Dallas Elder Law Attorneys

The “golden years” are supposed to involve a simpler, more relaxing routine. Unfortunately, the senior years can get complicated. We can find ourselves dealing with insurance companies, government agencies, housing providers, pension-plan administrators, and health care providers on a dishearteningly regular basis. We also have to think about end-of-life issues and crafting a will. In all of these situations, high-quality legal advice is important. A good elder law attorney can restore the shine to your golden years by saving you time, sparing you runarounds, and ensuring that your needs and wishes are respected.

Why Does Elder Law Specialization Matter?

Some aspects of elder law, particularly estate planning, Medicaid benefits, guardianship, and senior housing, are complex legal topics on their own, and decisions in one area can affect other areas. For example, VA Aid & Attendance pension and Medicaid benefit eligibility are linked to a person’s assets, which can be affected by inheritance and estate plans.

Elder law specialists are also attuned to and experienced with the emotional needs of senior clients and their families. Many elder law practices can direct clients and families to additional community resources, such as social workers with elder care experience.

Who Can Hire An Elder Law Attorney?

You can hire an elder law attorney for your own planning and problem-solving. Family members and friends may also want elder law advice on the legal guardianship or conservatorship process, if they suspect a loved one can no longer manager his or her affairs and is at risk for—or is already a victim of–financial exploitation, neglect, or other forms of elder abuse.

When Is The Best Time To Work With An Elder Law Expert?

The ideal time to find an elder law attorney is when you are planning your estate or revising your will. An elder lawyer who specializes in estate planning and advance health care directives, and who understands how asset ownership and transfer can be intertwined with federal benefits, can help you plan now for a less-stressful future for yourself, your family, and your caregivers.

That said, any time you have an issue that relates to your senior status (or a loved one’s), you can contact an elder law attorney for help. Situations that may call for legal help are:

age discrimination on the job or in housing

retirement benefits management and dispute resolution

insurance and long-term care needs, and

Medicaid and VA benefit claims and appeals

Not every elder law attorney specializes in every aspect of elder law, so ask around to find the expertise that fits your needs.

Where Can You Find An Elder Law Attorney?

It’s always a good idea to ask your family and friends for local recommendations. Your financial planner or family lawyer may be able to make referrals. You can also search for local elder law attorneys listed with the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Elder Law Foundation, or Super Lawyers. The State Bar of Texas has a search tool that includes lawyers who specialize in senior and elder issues. Ask each lawyer you contact about his or her professional affiliations, elder law experience, and particular areas of expertise before you decide on an attorney.

The State Bar also offers a low-cost help line and online resources for families who need free or discounted legal services.

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