You want to be able to spend as much of your retirement as you can enjoying the things and people you love but the reality for many seniors is that you will spend a lot of time haggling with healthcare providers, pension plan advisors, and various government agencies trying to get the services and benefits you deserve. You also have to think about writing your will and planning your estate. To save yourself a lot of time and stress you might want to hire an elder law attorney who can make sure you get what you need and deserve and will allow you to enjoy your retirement years.
When it comes to elder law, things can get complicated quickly and while a regular attorney might be able to give you general advice only an elder law attorney can give you the full expertise that you need. They deal with these legal issues every day and understand how connected everything can be like Medicaid benefits and personal assets. Because your assets determine your benefits, if your assets change so will your benefits and perhaps your health care options.
Your elder law attorney can also be a valuable connection to resources in the community. Seniors often face some difficult times and your attorney can use their standing in the community to get you the help you and your family might need during this time.
You might think that only seniors can use elder law attorneys but there are a few other groups that could benefit as well. Anyone, for example, can consult an elder law attorney if they believe a senior is the victim of physical or financial abuse. Family members of seniors can consult an elder law attorney if they are concerned about the mental capacity of their loved ones to handle their affairs or if they have questions about conservatorship or guardianship. And of course, seniors can consult an elder law attorney anytime they have legal issues that pertain to elder law.
When you start to write your will or plan your estate you might also want to hire an elder law attorney. Planning your estate can involve a lot of different aspects of elder law and if you don’t know what you’re doing it can get complicated fast. An elder law attorney will be able to deal with things like advance health care directives, federal benefits, and asset ownership and their expertise will make the process much easier.
You can also contact an elder law attorney if you have questions or issues with:
Long-term care options and insurance
Medicaid or VA benefits
Retirement planning and management
Elder law attorneys often only specialize in a few aspects of elder law so you will want to find one that meets your needs before you decide to hire them.
You can ask your close relatives, friends, and neighbors if they have any good recommendations on attorneys near you. You might also be able to get a referral if you know any other attorneys near you. Both the National Elder Law Foundation and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys have search tools for each state and Super Lawyers lists top-rated lawyers in your city.
The Kentucky Bar association has a lawyer directory service as well as a lawyer referral service so you can find attorneys in your area or be matched with the right fit for your legal needs. Legal aid is also available if you’re a low-income senior who needs legal help.
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