What Is Elder Law?
Before we dive into the many reasons you need an Elder Law Attorney, let’s first touch base on what Elder Law is. Elder law refers to numerous legal issues specifically affecting elderly people. With age, many issues may surface, from declining health to financial burdens.
Seniors face complex legal concerns that are different from what they faced when they were younger.
Even though family and close friends can be incredibly helpful, an attorney who specializes in the challenges that senior citizens face may be a wise investment, as actions taken may have unintended legal effects.
What Can an Elder Law Attorney Do For You?
As a senior or someone who’s helping make decisions for a senior, it’s important that you work with an attorney who is an expert in Elder Law. Most elder law attorneys handle a wide range of legal matters that affect an older or disabled person, including issues related to health care, long term care planning, guardianship, estate planning, retirement, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and general life-planning needs.
Elder law attorneys are not only experts in elderly legal matters but are also more equipped to handle sensitive, emotional, and physical needs of older or disabled adults and therefore able to handle a variety of challenging situations that may come their way.
Depending on your particular situation, your elder law attorney will work closely to provide a solution that works best for you and your family. This may include carrying out your wishes in a will, making sure you receive the best possible long-term health care plan, and helping to ease the cost of care for your loved ones.
10 Reasons You Need an Elder Law Attorney:
- You need to apply for Medicaid (Title 19) – From the “spend down” rules to the five-year “look back” period, only an Elder Law attorney will be able to navigate the complex world of Medicaid rules and regulations.
- You need Estate Planning services – As opposed to just an Estate Planning attorney, that will shield your inheritance from taxes to leave your loved ones with as many assets as possible, An Elder Law Attorney will also consider any needs that may arise in regards to long-term care or medical costs down the road.
- You need a will – Just like any estate planning service, a last will and testament will be best planned by an Elder Law attorney that understands and can plan for any financial or legal pitfalls that may arise.
- You need to appoint a guardian who can make medical decisions on your behalf – If you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself, then someone close to you, ideally one of your children or a close family member, can be appointed as your guardian.
- You need to appoint a conservator to make financial decisions on your behalf – If an older adult becomes mentally or physically incapacitated and can no longer handle their finances, a conservatorship can be granted in a similar way to guardianship and allow a trusted loved one to control bank accounts and other income streams to ensure that bills are paid and that they’re well cared for.
- You need a Power of Attorney – A power of attorney gives someone the ability to perform financial or medical transactions on behalf of an older adult but It doesn’t require the elder to entirely turn over their decision-making capabilities.
- You need Home Health Care – To figure out which government program (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) works best with your circumstances and financial situation, you’ll need to consult with an elder law professional.
- You need to be placed in a Nursing Home – like home health care, you need someone versed in Elder Law, to help you make the right financial and legal steps, as well as refer you to the best professionals in your area to help with the transition, such as a geriatric care manager.
- You need to protect your assets – Whether it’s protecting your assets from a nursing home or Medicaid, an Elder Law attorney will guide you down the right path.
- You need a Living Trust – Whether it’s revocable or irrevocable, a living trust will help you manage and organize your assets.
How To Choose The Right Elder Law Attorney
Working with an elder law attorney can make a world of difference when having to navigate the often-confusing and emotional territory of elder law and easing the financial burdens that may potentially fall upon you and your loved ones. Whether you need help choosing the proper senior living facility, drafting a will or trust, or need help protecting yourself from financial, physical, or emotional abuse.
Having a knowledgeable elder law attorney who is sensitive to your needs and understands the legal world maze can be your most valuable asset. You will want to hire an attorney who regularly handles matters in the area of concern of your particular case.
Why Reed Wilson Case Is The Right Law Firm For You
Attorney Joan Reed Wilson is not just an Elder Law Attorney, she also practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, conservatorships, probate, trust administration, and real estate.
When you have someone on your side who’s well versed in so many Elder Law variables, you know she will be able to guide you and your loved ones down the right path and put together a plan of action that’s best suited to your particular needs.
Attorney Wilson is the Vice President of the CT Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an active member of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. She is also accredited with the PLAN of CT, which is the only entity authorized by the State of Connecticut to operate Pooled Trusts. These are often required if a client’s income exceeds the cap for Medicaid services. She is trained in elder law mediation and serves on the Board of the Shoreline Eldercare Alliance (SEA).
Many of our clients are veterans who served during active wartime. The long-term health care needs of a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran may entitle that person to a stipend from the VA, known as Aid & Attendance. Attorney Wilson is accredited with the VA to apply for Aid & Attendance benefits.
In order to make the right choice for you and your family, being prepared is always best. When it comes to situations that may otherwise become difficult to understand or handle, having the right legal advisor on your side, will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.