Making decisions can be difficult when combined with the emotions of caring for an elderly loved one. Some families may find that enlisting the help of an elder law attorney may be helpful. Elder law navigates the concerns of seniors and their loved ones as it pertains to healthcare, financial issues, housing options, and overall care. Elder law attorneys may take on estate management, elder abuse cases, Medicare and social security, long-term care placements, and durable powers of attorney.
Here are a few practical ways that elder care lawyers may help through some stressful circumstances.
Advising as to Best Care Options: Adult children often have difficulty deciding on the care they wish their parents to receive – and it can also cause stress between family members who may have different ideas about which option is appropriate. An elder law attorney is a neutral third party who can help with objective knowledge without an emotional connection. They are often helpful in communicating to a reluctant senior as to what the family is considering.
Long-Term Care Plans: Chronic illnesses, dementia, or disabilities may necessitate a change in living situations. These difficult choices look for a solution to the present circumstances and take into account what care may look like in the future. A long-term care plan may address transitions from independent living to assisted living to memory care. Elder law attorneys can make judgments based on their experience regarding the long-term care plan, including protecting assets throughout the process. These attorneys provide essential input to family members who have can’t imagine the big picture on their own.
Establishing Durable Powers of Attorney: A power of attorney is a legal document that permits the elderly individual to name a surrogate who has the authority to make decisions on their behalf when they can no longer do so. Durable powers of attorney for healthcare and finance are typically distinct documents; one spells out the form of care a patient wishes to receive while the other dictates the needed transactions to get there. You can create durable powers of attorney without legal advice, but an attorney can give invaluable advice based on the senior’s wishes and care requirements. If your elder loved one becomes incapacitated before the documents are created, elder law attorneys could begin guardianship proceedings.
Helping with Medicaid: Medicaid is difficult to navigate. Rules, regulations, and eligibility requirements can vary significantly. Elder law attorneys can offer important financial advice regarding Medicaid as long as they are certified to do so. Certified elder law attorneys may also work on veteran’s benefits, Medicare, government assistance, and other government resources.
Protecting Assets: Elder financial abuse is a rampant problem as a senior’s health declines. Unfortunately, their family or other caregivers are often the perpetrators – but they are also vulnerable to scammers looking to steal their assets. Elder law attorneys can protect those assets from fraud, report criminal activity and advise seniors and caregivers on precautions they can take to protect themselves.
Providing Clear Answers: Making decisions at such an emotional time can be difficult. It can be challenging to sort through the information and understand who to trust. From Medicare to durable powers of attorneys, there are complicated questions to be answered. Caregivers can trust elder law attorneys to provide accurate answers without personal or emotional bias.
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