“Elder law refers to the area of law that specializes in the issues most senior citizens face. It usually includes long-term healthcare, housing, age-related concerns about health, asset management, drafting wills and trusts, retirement, social security, etc.”
Courthouse visits are a rare occasion for elder law and estate planning attorneys. This because most of their time is spent meeting with clients in their offices, drafting wills, creating estate plans and working on tax strategies. An article from The Christian Times asks “Are you ready to plan for a secure future for your loved ones?” It’s an important question.
One of the ways in which we show those we love how much we care, is how we take care of them. We packed school lunches, helped with homework and drove to activities. We then saved for college and helped, as they started their lives as young adults. Now, as we lean into the senior years, it’s time to plan for the next phase of our lives, as well as theirs.
That includes working with an estate planning or elder law attorney in the creation of a will and powers of attorney for both medical and financial decisions. It may also include trusts.
Think of elder law and estate planning attorneys as specialists. If you went to a geriatrician, it was because they focus their practice on the needs of seniors. These attorneys work with families to protect their legal needs, especially those that come with aging.
Some of the areas where estate planning and elder law attorneys are experts:
Creating a will and testament and helping you understand the difference between the two documents and which one you need.
Help with estate planning, including protecting any minors or special needs individuals who might need a guardian to be named, or a Special Needs Trust.
Income management, asset liquidation and gift tax management.
Finding long-term care facilities, senior assisted living facilities or other resources for the housing and care needs of seniors.
The attorney will typically spend time getting to know the individuals and the family, their goals and the how they expect to spend their later years.
To make a decision about working with an attorney, you’ll want to do some research. Read their website to learn about their credentials and any community or professional groups, where they are involved. Learn how much time they devote to elder law and estate planning, and if their practice includes related areas, like real estate law.
Selecting an attorney is an extremely personal decision. The attorney will ideally become part of your team of trusted advisors, guiding you and your family through the next phase of your lives.
Reference: The Christian Times (Sep. 17, 2018) “Are you ready to plan for a secure future for your loved ones?”