, like trusts and wills
  • Nursing homes and assisted living settings for the need for permanent care
  • Appeal and claims in Medicare Social Security Social Security
  • Frauds committed against the older
  • A spouse moving into the nursing home must preserve or sell the assets to prevent being impoverished.

Often, seniors and their families face financial and medical hardships. From preparing for future scenarios to choosing long-term care arrangements, this experience can bring insight into various situations.

You can enjoy an elder care lawyer’s services in several ways.

 

Developing a plan for long-term care

Simasko says families often disagree about the care their parents should receive. An elder care lawyer can provide a long-term plan objectively without being influenced by strong emotions.

 

Making sure lasting powers of attorney are in place.

Your family member may have difficulty making decisions about their care if they suffer from a condition such as Alzheimer’s. You can work with an elder law attorney to prepare a durable power of attorney for your loved one.

If your loved one becomes incapacitated, an appointed individual can make medical or financial decisions. You or another guardian can guard a family member who does not have a durable power of attorney should they become incapacitated.

 

Helping with access to Medicaid

Medicaid eligibility varies from state to state based on your financial assets and medical treatment costs. Your CELA can assist you in applying for Medicaid benefits if you are familiar with the program.

The best elder care lawyer can explain how Medicaid will affect your finances even before they help you determine if you’re eligible.

 

Applying for veterans’ benefits

Often, veterans must realize they are eligible for long-term care help through the Aid and Attendance benefit. You can get this benefit with the help of an elder care attorney or find out about other government resources and benefits.

 

Protecting assets from financial exploitation

Identifying risky situations may help family members avoid financial exploitation. An unscrupulous adult child may try to access financial accounts when dad and mom slow down or get ill, says Simasko. He adds that bad neighbors may come over to “help out” when dad and mom slow down.

Elder law attorneys can help stop criminal activity or fraud or advise children on how to deal with it, Simasko notes.

 

Setting up a living trust

Your loved one may want to ensure their estate goes to people they care about or an organization they support. Your loved one’s assets could be subject to probate without proper estate planning.

A living trust can enable your loved one to keep control of their assets even after their estate has passed away. An elder law attorney can guide you through creating a living trust in your state.

 

How much do elder law attorneys charge?

Elder law attorneys charge differently based on which legal services they provide, their office location, and their experience level. According to Johns, it may cost a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars to prepare conventional estate planning documents alone.

It may be free to schedule an initial asset preservation consultation, or it may cost up to $1,000, depending on various factors, such as local legal fees. Other factors can raise the fee, such as dysfunctional family members who cause conflict, a high level of wealth, and a disabled family member, according to Johns.

During the initial consultation, you will learn what legal services the elder law attorney can provide and how much these services will cost. Hourly rates with retainer fees or flat fees may be charged.

Elder law attorneys’ fees vary greatly because of many different family dynamics, types of engagements, and variations in fees and amounts. Depending on the legal services you need, you might have to pay a range of fees for elder law attorneys’ services.

  • A guardianship and appointment cost between $350 and $650 an hour.
  • The rate for probating wills and administering estates of decedents varies between $250 and $350 per hour. However, if paralegals work with attorneys, the rate could be as low as $100 to $150 per hour.
  • A preservation plan for assets between $8,000 and $16,000 is available to spouses of people with Alzheimer’s. The person owns $1.7 million in annuities, deferred benefits, and property, including a home worth $590,000 and adult children causing family conflict:

Important tips for hiring a good elder law attorney

It’s important to check whether you need an elder law attorney’s expertise before hiring one, according to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). An elder law attorney may be beneficial if you still decide whether to hire one.

Consult your financial advisor, estate planning attorney, or another legal professional. The following tips will help you hire a good elder law attorney:

 

Meet for an initial consultation (possibly free)

Meeting them in person gives you a sense of their working style and whether it’s right for you. Many lawyers will meet with you for free for 15 to 30 minutes if you summarize your needs beforehand.

Ask how much a consultation will cost if there is one. Discuss the same situation with a few lawyers if you can. If you want to compare their answers, you can do so.

Then you can ask about any differences in advice, confirming the overall approach is valid.

 

Find out how much experience they’ve had with issues like yours.

As they practice and deal with more situations like that, they gain experience. Finding a lawyer with experience handling matters like those facing your older parent is a good idea.

Obtain information about prospective attorneys’ experience with Powers of Attorney, estate planning, and long-term care planning.

 

Evaluate their customer service

Having a professional and responsive partner is essential. Consult a lawyer and ask yourself:

  • Do they behave professionally and politely?
  • Returning calls and emails promptly is a priority for them.
  • Is the staff patient in explaining things to you, so you understand?
  • Are they consistent with what they say they’ll do?

 

Take plenty of notes.

Make notes during and after meetings to ensure you remember what every lawyer said and what you thought of them. Make a final decision based on your notes later.

 

Check their credentials

Ensure that your state’s State Bar Association’s website is up-to-date before hiring a lawyer. Check the attorney’s Bar number or name to ensure they are a licensed attorney in your state. As well as showing if they have ever lost their job publicly, this will show if they have.

 

Which elder law attorney should I choose?

After realizing you may need legal help for your ageing parent, you probably wonder where to begin searching for an elder law attorney. Not all elder law attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced enough to provide effective advice to ageing clients.

To become a CELA, one must practice elder law for a certain number of hours per week for a specific number of years and complete a certain number of continuing education each year, according to the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

 

Certified elder law attorneys (CELA)?

Several practice areas and a wide range of specializations exist in the legal profession. There are usually only a few related legal areas that lawyers concentrate on or specialize in.

In elder law, also referred to as older adult law, legal issues related to those over 65 are addressed. Certified elder law attorneys (CELAs) are also legal professionals who have obtained a recognized certification as experts in elder law.

You are probably searching for an elder law attorney because you or your family needs one. Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm for a consultation to find out if we are the right elder law lawyers for you.