Benefits of an Elder Law Attorney
As you consider long-term care planning for yourself or a loved one, it’s best to consult with an attorney who specializes in the areas that directly affect seniors.
What Is Elder Law?
Elder law is commonly defined as an area of legal practice that specializes in issues that affect the aging population. Its purpose is to prepare people for financial freedom and autonomy through proper financial planning and long-term care options.
Elder law attorneys help individuals and their families plan for retiree benefits, healthcare and long-term care, Medicaid and Medicare coverage and more. They can also help provide guidance when decisions are being made on legal documents, and any other legal issues seniors may encounter.
Elder Law Attorney Areas of Expertise
- Estate Planning
- Social Security
- Long-term Care
- Healthcare Decision-making
- Employment Discrimination
- Elder Abuse or Fraud
- Grandparents Visitation Rights
- Power of Attorney
- Drafting Trusts
How Do I Find an Elder Law Attorney?
Get a recommendation from someone you trust.
Ask your family or friends if they have a lawyer they trust who specializes in elder law. If they have a lawyer they’re happy with and would work with again, that’s a good sign.
Another good source for recommendations are financial advisors, accountants and fiduciaries (someone legally appointed to manage money). These professionals often work with elder law attorneys and would likely be able to share their connection.
Check out the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is the professional organization for attorneys who specialize in elder law and special needs planning. Established in 1987, NAELA is a nonprofit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. NAELA's mission is to educate, inspire, serve and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. Members of NAELA are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of older Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. The NAELA website includes an attorney finder to help you find an elder law attorney in your area.
Questions to Ask When Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
If you decide that speaking with an elder law attorney is right for you, there are some questions you will want to consider asking before entering into an agreement.
- How long has the attorney been practicing elder law and how much of their practice is dedicated to elder law?
- When was the last time the attorney handled a case like yours?
- Will your attorney be handling the case, or will it be assigned to another lawyer in the practice?
- What kind of training do the law firm’s paralegals have?
- Has the attorney ever been disciplined by their state bar association? If so, when and what for?
- What are the attorney’s fees? Are there written fee agreements and firm policies regarding telephone, email, meetings, after hours contact, etc.?
Once you have set up an appointment, make sure to bring all the information necessary to get the most out of the time with your attorney. Ask a trusted loved one to come with you to meet your elder law attorney, assess any paperwork and help you make the right decision for you.
Life at American House
Many retirees find relocating to a senior community is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
Today’s communities offer beautifully designed apartments with spacious floor plans, resort-style accommodations and a number of social activities. The safety and security of a senior living community can also provide peace of mind.
At American House, we offer maintenance-free living at its finest. Our charming communities feature spacious apartments with a variety of amenities and services. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, weekly housekeeping, salon and barber shop services, fitness centers and so much more. With locations in Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and Tennessee, you’re sure to find the proper level of care and services to fit your needs.
Contact us to find out which American House community is right for you.
* Care provided by an independent, third-party healthcare provider at select communities.
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