If most your retirement years have been spent dealing with things like pension plans, insurance companies, healthcare providers, federal benefits, and estate planning, you probably feel drained and defeated. Your senior years should be for relaxing and enjoying your friends and family not constantly battling government agencies and healthcare. An elder law attorney can help you handle most if not all of these issues and allow you to save your time and money doing the things you love. They will work to make sure your desires and wishes are respected and you get the most of your golden years.
Some people believe that any lawyer can handle any issue, and while it might be true that lawyers have a general knowledge of many legal matters, they aren’t experts in every field. Elder law can be a complicated and confusing field and there are many instances where one decision can affect an array of other aspects. Things like Medicaid benefits and pensions can be linked to your assets and your assets can be affected by an estate plan or an inheritance.
Elder law attorneys know exactly how to deal will all of these complex issues and can make sure they guide in the right direction. They won’t let one wrong decision affect other areas of your life and they will also respect your emotional needs. Often they can not only offer legal help but connect you to other resources and support you might need.
You, of course, can hire an elder law attorney if you have any questions, concerns, or issues that involve your senior status. Your friends and family can also seek the advice of an elder law attorney when it comes to things like guardianship, power of attorney, and inheritance. They should also contact your lawyer if you have one if you are no longer able to manage your affairs. Senior abuse and neglect are also common issues and anyone can contact a lawyer if abuse is suspected.
You don’t want to wait too long before you hire an elder law attorney because it can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. The best time is when you begin to plan your estate or write out your will. This is often a complex process that has many steps and an attorney who knows everything about estate planning, federal benefits, and advance healthcare directives will be able to guide you through everything and make your future less stressful.
There are other times that you should contact an elder law attorney and those include topics like:
Senior neglect or abuse
Dealing with insurance companies
Understanding Medicaid or VA benefits
Senior housing issues
Discrimination at work
Long-term care options
Keep in mind that you should find an attorney that specializes specifically in the concerns you have. Not every elder law attorney will be able to help you with every single need.
There are a few ways that you can find an attorney you trust. Start by asking friends and family in your neighborhood if they have any suggestions or if you have a family lawyer talk to them and see who they would recommend. You can also search online at websites like Super Lawyers that rate the top lawyers in your area. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Elder Law Foundation also have local databases you can search.
The Missouri Bar allows you to search for lawyers as well as look up any lawyer you find in their directory and find discounted and pro bono lawyers that help low-income families.
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