Life is relaxing for a senior, but it can also be quite complicated. Seniors need to make difficult decisions on complex issues like insurance, senior housing, estate planning, and retirement benefits. Another important decision you will need to make as a senior is creating or updating your will for your final wishes. An elder attorney can help guide you and give you advice on all these issues that also have several rules and considerations.
Senior issues are multifaceted and may be confusing like Medicaid, Medicare, retirement funds, Social Security benefits, and long-term health care. Dealing with these on a daily basis can make anyone’s head spin. Each of these issues has several rules and regulations to be considered. Each decision can also ultimately affect other areas. For example, a senior’s assets determine Medicaid eligibility or VA Aid & Attendance pension, but these also affect inheritance and estate planning.
Elder attorneys use a holistic approach and also cater to the emotional side of senior planning. These lawyers are also accustomed to community resources available to assist seniors and their families with various issues.
You can hire the attorney directly to handle your business or to get advice on how to address more complicated matters. A senior’s family can also contact the attorney for guardianship or power of attorney if they believe their loved one cannot make appropriate decisions, or they can seek an attorney if they feel that their loved one has faced some elder abuse such as neglect or financial exploitation.
One of the best times to hire an attorney is when you need to update your will or estate plans. Look for an experienced attorney that is also familiar with other senior issues like long-term health care, financial decisions, and federal benefits. You can then use this attorney to help plan for the future to prevent stress for your family.
When you face these issues, it’s a good time to contact an attorney for advice:
Insurance and long-term care
Elder abuse of any kind
Medicaid and VA benefits claims and appeals
You will want to find an experienced attorney for your area of need. Not all elder attorneys are familiar with every aspect of senior law because of its complexity.
You can begin your search for an attorney by asking around for a referral from friends and family. Your financial planner or tax advisor may also have local recommendations. You can also search on the following websites by area and specialty: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Elder Law Foundation, or Super Lawyers. The State Bar of Maryland also lets you search for a Maryland State Bar Association lawyer based on specialty and location.
A lawyer referral service is available to those who need reduced fees or pro bono legal advice.
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