Navigating the legal landscape of aging can be challenging for caregivers, children, and the spouses of the elderly. If you or a loved one are concerned about ensuring elder care or the laws surrounding the elderly, you are not alone.
Elder law is an area of practice that caters to the unique needs of seniors. Here at Brackin and Johnson, our elder law attorneys are committed to handling the legal issues that seniors face, including health, financial, guardianship, and long-term care.
If you are in a position where you are helping make critical decisions for your loved one, it’s essential to seek guidance from an experienced elder law attorney. Here we will discuss what elder law is and how you can start navigating the waters to make informed decisions for elder care and planning.
What Does Elder Law Encompass?
Elder law explores several different aspects of the law. Lawyers that work in this field use their vast knowledge to address the various legal and financial issues that families incur when caring for their elderly parents. Some of the legal issues that elder lawyers handle include:
- Medicaid claims and appeals
- Disability and Social Security claims and appeals
- Nursing home elder abuse and fraud
- Long-term care placements in nursing home and life care communities
- Preservation and transfer of assets
- Management of assets and trusts
- Estate planning, probate, and wills
- Durable Power of Attorneys over healthcare and financial decisions
Do You Need To Hire An Elder Law Attorney?
Having a skilled elder law attorney is very important because it can help you and your family plan for the future and ensure your loved ones are protected. An elder law attorney can help you prepare for what happens as your loved ones age and in the event that they can no longer care for themselves.
There Are Many Things An Elder Law Attorney Can Help With
1. Finances and Property
An elder law attorney can help you address pressing matters related to finances, property, and other vital assets. An elder legal expert can help you make the best decisions that ensure your family’s financial well-being for the future. An attorney well-versed in elder law can help you economically adjust to all possible eventualities. For example, setting up an irrevocable living trust can be set up for someone you trust to handle your affairs if you cannot do so yourself.
2. Long-term Care Planning
Long-term care planning often involves helping seniors obtain special services when they can no longer live alone and take care of themselves. They include nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well as long-term health insurance such as Medicaid.
An elder law attorney is knowledgeable in the complex Medicaid guidelines. Medicaid benefits are asset and income-based.
In the event that you need expensive long-term care, but Medicaid will not cover it, an elder law attorney can help you determine how to divide your assets best to qualify for Medicaid program healthcare services and protect them from being taxed on you or your family.
3. Veteran Medical Care
Veteran medical care is among the benefits available to veterans of the United States military. An elder law attorney can help aging veterans secure such health benefits by assisting with documentation and ensuring that any issues that arise are handled in a timely and legal manner.
4. Conservatorship or Guardianship
If a person becomes incapacitated, a family member or friend can petition the court for guardianship or conservatorship. Working with an elder law attorney to formulate a disability plan is crucial.
5. Estate Planning
The concept of estate planning entails deciding who will inherit property after one’s death and be responsible for carrying out final wishes. The estate plan can include:
- A last will and testament.
- A durable power of attorney.
- An advance medical directive
Developing an estate plan and putting it in place prevents much of the struggle that comes along with grieving the loss of a loved one. Handling their financial affairs, making funeral arrangements, and following their wishes is made a simpler and more streamlined process that is less stressful for all involved.
6. Elder Abuse
Sadly, elderly people are more likely to suffer abuse, whether that is physical or financial. Financial abuse occurs when someone wrongfully coerces an elderly individual to give them their money, assets or even change their will or living trust. Physical abuse can happen at the hands of care staff at a home or even at the hands of a loved one. An elder law attorney cracks down on abuse cases, helps recover assets, and ensures they are protected.
Brackin & Johnson – Experienced Elder Law Attorneys
As a senior or the loved one of a senior, an experienced elder lawyer can help you address legal matters that can affect one’s quality of life and health. You’ll need an expert to interpret complex Alabama laws and you’ll want the very best to help you plan for your loved ones.
At Brackin & Johnson, our experienced Elder Law attorneys can assist you or your loved ones with planning for long term care and ensuring medical needs are met should the time come when you or your family member can no longer care for oneself.
Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney are our specialty, and we will work with you to ensure that your future is laid out in writing. If you’re searching for a skilled attorney specializing in elder law, get in touch with us today to schedule your free initial consultation.