Elder Law

As we grow older, we must plan for our eventual retirement, some have planned well, unfortunately, most don’t. Do you have equity in your home? A pension plan and or a 401(k) plan? Do you want to live in a nursing home or at home? Unfortunately, not all of the facilities caring for our seniors do so properly, resulting in injury to the senior or worse.

The field of elder law focuses on the needs of older people and the issues they encounter. Elder law generally addresses three general concerns:

  • Long-term care issues, including planning for the payment of the costs of assisted living or nursing home care
  • The effect of health issues on the management of personal affairs
  • Estate planning and administration
  • Health care and long-term care planning
  • Government benefits (including Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security)
  • Decision-making by others on the senior’s behalf (including powers of attorney, conservatorship and guardianship)
  • The ability to understand and make legal decisions by the senior
  • Management, inheritance, and administration of a deceased’s estate (including trusts, wills, and probate)
  • Taxes (including real estate, gift and estate taxes)
  • Retirement benefits (including Social Security, disability and veterans’ benefits)
  • Litigation of will contests and probate challenges

ELDER LAW PLANNING CAN HELP:

  • Distribute your assets according to your wishes
  • Minimize family disputes
  • Avoid Probate & Estate Administration
  • Assign an agent to make financial decisions
  • Assign an agent to make healthcare decisions
  • Designate a legal guardian

WARNING:

Many individuals use “do it yourself” services to prepare certain legal elder law documents. While these services are cheap(er) in the short term, they are often done incorrectly. The end result could mean that either the legal document will not be accepted (such as a Healthcare Proxy, Living Will or Power of Attorney) or your Last Will & Testament or Living Trust will be thrown out of court. So why not pay a few extra dollars and have it done correctly?

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