What is Elder Law?
Elder law is an area of practice for lawyers who handle the kinds of issues commonly faced by the elderly and disabled. The legal problems of older persons can include almost every area of the law but certain issues impact seniors more regularly than others.
Common areas of law involved include: Long-Term Care Planning (including Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, Family Caregiver Agreement, Medical Assistance Medicare, Medicaid issues); Estate Planning (including Special Needs Trusts, Gifting of Assets, Estate Distribution & Tax Issues, etc) Real Estate Transfers (including Life Estates, Reverse Mortgages, Fee Simple Transfers to Family Members, etc) Guardianship, Elder Care & Abuse Issues & Concerns.
Do you need an Elder Law Attorney?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may need an attorney who has knowledge and experience in Elder Law:
How Is Long Term Care and Estate Planning different now than in the past?
It used to be that the primary concern of most people doing estate planning was the avoidance of federal and state taxes due at death. While this may still be a concern for some people, changes in the tax laws have made it much less of a concern for most people.
However, because of changes in the Medical Assistance laws, advances in health care and the ever increasing cost of health and nursing care the concerns of most people today are not what will happen when they die, but what will happen to them and/or their property before they die, if they, or their spouse, should become physically or mentally disabled.
Some of these concerns include:
There are a number of ways of approaching these problems, depending on the facts, and an attorney practicing in the area of Elder Law has the knowledge to provide advice and if necessary legal assistance and representation to guide you in making plans for your future or that of a family member.
Why can't I wait until I need care or assistance to do Elder care and Estate Planning?
Because of the ever changing laws governing the transfer of property or “gifting”, waiting to plan or taking action without first thoroughly understanding the implications and reviewing all options can have disastrous results.
Isn’t it expensive to do Elder care and Estate Planning?
Not necessarily. Every person’s situation is different. For some getting basic advice and implementing some simple plans can result in tremendous benefits in future. For others more extensive planning may be prudent and necessary to achieve meaningful results. The cost can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
The only way to know is to first sit down with an Elder Law attorney and perhaps a financial planner and/or accountant, get some advice and then thoroughly review the situations to decide what if anything should be done.
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where you can get the basic information to get started is currently
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