Elder Law Attorneys Use Living Wills and Last Will and Testaments to Honor Clients’ Final Requests

January 11th, 2021 by admin No comments »

Elder law attorneys assist clients with complex matters that pertain to their final affairs — this is referred to as estate planning. Estate planning often includes both types of wills: A Living Will and a Last Will and Testament. These forms serve to protect you, as well as loved ones who may be affected when circumstances indicate that one cannot work in his or her own best interest any longer.

When It Comes To Elder Law, Lawyers Draft Wills That Protect You, Your Loved Ones and Your Assets

A Living Will is a written and signed legal document that provides both health care providers and family members with instructions regarding how you would like to proceed in the event that you require long term health care, are diagnosed with a terminal illness or fall into a long term vegetative state. Living Wills detail your wishes regarding what kind of resuscitation or artificial life preservation efforts should be made on your behalf. By planning ahead and drafting a Living Will with an elder law attorney, you reserve the right to make decisions on your own behalf that legally must be honored by anyone entrusted with your care.

Elder law lawyers also specialize in creating Last Will and Testament documents, which safeguard four important aspects of your financial estate. Together with your lawyer, you can discuss a plan of action as to who shall take over as the executor of your estate, with the amount of influence and power this person should have in managing your assets. Your Last Will and Testament also details who shall inherit your property, as well as how your property and assets are going to be divided. Having a legal document outlining the division of your estate ensures that your property shall be inherited as you see fit.

Wills can also serve another important purpose, one that is not related to financial affairs at all. They can serve to appoint a legal guardian for any minor children or incompetent adults that have been in your custody and care. Having a lawyer draft your Last Will and Testament to include guardianship clauses can protect both children and adults by having the terms set into a document that is legally obligated be upheld in the event of your death.

An Attorney That Specializes in Elder Law Can Guide You Toward Making the Right Decisions

Although wills are commonly used as a directive for financial and health affairs, there could be variations to each document, or use of various other documents, that are employed depending on situational factors. Hiring elder law attorneys to draft these documents is an invaluable service, which ensures clients that their wishes and directives shall be followed in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. When it comes to elder law, lawyers have the knowledge and experience to draft the appropriate forms and documents to keep you, your loved ones and your assets secure.

Elder Law and the Role of Elder Law Attorneys

December 15th, 2020 by admin No comments »

As we can observe, learning about Elder Law is something that is not so interesting for younger individuals – at least, for now – as this practically does not apply to them personally. And you might be thinking the same way. But the thing is, we should realize that we will age in time and that should be enough reason why it makes sense to have some knowledge about this area of the law – all of us, young and old. It can help us when we get old. Aside from that, we can also offer some help for seniors by imparting what we learn as early as today.

In our attempt to learn about this thing, Elder Law Attorneys play an important role. They are legal professional who specialize in the area of law that focuses on representing, counseling, and assisting seniors or aged people in a variety of legal issues. Generally, they help seniors in addressing legal, medical, financial, social, and family issues, with emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for them.

Below are some specific issues that Elder Law Attorneys address:

Estate and Gift Tax Planning – they provide this particular service with the purpose of assisting clients to adequately provide liquidity for their estates; provide for continuation of the business and to minimize gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Medicaid – seniors are also assisted whether they are qualified for Medicaid, a government medical program for certain people and families with low income.
Retirement Benefits – this is one of the most important areas that senior individuals should be knowledgeable about and a lawyer who is expert in Elder Law can help to get the most benefits they can possibly get.
Estate Planning and Probate – estate planning, by definition, is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate; probate means legal establishment of the validity of a will before a judicial authority.
Age Discrimination – a very common scenario you can see around particular in work where there is a high rate of layoffs based on age.
Long Term Care Financing – this has something to do with preparation for possible future long-term care needs, which basically rely on ’self-insured’ resources and the donated ones. An expert Elder Law attorney helps you understand the concepts behind such program and assist you along the way to make the most out of it.
Insurance – attorneys can also help seniors to be able to enjoy insurance benefits; they assist them particularly when it comes to legalities and laws governing insurance policy benefits that are especially designed for seniors.

The Ultimate Role of Elder Law in Society

December 8th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Certain professionals in the law field specialize in safeguarding the rights of the aging population. It’s quite obvious that a large percentage of the senior citizens have little or no say in the society when left on their own and this highly subjects them to risks of being mishandled by the rest especially when they don’t have relatives or close friends to take good care of them. In such instances, the Elder Law comes as the last option for such people. This team of professionals practicing the Elder Law protects the elderly from such victimizations.

How the Elder Law works

The Elder Law is mandated to protect the old people from going through certain hardships that result from their old age.
Health is one of the common factors contributing to poor life among the elderly ones and this law ensures that the necessary health care services are made available on regular basis for such people and this helps so much make their life better as compared to when left out there to take care of themselves.
The old ones are also not energetic to work and earn their living and this being basic can be quite frustrating if not provided. The same law is entitled to make such basic facilities available for the old ones and this further helps shape their live more.

How to contract an Elder Law firm for related services

Getting into an agreement with an Elder Law lawyer can cost you less than one can expect and the procedures involved are quite cheap to follow up. This ensures that no one is scared away while looking for such services and that everyone has equal rights to enjoy such services.
However, the charges are fair enough to bear with for most law firms providing such services. Such old people are mandated to financial support and imposing heavy charges to them doesn’t look good although not all law firms put this factor into consideration.
Actually such people are highly helped throughout the filling process as their age does not allow them to take such responsibilities on their own.

Other services provided by this law is ensuring that the aging ones are protected against losing their property to fraudsters and also following up certain requirements like pension on their behalf. Therefore the Elder Law should ensure that the lives of their clients are free from minor problems resulting from their old age.

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What You Need to Know About Elder Law

November 23rd, 2020 by admin No comments »

The legal needs of many older Americans go beyond basic legal services, and they’re all interconnected. In addition to understanding the legal issues and complications that older Americans face, elder law attorneys must also understand the surrounding personal concerns of their clients-for example, health, financial, and family issues-and how those affect their clients’ legal issues.

The three main areas of focus for elder law attorneys include health care, estate and tax planning, and guardianship matters. More specific areas of expertise include:

End of life planning. This could extend to planning your health care support system as you age, setting power of attorney, establishing a living will, and other issues surrounding end of life care.

Financial issues. This often covers retirement and financial planning, housing financing, income and estate tax planning, and gift tax issues.

Long term care. This could include planning for asset protection, insurance for in-home care or assistance with activities of daily living, Medicare planning, insurance, Veterans’ benefits, and more.

Residents’ rights issues. This could include any claims you bring while a patient in a nursing home or long term care facility.

Workplace discrimination issues. Older Americans sometimes face age and disability discrimination in the workplace; an elder law attorney can help you plan and execute your case.

Guardianship issues. This might include guardianship avoidance, planning wills and trusts, planning for the future of special needs children, probate court, and other issues surrounding minor or adult children.

Landlord / tenant law. This could mean handling disputes with landlords, contesting an eviction, dealing with foreclosure issues, and more.

Abuse, neglect, and fraud. These attorneys specialize in cases where an older client is being victimized. In these cases, the attorney can serve as a victim’s advocate and help get the client placed in a safer area if needed or get restitution from the abuser.

There are special certifications such as the Certified Elder Law Attorney credential from the National Elder Law Foundation. To earn this certification, you must have at least five years of experience practicing law, and have spent at least sixteen hours per week in the field of elder law during the previous three years, among other qualifications. The examination process lasts a full day.

An elder law attorney can be a great partner for you as you plan out the legal and financial aspects of the next stage of your life-or the life of a loved one. Ask how long the attorney has been practicing, the percentage of his or her practice that has been in elder law, and whether there are aspects of this field the attorney specializes in-and you should be able to find the right attorney for you.

Elder Law Attorneys – Top Five Ways They Can Assist

November 5th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Elder law attorneys address the legal issues that arise as a consequence of the aging process. Elder law is a rather large umbrella and covers the areas that are most practical to the problems that seniors face. Here are the top five ways that these lawyers can assist the elderly:

- 1. Elder Financial Abuse. These are cases where financial predators use undue influence, manipulation and coercion to take property and money from elders who have diminished mental capacity. The perpetrators can by anybody, but are usually family members, caregivers or friends who have the most access to the elder and are least likely to be challenged by outsiders.

- 2. Nursing Home Abuse. Abuse or neglect of a nursing home patient generally results from inadequate staffing where there are too many patients and not enough nursing assistants. Sometimes, this is a conscious policy on the part of the nursing home owner who puts corporate profit ahead of patient care. Fortunately, there are many legal remedies available to stop these wrongful acts and to compensate the elderly victim for injuries suffered.

- 3. Conservatorships. When an elder is no longer able to make sound financial and healthcare decisions, and no other alternatives are available, then a request can be made for the court to establish a conservatorship and appoint someone to have the legal authority to make such decisions. This is an involved process but provides a solution to assist an elder who can no longer protect them self.

- 4. Estate Planning. “Living trusts”, powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, and wills are the primary documents that constitute a person’s estate plan. These written instructions assist the elderly client both during their lifetime and afterwards. A proper estate plan can also avoid the need to establish a conservatorship if the elder becomes unable to make sound decisions. These documents grant all of the legal authority needed to carry on the elder’s affairs – without having to seek court involvement.

- 5. Medi-Cal Planning. This term applies to California residents and involves the process of obtaining Medi-Cal benefits to pay the sky-rocketing costs of long term care in a skilled nursing facility. Planning involves three stages: (1) Thorough analysis of the client’s financial status to develop a written strategy to obtain eligibility, reduce any share of cost, and avoid recovery claims; (2) Execution of the written strategy; and (3) Completion of the application process. Medi-Cal law is complicated and requires a lawyer experienced in the nuances of the various rules and regulations.

There are many other sub-fields that fall under the elder law umbrella. Each has its own peculiar application and importance as a piece of the elder law puzzle. This brief article has addressed only the top five ways that elder law attorneys can assist their clients.

Understanding Elder Law: How Attorneys Can Help

October 22nd, 2020 by admin No comments »

If you’re a senior citizen today, you know how complex things can get when you run into a legal problem. You may need help understanding the complexities of the social security system or you may have run into age discrimination because you’re over 65. Whatever the reason, you can find expert advice by consulting a specialist in laws affecting the elderly.

The term “elder law” was first coined in the late 90’s to describe any form of law pertaining to senior citizens and their legal issues. This may include health care, competency, age discrimination, estate planning, social security, survivors’ benefits and many other topics that directly affect anyone who is past retirement age. If you are over 65 and have questions about any of these issues, be sure you consult with an attorney experienced in elder law. Chicago has an increasingly grey population, with over 280,000 adults over the age of 65 within the city limits.

The Growth of Elder Law: Chicago Is Graying

Chicago’s elderly population is growing quickly, just like it is growing throughout the United States. Nearly 12% of the population is over age 65, and by 2050, there will be over 36 million senior citizens in the United States. It’s this astronomical growth that has contributed to the need for experienced estate attorneys and senior citizen focused litigation attorneys. Whether you are interested in setting up an estate in order to leave something for your children after your death or you suspect you have been discriminated against because of your age, you should consult with an elder law litigation attorney. He or she can guide you through every phase of planning or legal action necessary.

The aging of America has contributed to the growth of this legal niche. With more and more people living longer lives, there has been an increase in problems with obtaining social security benefits, processing Medicare claims, and even a rise in the number of senior citizens who are taken advantage of by rip-off artists. The right litigation attorney, Chicago based or otherwise, can help you preserve your dignity while fighting back against individuals or groups who may have taken advantage of you. Estate attorneys can help you plan for the future in order to ensure you have the funds available for enjoying life today while having a cushion for tomorrow.

The Complexity Of Elder Law: Chicago Attorneys Wear Many Hats

Law firms didn’t always distinguish between other, more general areas of law and elder law. Chicago attorneys were some of the earliest to establish practices addressing the needs of the elderly.

It’s unusual for a specific niche in the legal profession to be defined more by the type of client than by the type of law being practiced. For instance, some attorneys specialize in criminal law, others in tax law or family law. Elder law is different because the attorney isn’t focusing on any one type of law; instead he is focusing on one type of client – the senior citizen.

If you are interested in learning more about elder law, Chicago law firms can help. You don’t necessarily need a litigation attorney; Chicago has many attorneys who handle everything from drawing up a will to helping clients preserve their assets or choose an appropriate individual for power of attorney. If you’re over 65, you’ll discover that working with an elder law specialist is reassuring and efficient. You won’t have to switch from attorney to attorney as your legal needs change because your lawyer can be your estate attorney, litigation attorney, and family court attorney.

It’s this unique diversity of knowledge that makes an elder law expert the ideal attorney for any of your legal needs after age 65.

Why It Is Important to Learn About Elder Law

October 15th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Obviously, all of us will get aged – and that’s a fact. This is the reason why we should take time to learn about the scope of Elder Law particularly the benefits and privileges we can get as we reach our senior years. Apart from getting benefits for ourselves, we can also help other people (by sharing what we learn) particularly the old ones who might be not aware of the laws concerning their welfare.

There are two prime advantages of learning about Elder Law and these are the following:

It makes us become more aware of the benefits and privileges dedicated for seniors; thus, it can help us get the most out of it when we get old.
Our awareness in elder law will also enable us to help others to get the optimum benefits that they can get from privileges designed for elderly (e.g. we can help our loved ones – parents, grandparents, senior friends – to get the full benefit of the law.

Some specific benefits of learning about elder law:

Medicaid – this is part of the elder law that senior people can benefit; it is the US health program that is aimed at helping families with low incomes and resources.
Privileges for people with disability and other long-term care issues – it is very crucial since older people are more vulnerable to sickness and other health issues that could cost some serious amount of money.
Legal guardianship – this has something to do with the duties of a person appointed by a court to manage incompetent elder and this could cover the elder’s welfare and safety. The guardian can decide on spending the elder’s money, where the elder will live, and medical care.
Asset and income protection – it is about learning how to build a solid foundation, which could include savings, portfolio diversification, and proper risk management – all are aimed at securing our financial future.
Estate planning – one of the three major areas that make up elder law; estate planning has something to do with anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate; it tries to eliminate uncertainties concerning minimizing tax and avoiding probate.
Retirement planning program – this involves ways designed to effectively plan a person’s welfare when he retires, which could include insights on pension account, pension plan, retirement savings.

So, I have just share to you some of the reasons why learning about elder law matters. Again, it can help us become more aware of the benefits and privileges, which can be very helpful for our own welfare as we reach our senior years. True indeed that this matter should be taken into consideration by all of us – regardless of age.

Elder Law – What is It

September 25th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Elder Law involves the legal issues that result as a consequence of the aging process. This is a rather narrow field and can be a little confusing to some senior citizens.

Many seniors have legal problems that are similar to people in their thirties and forties; for example, wrongful termination (employment), bankruptcy, or real estate disputes. Sometimes a potential client calls an elder law attorney to obtain, for example, family law advice regarding a possible divorce. That lawyer explains that family law and divorce issues do not fall under the category of elder law. Elder law pertains to persons who, generally, are 65 years of age or older. Nearly always, the client responds by saying: “But I’m over 65 years old”.

Elder law generally involves the following types of legal matters:

Elder financial abuse. Taking advantage of another person’s weaker state of mind and wrongfully obtaining their money and property through undue influence, coercion and manipulation. A civil lawsuit is usually filed to recover the property fraudulently taken.

Elder physical neglect. Most often, this concerns nursing homes that fail to properly care for their elderly patients. It can also be caused by in-home caregivers or anyone who has the primary responsibility of caring for an elder.

Estate Planning. This involves the creation of trusts, wills and powers of attorney for financial matters and healthcare decision making. Although these tools should also be utilized by younger people, they are most often created for elder adults at a time when they seek to get their financial affairs in order.

Probate. The probate process enables a decedent’s estate to be distributed to loved ones after death. With the proper use of trusts and wills, the probate process may not be necessary. However, if no prior estate planning was accomplished, then it may be necessary to utilize the probate court in order to complete the distribution of assets.

Conservatorships. When proper estate planning documents have not been put into place (for example, powers of attorney), then it may be necessary to establish a conservatorship over the elder’s person and/or estate. Court intervention is sought to grant someone the authority to make necessary healthcare and financial decisions for the incapacitated elder.

Medi-Cal Planning. This area refers to the laws and regulations in California that determine the guidelines to qualify an elder to receive government benefits to pay the high cost of long term care in a skilled nursing facility. Riverside County, for example, has local Medi-Cal offices where the application process is begun and an ultimate determination of eligibility is made. Medi-Cal is a complicated area of law with the goal of having the state pay the monthly nursing home bills and, at the same time, allowing the elder and their spouse to keep as much of their assets as possible so they can pass them on to their loved ones.

Although elder law is a narrow field, it is also a rather large umbrella that encompasses the foregoing issues.

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Elder Law – The Proper Way of Taking Care of Your Elderly Loved Ones

August 11th, 2020 by admin No comments »

The elderly have always needed support and help from the younger generation, mostly because with age comes numerous disabilities. As we grow old, we become more and more vulnerable to diseases and cognitive impairment, so much that with time we become completely dependent on others for survival. Sometimes however the people relied on by the elderly to take care of them and their assets do not have the elderly person’s best interest at heart, instead such people only think about how to defraud them and to take what they own for themselves. They do not take good care of the person’s health or wellbeing and in most cases encourage him or her to make wrong decisions. When such a case arises, elder law comes in place to restore harmony and to ensure justice.

Need for an attorney

When a relative of an elderly person feels that the person is not being properly taken care of and that his or her interests are at risk, the relative may seek the aid of an attorney to help fight for the rights and interest of the elderly person. These lawyers focus on a number of issues affecting the elderly. They may be of use when the need to preserve the assets of the elderly arises. When the interests of an elderly relative are at stake, the best you can give them is an elder law attorney.

When choosing an attorney

Since you are entrusting an attorney with the interests of your elderly loved ones, you need to ensure that you choose the best and most trusted attorney that you can find. Factors to consider when choosing an elder attorney include, how long the lawyer has been practicing, how long he or she has practiced, is he or she a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, what particular area of elder law his or her practice emphasizes on. This is because there are different areas of elder law.

Areas attended to by elder law attorneys

An elder law attorney may also be needed in any of the following cases, disputes concerning Medicaid, helping with financial management and health care decisions, administration and management of trusts and estates and long term care planning for nursing homes and assisted living They may act as estate planners, tax advisers, accountants, patient’s right advocate and even social workers. The attorneys see to probate, the court’s system’s method of processing the estates of a dead person. Whatever the situation, you would want to get your loved one an attorney to take care of his or her interests in old age.

Scenarios Which Require the Help of Elder Law Lawyer

March 13th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Not everyone of us know that there is a lawyer whose primary function is to help and to serve the needs of elderly people. Some of us are only familiar with litigation lawyers, corporate lawyers, DUI lawyers and human rights lawyers, for sure, some of us are not familiar with elder law lawyer. What is elder law lawyer? What are their primary functions? To know more about them, read the article below.

What is elder law lawyer?

They are specialty lawyers who concentrate on elderly law. They are adept and expert in the unique needs of elderly individuals, especially with regards to their health, aging and competence. They are knowledgeable on the mental and physical difficulties associated with aging and they know how to address their legal needs.

How can elderly law attorneys help elderly people?

Because elderly individuals are already weak and frail due to old age, they cannot process and serve their needs better such as retirement, estate planning, tax issues, Medicare, Social Security benefits, nursing home care and many more. No one is more adept and knowledgeable in serving these needs than elderly law attorneys. They are the best person to approach when it comes to the ins and outs of elder law including counseling, planning, education and advocating for the needs of elderly individuals. They are well informed of basic legal services and they have broad connections to networks of professionals who serve the elderly population.

Common scenarios which needs the services of elderly law:

- Protecting elderly individuals from child abuse – It is one of the most distressing scenario where you really need the services of an elderly law lawyer. If your parents or you have relatives who are already elderly and who are in need of skilled nursing care, nursing home or being abused, then consult an elderly law lawyer immediately. Elderly law lawyers can guide you and support you in filing lawsuit against the abuser. Protecting the welfare and dignity of elderly individuals is one of their primary functions.

- Financial planning – If you have problems with regards to your retirement planning, then they are the best individuals to ask support and guidance.

- Estate planning – Elderly law lawyers are the best people to prepare your will and successions.

- Grandparents’ rights – They can represent grandparents who lost contact with their grandchildren.

Other situations where elderly law lawyer can help:

- They can give fiduciary and financial representation for financial planning, financing, gift tax issues, income, housing and estate planning.

- They can help individuals who have problems with their spouses who require specialty or long-term care, asset protection, Medicaid, Veterans’ benefits and insurance.

- They can help in trust and will planning, guardianship avoidance and guardianship, disability claims, disability discrimination and grandparents’ rights.

- Long-term and supplemental health insurance issues

- Medicare appeals and claims

- Probate

- Health and mental health related issues

- Fraud recovery cases

- Home equity and housing issues

- Nursing home claims

If you experienced some of the problems mentioned beforehand, then consult the elderly law lawyers immediately.

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