When you think about retirement you probably only imagine the fun and relaxing aspects like visiting with friends and family, traveling, or taking up new hobbies. You don’t consider things like failing health and having to deal with pension plans, insurance companies, and various government agencies but that is the reality for many seniors. Instead of enjoying their golden years they are fighting through them trying to get the things and care they need. The help and support of an elder law attorney, can put a stop to those frustrating issues and allow you to get back to enjoying your senior years.
You might think that it would be just as beneficial to use a family lawyer or regular lawyer when it comes to your senior issues. Regular attorneys can help, but they don’t understand the complexities of elder law like an attorney who specializes in this field. Many aspects of elder law are complicated and intertwined so one bad decision can start a domino effect through other areas of your life. An elder law attorney knows this and they understand that things like asset ownership and inheritance can affect your Medicaid benefits or VA assistance.
These attorneys are also experienced with the emotional needs of seniors during this time and can put you in contact with the support or care that you need. They can also help families and caregivers deal with trying times and make sure they are cared for as well.
Two main groups of people will benefit the most from an elder law attorney: seniors and family or friends who have senior loved ones. As a senior, you can contact an elder law attorney whenever you have problems, questions, or concerns with any issue involving your senior status. As a family member of a senior, you can contact an elder law attorney if you need advice on issues like legal guardianship, inheritance, or long-term care options. It’s also a good idea to contact an attorney if your loved one can no longer make decisions for themselves or if you suspect any type of physical, mental, or financial abuse.
Right from the beginning of planning your estate, you should use the advice and expertise of an elder law attorney. You want to make sure every aspect of your care and assets are provided for and because it can be a complicated and time-consuming process, an elder law attorney who understands things like advance healthcare directives, asset ownership, federal benefits, and estate planning can make the process far easier. It will also lift the burden off your family if you’re unable to manage your estate in the future.
You can also hire an attorney at any point you feel senior issues are in question or you need advice on things like:
Long-term care options
Suspicion of abuse or neglect
Before you hire any lawyer, make sure they are well-versed and specialize in the concerns you need help with. Not all elder law attorneys will specialize in every area of elder law.
Do your research before hiring an elder law attorney and make sure don’t have any blemishes on their record. Friends, family, and family lawyers in your area can give you good suggestions on who to contact. Super Lawyers is a website that lists top-rated lawyers in your area and the databases on the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and National Elder Law Foundation are good places to start.
The Colorado Bar Association hosts Senior Law Day events that provide information and resources to seniors who need help with some aspect of elder law. You can also search attorney records here to make sure whoever you hire is qualified.
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