What Are The Most Important Issues An Elder Law Attorney Can Help With?

What are the most important issues an Elder Law Attorney can help you with?

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As the name suggests, an elder law attorney is an attorney with special training in elder law. Elder law deals with all the legal laws and provisions made available to senior citizens as well as the common issues this category of persons face, such as elder abuse. Elder law attorneys typically handle issues concerning long-term care, retirement, elder abuse, guardianship, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and estate planning.

With age comes a lot of issues, and an elder law attorney in New York can help caregivers and wards navigate those issues. In the end, you will find that hiring an elder law attorney is a worthy investment.

Top 6 areas where an elder law attorney can assist you

1. Estate planning

It doesn’t matter if all you have is a house and a small amount of money in the bank. If you do not do estate planning, those things may go into the ownership of someone less deserving of it when you pass away. To have a say in where your hard-earned assets end up, you need to do estate planning.

Note that estate planning is more that writing a will, although that is fundamental. Estate planning also has to do with adopting legal strategies to ensure that your beneficiaries get the most out of your estate rather than getting it eaten up in taxes, liens, or by creditors. Through estate planning, you can decide who manages your finances and personal affairs when you become incapacitated or very old.

The following are documents an elder law attorney will help you create:

  • A will – denoting who you want to have a share in your estate. You can also name a guardian for your minors since children less than 18 cannot inherit property. So the guardian will manage the assets you leave for your children’s benefits until they come of age.
  • Durable financial power of attorney – A durable financial power of attorney is a document on which you appoint an agent (attorney-in-fact) to manage your financial affairs in the event you become unable to manage them yourself.
  •  Durable medical power of attorney – A medical power of attorney or healthcare surrogate is a document on which you appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so yourself.
  • Living trust – In addition to transferring assets quickly, living trusts offer other benefits like probate avoidance. They are best for complex estates since the court, which makes things more complex, will no longer be involved in the asset transfer. You can also name a successor trustee who will manage the trust assets on your behalf in the event something happens to you.
  • Living will- Also called an advance healthcare directive, a living will allows you make decisions on what medical actions you would want taken when you are in an end-of-life situation.

2. Social Security benefits

When you turn 61 and nine months old, you are eligible to apply for Social Security benefits. An elder law attorney can help you ensure you receive the full amount of benefits due you based on your condition.

3. Medicare

Medicare is a health insurance provided by the federal government for senior citizens above the age of 65. There are so many benefits that come with Medicare, but it can get really confusing for citizens, with some hardly knowing whether they qualify or not, and others at a loss how to apply. An elder Law Attorney can help you navigate the issues surrounding your eligibility and even help you apply.

Medicare has different parts: Part A covers your stay in a long-term care facility or hospital; Part B is a medical insurance covering your health care costs; Part C is an insurance plan you have to buy from a private company; Part D covers your drug prescriptions.

However, it gets confusing knowing exactly what Medicare is supposed to pay for at each given time. It becomes important to seek help from an attorney.

4. Medicaid

Medicaid provides healthcare benefits to low income adults, disabled children and adults, and pregnant women. You can receive both Medicare and Medicaid. Just like Medicare, it’s not so easy telling what and what you can get for free. An elder law attorney will assist you.

5. Long-term care

As sad as it is to think about, there may come a time you need someone to care for you. It’s either you are put in an assisted living facility or cared for by your child. Whatever the case, caring for you will attract huge costs and it’s important to plan ahead by getting a long-term care insurance.

6. Elder Abuse

It’s not uncommon to find senior citizens getting abused in the nursing home or even by their caregiver. Some are even extorted of their hard-earned money. If you discover your elderly loved one is suffering undesirable conditions, it’s a wise idea to call an elder law attorney to get justice for your loved one.

Are you looking for an elder law attorney near you in New York? Call our law office to speak with one.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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