As we get older, we face a lot of difficult circumstances that come with advanced age. Watching a loved one grow older is emotionally difficult, and as more medical problems arise, it can become financially difficult as well.
As we age, we need others to act in our stead. From plotting out long-term care, planning on how to care for and divide up an estate, all the way to assigning a guardianship tasked with decision-making, it’s important to enlist the help of a skilled elder law attorney.
If you are getting up there in years or have a loved one that needs legal representation to care for their legal and financial needs, choosing the right elder law attorney is crucial. If it has come time to pick the right elder law attorney for your unique needs, consider asking your attorney these five questions before making the choice.
1. Do You Have a Practice Focus?
Elder law is a particularly broad area of practice that covers many aspects. If you are choosing a lawyer that is specifically dedicated to elder law and nothing else, then they may be able to cover everything that you need to be taken care of.
However, it is important that you ask about a lawyer's experience in multiple areas of elder law, as you may go in for one issue and find that you will need representation and experience for something completely different.
A good elder law attorney should be well versed in issues regarding estate planning, guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, trust and will creation and management, Medicare and Medicaid, and asset protection.
2. Do You Cover the Entire Process?
Growing old is not just one issue. It is often not just drafting a will and never talking again. Once a loved one grows older, they may need legal representation for a variety of issues.
- Does the elder law attorney go above and beyond just estate planning?
- Do they help plan for long-term care?
- Can they help set up guardianship?
- Can they help in the event of elder abuse or financial elder abuse?
The best elder law attorneys will work with their clients and the families of those clients in order to make sure that you or your aging loved one is represented to the fullest and are legally cared for in their golden years.
3. How Long Does Setting Up a Plan to Care for an Elder Take?
Any good elder law attorney should be honest with you in this regard. Often caring for an elder both legally and financially can take some work. It is not just one visit to set everything up. Aspects like long-term care and estate planning may need to be adjusted over time and require multiple visits to sort out.
If you discover your elder is being abused, that will require even further consultation and legal work with your elder law lawyer. Everyone should be made aware that elder law is not necessarily a quick, one-time process.
4. Can You Help With Probate?
Most elder law attorneys will help with estate planning and making sure your elder is cared for, and they will also work with you in the probate process. A good elder law attorney will cover the whole process, so everything stays concise and organized. Additionally, a great elder law attorney will show you how to avoid probate all together.
5. How Can I Reach You If I Need Help?
Our office responds to emergency calls 24 hours a day. Other offices may or may not provide this type of attention. Make sure you inquire about evening and weekend emergency service.
For more information of elder law and choosing the best elder law attorney for your needs, contact us today.