When you think of retiring and the “golden years,” you probably don’t think about all the complicated senior issues like long-term health insurance, retirement funding, elderly government programs, and housing options. You also need to have your will updated with your final wishes and other estate planning ready for your family. Planning these types of matters can be confusing and stressful, and this is why you should hire an elder law attorney to guide you through your choices.
Senior issues are rather complex, and not every attorney may be entirely familiar with all the rules and regulations. If you don’t follow the rules correctly, you can ultimately affect another one of your plans. For example, one wrong choice with Medicare or Medicaid can adversely harm your estate, even if the decision was by accident. There are so many issues you will need to address such as Medicare, Medicaid, health law, and long-term care that it’s best to have an expert help guide you.
Elder attorneys also are aware of the emotional side of this type of planning and can provide support as you make decisions for both you and your family. They can also assist you with finding community resources if you need additional assistance.
You can hire your lawyer directly for all your affairs. However, the family may need to hire an attorney at various times such as to get guardianship of their loved one when they feel their loved one cannot make appropriate decisions anymore. If the family suspects fraud or neglect, they may need to hire a lawyer on their loved one’s behalf.
When you are ready to create or update your will, this is probably the best time to get other senior planning completed. You can search for a lawyer with experience in other matters such as health law, retirement funding, housing, long-term care, and senior government programs. You can then finalize all your plans at once to prevent any additional stress on your family or caregivers down the road.
Other issues you may need advice from a lawyer include:
Discrimination both housing and job-related
Medicare and Medicaid claims
Long-term health insurance
Transferring assets to your spouse or other family members
Retirement including pension and survivor benefits
Most elder law attorneys typically do not concentrate in every aspect of senior affairs, so you will need to ask the attorney about his or her expertise other than the large concentration of senior law.
Start with asking your family, friends, and other acquaintances about their experiences with a local attorney. Your financial planner, family lawyer, or tax advisor may also have some suggestions on local elder law attorneys. The Louisiana State Bar Association has a list of member lawyers you can search. You can also look for attorneys on other websites such as National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Elder Law Foundation, or Super Lawyers.
The Louisiana Bar Association also provides pro bono services for those in need.
Find assisted living in New Orleans near you.