Almost 15% of the entire US population consists of people aged 65 and over.
Elder law was created as a specialty of law because of how long individuals started to live in the US. Now, more and more people turn to elder lawyers to get the help they need in various parts of their lives.
Are you interested in getting in touch with an elder law attorney? If so, you likely have some legal issues going on that you’re not sure about.
Keep reading below to learn about what an elder law attorney is and why they may be helpful to you.
What Is an Elder Law Attorney?
An elder law attorney is a specialized type of attorney that will assist seniors with different issues. They have an extensive scope of what they can help seniors handle because there are so many different regulations and laws that can impact a senior’s quality of life.
While elder law attorneys have a keen eye for all legal implications, they also are sensitive to the issues that aging individuals face, including financial, physical, or social concerns. This helps them understand the vulnerable position of seniors in the United States and allows for better reciprocity and understanding throughout the process.
Another thing that elder lawyers are likely to do for you is to provide a network of other professionals they know and trust. This could be social workers, psychologists, or health workers that can aid in consulting about the case. As a result, the approach of many elder lawyers is very holistic.
As you’ll see below, there are many instances in which an elder law attorney can assist an individual or a family. Knowing when to hire one can be difficult, but with the many elder law solutions they can provide, it is worth your time.
What Issues Can Elder Lawyers Help With?
Some people believe that elder lawyers are only needed in high-risk situations or situations that seem extremely complex. Realistically, however, they can help families and senior individuals with a lot of common issues that impact the lives of elderly persons in our community.
A simple list of some of the basic things that most elder lawyers can provide services for includes:
- Elder abuse
- Wills (and other financial documents)
- Estates and trusts
- Senior living facilities or placement
- Recent divorce
- Substantial assets
- Social security and disability claims
- Medicare or Medicaid
- Transfer of assets (regarding spouse entering a care facility)
Many elder attorneys will specialize in a specific area that they want to work in, but most can help with a broad spectrum of these types of concerns.
For example, if there is a legal concern regarding the health and safety of a senior living facility, it would be wise to consult with an attorney on this matter.
In addition to that, concerns related to estate planning, creating a will, capital gains, or special needs/disability can also be addressed by a lawyer.
If a senior has adult children taking advantage of their financial situation or living situation, an elder lawyer can help with this problem. If a senior is getting married again and wants to ensure they are protected, an elder lawyer should be consulted to ensure everything is set in stone.
In essence, elder law is meant to help with almost any type of legal concern impacting an elderly person (indirectly or directly).
Choosing the Right Elder Law Attorney
You want to look for several characteristics when trying to hire an elder law attorney because you want to make sure that you hire the right person for you. You’ll find that with so many attorneys to choose from, the selection is wide, and your decision is difficult.
One thing to consider is personality. You need an attorney that you’re comfortable with and don’t feel the need to hide from. It is important to be open, honest, and communicative with any attorney that you hire, so be assured that it is someone that you’re satisfied being around.
You also want to think about their professional experience. The main reason for this is that any lawyer that has been in practice for years has exactly that – more practice.
While a new lawyer isn’t inherently bad, they won’t have the experience, skills developed over time, or insights that a seasoned attorney may have.
Think about the specializations of the attorney you’re considering. While it is true that elder lawyers can work with elderly persons in a wide variety of circumstances, it may be more beneficial to you or your family to hire a professional that specializes in your area of concern.
Consider your state’s laws. Not all elder laws are the same across state lines, and you want to talk to an attorney that understands the specific laws in your state backward and forward.
There are generally going to be formalities that states will require for your claims, documents, or lawsuits to be effective.
Hire an Elder Law Attorney Today
Now that you have a better idea of why you may want to hire an elder law attorney, it’s time to start your search for the perfect match.
Whether you need someone specializing in estate planning, knows the ins and outs of senior living facilities, or can assist you with “problem children,” an elder law attorney can help.
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