What is Legal Help?
If you have a loved one that has not prepared the legal documents needed as we all age, you may need to turn to a specialist. Attorneys do specialize in elder law and can walk you through the needed documentation.
An elder law attorney will address general estate planning issues and will counsel clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision making documents. This attorney will also assist clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care.
Additionally, they can assist with planning for retirement; guardianship and conservatorship; health care decision making; and elder abuse and neglect.
Estate planning means much more than preparing a will or tax planning for the disposition of your assets upon death. Estate planning must also provide for administration and protection of assets during lifetime and for decision making in the event of a disabling illness.
Any complete estate plan should contain:
- A Last Will and Testament
- A durable health care power of attorney naming an agent responsible for medical decision-making
- A living will or other advance directive giving instructions concerning the type of care one wishes to receive (or avoid) in the event of a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state
- A durable financial power of attorney naming an agent responsible for asset and financial management if one is unable to do such things for oneself.
Elder law attorneys can help families look at financing options for financing long term care that can include Medicaid, maximizing long term care insurance benefits, veteran (VA) benefits, etc. Elder law attorneys can help you navigate some very confusing waters.