Old age comes with its own set of challenges. Whether you are getting old or have elderly parents, there are several things that you will have to take care of. Some of these things include legal decisions around asset protection, long-term care, medical directives, and more. Burzynski Elder Law can help you with the right tools you need to help you or your loved ones get the right care.
Who is an Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law attorneys focus on working with seniors and caregivers of aging family members on various legal matters that they may face as they grow old. They can help you with Medicaid planning to protect financial assets when you or your adult parents have conditions that may need long-term care. They also help you prepare estate documents, durable powers of attorney for medical and health requirements and establish a trust for an adult child with special needs. Specific areas where an elder law attorney can help include:
- Creating important legal documents like powers of attorney
- Planning for long-term care
- Medicaid and Medicare planning
- Estate planning
- Veterans benefits
- Elder abuse
- Disability planning
How Can An Elder Law Lawyer Help You?
The lawyer can help you in two primary ways. They are:
Help you Plan for your Future and Protect your Property
The attorney will have the legal expertise to help you plan your future care needs. They can help you with information on topics like:
- Qualifying for Medicaid so that it pays for nursing home care
- Protecting your parents’ assets and home while still affording the care they need
- Ensuring your spouse has money left after all your care expenses are paid
- Becoming your parents’ conservator or guardian
Ensure Your Legal Documents are Correct for your State
Each state has different laws, so it is important to ensure all your legal documents like powers of attorney, wills, and living wills are correct. The attorney will ensure that you have completed all the important legal paperwork required and will also check if they are compliant with the local and state laws.
Tips to Hire an Elder Law Attorney
Below are five important tips for hiring a lawyer for elder law:
Request to Meet the Lawyer
Every lawyer who practices elder law offers different types of services. Schedule a one-to-one meeting with a prospective lawyer. The meeting will help you understand the lawyer’s style of working, services they offer, consultation fees, and experience. Go prepared with questions to ask. Inform the lawyer about your situation and see what they have to say. Once you have met with multiple prospective lawyers, you can compare their advice and see which one suits you best.
While most attorneys are knowledgeable, experience only comes with years of practice and the number of cases one has handled. Find out about a prospective lawyer’s experience in handling situations similar to yours. For instance, if you need a Power of Attorney, estate planning, or long-term care, find out how much experience the lawyer has in these matters.
Evaluate the Lawyer’s Customer Service
When dealing with elder law issues, it is important to work with someone reliable, professional, and responsive. Consider how responsive the prospective lawyer is to your queries and calls. Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating the lawyers’ customer service:
- Were they professional and polite?
- Did they explain things patiently to ensure you understood everything, or did they just rush through the information?
- Do they respond to calls and emails on time?
- Do they follow through with things they promise they will do?
These questions will help you understand whether the lawyer is motivated enough to handle your case and whether they can be trusted.
Take as many detailed notes as possible when you evaluate various lawyers. You won’t remember every detail and answer provided by every lawyer when you meet or speak to them. You can refer back to these detailed notes to see what response you have got from the lawyers and which ones you think gave the most suitable answers. Note down every little detail, their qualifications, experience, costing, and style of work.
Check the Lawyer’s Credentials
As you research prospective lawyers for elder law, ensure you verify their credentials and experience. Visit the State Bar Association website and check if they are licensed to practice elder law in your state. This will also tell you if they have been publicly disciplined or if there are any issues you should be concerned about.