When seniors plan out their retirement, they think about the places they’ll go, the friends and family they’ll see, and the hobbies they’ll enjoy. Rarely do they plan on dealing with legal battles that involve federal benefits, insurance companies, and healthcare providers but unfortunately that is a reality for many seniors. Luckily, an elder law attorney can help you with these legal woes and make sure that your wishes and desires are met and respected. They can also save you valuable time and money so you can truly enjoy your retirement years.
Couldn’t you get legal help from any regular attorney? Maybe you already have a family attorney and think they can help you just as much. They might be able to give you general help and advice but there are so many complicated aspects of senior issues and it’s quite possible that a regular attorney might miss some important parts. Elder law specialists are highly trained in the complex areas of senior law and can help you make important decisions about your future.
They also understand that many of these senior issues are intertwined and what you do in one area will affect another. Things like Medicaid benefits can be affected by your assets and your assets can be affected by an inheritance. Elder law attorneys know this and will expertly guide you through the whole process. They can also tend to your emotional needs and due to their connections in the senior community, provide you with extra support and care.
Certainly if you’re a senior and you have had any legal issues dealing with federal benefits, estate planning, or advance healthcare directives, you should contact an elder law attorney who can help you. If you’re the friend or family member of a senior you can also contact an elder law attorney when it comes to issues of guardianship, inheritance, or your loved one has lost the ability to manage their affairs. Anyone who is a victim of or suspects senior abuse or neglect should also hire an elder law attorney as soon as possible.
You won’t need an elder law attorney the minute you achieve senior status, but it’s a good idea to hire one as you start to plan your estate. Again, this is a complicated process that involves many other aspects of elder law and an attorney that specializes in these areas will be able to guide you through the whole process while making sure your wishes are respected the whole time.
That being said, you or your loved ones, can hire an elder law attorney if there is ever any problem or confusion over things like:
Medicaid and VA benefits
Long-term care options
Ageism or discrimination in the workplace
It’s better to contact a lawyer before any of these issues become huge problems. Not every elder law attorney will be able to help you with every single senior matter, so make sure you find one that specializes in the area you need.
Rather than just opening the phone book or going with the first commercial for elder law attorneys, you should do some research to find the best one for your needs. Friends and family can offer suggestions, a family lawyer could give a recommendation, and you can look at websites that rate the top lawyers in your area like Super Lawyers.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Elder Law Foundation also have a list of reputable lawyers that specialize in elder law. You can also find legal help from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. They have legal resources including a listing of pro bono lawyers and help in the area.
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