Elder law refers to the legal issues that affect older adults, including estate planning, healthcare, long-term care, and financial planning. This area of law is becoming increasingly important as the population ages and more people reach their golden years. Here are some key things to know about elder law:
- Estate planning
Lawyers who work in elder law help clients plan for the distribution of their assets after they pass away. This may involve drafting wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. These documents can help ensure that a client’s wishes are carried out after they’re gone, and can also minimize taxes and other expenses.
Lawyers can also help clients navigate the complex world of healthcare. This may involve drafting advance directives and other documents that specify a client’s wishes for end-of-life care. It may also involve advocating for a client’s rights in the event of nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Long-term care
As people age, they may need assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Lawyers can help clients plan for the costs associated with long-term care, including nursing home care and home healthcare. This may involve setting up trusts or other financial arrangements to protect a client’s assets while still allowing them to receive the care they need.
- Financial planning
The lawyers can also help clients plan for their financial future. This may involve advising clients on retirement planning, including Social Security and other retirement benefits. It may also involve helping clients navigate complex financial issues such as Medicaid planning and asset protection.
- Elder abuse
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem in our society. Lawyers can help clients who have been the victims of abuse or neglect. This may involve filing lawsuits against nursing homes or other caregivers who have mistreated clients, or advocating for clients’ rights in court.
Lawyers can also help clients establish guardianships for loved ones who are no longer able to make their own decisions. This may involve petitioning the court to appoint a guardian or conservator, who will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.
- Age discrimination
Lawyers can also help clients who have been the victims of age discrimination in the workplace or other settings. This may involve filing lawsuits or advocating for clients’ rights in court.
- Social Security
You can expect a lawyer to help clients navigate the complex world of Social Security benefits. This may involve advising clients on when to start taking benefits, how to maximize their benefits, and how to apply for benefits.
These lawyers can also help clients with Medicare issues. This may involve helping clients understand their Medicare coverage, appealing denials of coverage, and advocating for clients’ rights in disputes with Medicare providers.
Lawyers with experience in elder law can also help clients navigate the complex world of inheritance. This may involve advising clients on the tax implications of inheriting property, setting up trusts to protect inherited assets, and navigating the probate process.
Elder law is a complex and ever-evolving field that addresses a wide range of legal issues affecting older adults. If you or a loved one are facing any of these issues, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced elder law lawyer as our friends at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC would recommend who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.