An elder law attorney is an attorney who specializes not in a specific area of the law, but in the legal needs of elderly people, veterans, and adults with special needs. Elder law is a focus that has only been around for about twenty-five years and was born out of necessity. With life expectancy increasing, people are dealing with rising health care costs and an increase in debilitating diseases like dementia, among many issues that affect the aging members of our society.
An elder law attorney can help the elderly, disabled, and veterans in many ways. They can provide their clients with guidance and advice in many areas. Elder law attorneys also have expertise in preparing legal documents and forms for their clients, as well as providing support for clients who are completing and filing forms with the government. A major role that elder law attorneys fill for their clients is that of an educator. They often gather information and resources for their clients to educate them and guide them in their decision-making. This is a very valuable service for clients because the elder law attorney has expertise and resources that may benefit the client, their family, and their future.
How Does an Elder Law Attorney Help with Estate Planning
Estate planning can be a daunting task for many people. There are so many things to consider, but an elder law attorney is there to guide, educate, and walk their clients through the process. They see the estate plan through both during life and after death. With estate planning, an elder law attorney can walk the client through trust planning. They can also help with paperwork for assigning powers of attorney. Many people often discuss the power of attorney, singular, but there are actually multiple types of powers of attorney. An elder law attorney can help the client decide which powers of attorney are needed in their situation. The elder law attorney works with trust administration for the elderly, veterans, and special needs trust for special needs adults. Lastly, an elder law attorney can assist seniors with strategies to qualify for government benefits (such as Medi-Cal or Aid and Attendance for veterans and their surviving spouses) that will help pay for expensive long-term care costs instead of allowing them to deplete their savings.
The Importance of Planning for Future Elder Care
Elder law attorneys are there to help their clients plan for the future. Unfortunately, many illnesses can change physical and mental health during the later years. In many cases, people may become unable to make their own decisions about care, or in the case of adults with special needs, their parents may become unable to continue caring for them. The elder law attorney is there to make sure that if or when this happens, the wishes of the client are carried out. They can help with advance directives for healthcare, guardianship paperwork for making sure a trusted caregiver can make healthcare decisions, and conservatorship for making sure a trusted person can manage affairs such as finances. Planning for incapacity or long-term care is very important. An elder law attorney is an invaluable resource for helping with nursing homes, Medi-Cal and Medicare, and Social Security. They are there to assist and protect the rights of their clients.
How Does an Elder Law Attorney Help Veterans?
In addition, elder law attorneys help veterans to obtain the benefits they are entitled to. They can advise and advocate for the veteran and help guide them on benefits that are available. An elder law attorney can also help veterans, elders, and special needs people and their families to fight abuse and fraud. All of these groups are targets for scams and elders and adults with special needs at times find themselves in situations where they are abused or exploited. It is important for the clients and their families to know they can turn to an elder law attorney for help in finding justice in these situations. Finally, an elder law attorney can be an excellent mediator in helping to sort out complicated family and financial situations.
Snyder Law has experience with the complexities of elder law to address many elder care issues and planning needs. Please contact us or schedule a meeting to discuss your particular situation. We are here to help.
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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He's all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, and veterans. He founded Snyder Law to help people be prepared and have the peace of mind they are protecting their families and aging parents for when life happens.