Do You Need an Elder Law Attorney, or an Elder CARE Law Attorney? There is a difference!

May 22, 2024
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As we journey through life, there comes a point where we must navigate the complexities of aging. With this transition, various legal considerations arise, often prompting the question: Do you need an elder law attorney? What is the difference between that and an elder care law attorney? While it may not be top of mind for everyone, consulting with an elder care law attorney can offer invaluable guidance and peace of mind, especially in ensuring one's wishes are met and assets are protected as they age.

Asset Protection

One of the primary reasons to consider hiring an elder law attorney is asset protection. As individuals age, they may become more susceptible to financial exploitation, whether through scams, predatory practices, or even well-meaning but misguided family members. An elder law attorney can assist in establishing safeguards to protect assets from such threats, whether through creating trusts, setting up durable powers of attorney, or implementing other legal strategies tailored to the individual's needs. Furthermore, protecting assets is a proactive approach in the event you or a spouse needs long term care assistance down the road.

Planning for Medicaid

Long-term care costs can be staggering, and many individuals may eventually require Medicaid assistance to cover these expenses. However, Medicaid eligibility comes with strict financial criteria that can be complex to navigate. An elder law attorney can provide invaluable assistance in Medicaid planning, helping individuals structure their assets and income to qualify for Medicaid while preserving assets for their loved ones. An important part of this planning includes completing the asset protection years BEFORE the need for Medicaid, as there are specific “look back” periods that will come into play. 

Minimizing Conflict and Court Proceedings

Passing away without a comprehensive estate plan in place can lead to disputes among family members, potentially resulting in costly and emotionally draining court battles. By consulting with an elder law attorney and crafting a clear estate plan, individuals can minimize the likelihood of conflicts arising among heirs. Additionally, an elder law attorney can assist in drafting advance directives and healthcare proxies, ensuring one's wishes regarding medical care are known and respected, thus avoiding potential family disagreements during times of crisis.

Leaving Behind a Legacy

While material wealth is often a consideration in estate planning, many individuals also wish to leave behind a legacy that transcends monetary assets. An elder law attorney can help clients articulate their values, beliefs, and wishes for future generations, whether through charitable giving, establishing educational trusts, or documenting family histories. By incorporating these elements into their estate plan, individuals can ensure that their legacy endures long after they're gone.

The Care Component

The difference between an elder law attorney and an elder care law attorney is simple: there is a care component! In addition to the legal and financial side of protection, our team and Elder Care Coordinators help you and your family prepare for long term health care in the future. Our Elder Care Coordinators are with you every step of the way as you navigate the world of long-term care. Your ECC will:

  • Help clients and families identify care problems and assist in solving them
  • Assist in identifying and arranging in-home help or other services
  • Coordinate with medical and health providers
  • Review medical issues and offer referrals to appropriate care providers
  • Provide support, guidance and advocacy during a crisis
  • Help with coordinating transfers and transportation
  • Provide education
  • Offer counseling and support

What does this mean for you? You have a trusted partner to help guide your family through this complex legal, emotional and health world of aging. Allow us to hold your hand through the process and ensure that you get what you need.

In conclusion, while the need for an elder care law attorney may not be immediately apparent to everyone, and most people only think they need and elder law attorney. From asset protection and Medicaid planning to minimizing conflict among loved ones and leaving behind a meaningful legacy, an elder care law attorney can provide essential guidance and support as individuals navigate the complexities of aging. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In the realm of elder care law, this adage rings especially true. So, if you find yourself asking, "Do I need an elder care law attorney?" consider the potential benefits and peace of mind that come with proactive planning for the future.

 

It is recommended that adults 60+ consider an Elder Care Protection plan. Traditional Estate Planning is appropriate for adults 18-65, especially those who have a family or are high-net-worth individuals. Elderly adults who are in current need of assistance obtaining Medicaid should contact us for our Life Care Planning services. 

 

Contact us today for a free consultation where we will review what your specific needs and goals are. 


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