The golden years may be more complicated than seniors think. Seniors face difficult decisions with complex issues such as insurance, housing needs, government programs, and retirement benefits. Also, you will need to update your will and estate plans with your final wishes. An elder attorney will offer advice and help guide you through these complex matters to make the decision that is best for you.
Senior issues are often complicated. There are several terms and conditions with issues like Medicaid, Medicare, retirement funds, Social Security benefits, and long-term health care. A senior may be confused when having to deal with these matters on a regular basis. One decision can also affect another area. Medicare and Medicaid can unintentionally hurt your estate if you don’t follow the rules correctly.
Elder attorneys will work with the client and their family on the emotional side of the senior law. The senior and his or her family may be facing a difficult time, and senior law addresses issues that can be upsetting to some people. These lawyers can also refer their clients and families to community resources for additional assistance.
You can choose to hire the attorney directly to handle your affairs or for advice on legal matters. A senior’s family may also have a need for an elder attorney to get guardianship when they feel their loved one can no longer make the right decision, or the family may need to hire a lawyer if they feel their loved one is a victim of elder abuse like financial exploitation or neglect.
When it is time to revise your will, this is a very good time to contact an attorney. You should consider hiring an experienced elder law attorney that is familiar with other senior issues like long-term health care, retirement funding, and federal benefits. This way this attorney can also help you plan other upcoming issues to prevent stress for your family in the future.
Here are some other matters when you may need an attorney:
Long-term care placement
Medicare claims and appeals
Transfer of assets
Retirement, both private and public benefits
Most elder law attorneys do not specialize in all areas of senior law, so be sure to find one that handles your matters of concern and is familiar with other issues you may want to address.
You should begin your search by asking around for recommendations from friends and family. Your financial planner or tax advisor may also provide local referrals. There are affiliation websites offering search functions to find a lawyer including National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Elder Law Foundation, or Super Lawyers. The State Bar of Missouri has a Lawyer Search Service to find lawyers accepting new clients, and you can search by location and area of practice.
If you need assistance paying for legal services, State Bar of Missouri offers assistance finding discounted or pro bono services.
Find assisted living in Kansas City near you.