As a senior, you must consider incorporating an incapacity planning aspect into your estate planning.
The United States has witnessed a steady growth in the elderly population. Experts foresee these numbers to grow for a long time to come. As the senior citizen population grows, so will the legal issues related to them. Since this segment of the law is relatively new, most people turn a blind eye towards seeking the assistance of lawyers specializing in elder laws when they encounter such scenarios.
Hence, this article shall cover five critical reasons why approaching professionals well-versed in elder law shall go a long way in aiding them in their legal troubles.
A brief note on the history of Elder Law
While seniors could be generally subjected to legal issues that pertain to the common public, they could also be faced with unique legal issues specific to them. As the population of elderly citizens grew during the second half of the 20th century, so did the need for attorneys that professionalized in elder laws. And thus, in the 1980s, NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law) was formed. It caters to the needs of this particular segment of the American population.
Fast forwarding five years hence, the NELF (National Elder Law Foundation) was established. Its objective was to enhance the skills of lawyers who sought to become proficient and skilled specialists in elder law. Later, NELF went to set up a certification program on the national level called the CELA (Certified Elder Law Attorney) program. Lawyers who wanted to gain this certification were put under rigorous tests and selective programs and were awarded certificates only at the end of the program administered by NELF and recognized by the American Bar Association.
How can an Elder Law attorney help you?
For caretakers and seniors, it is imperative to know when the right time might be to seek the guidance and assistance of an elder law attorney. You must recognize that need for help to fully benefit from the guidance of an attorney when faced with legal issues about elder laws. An elder law attorney possesses the expertise that covers all the segments of the law that pertain to and impact the lives of the senior population, their loved ones, and caretakers. A few common reasons why people approach elder law attorneys are:
1) Long-Term Care Plans
Securing the future medical care of your loved one may become a concern to you, especially if you do not have sufficient savings. Seeking the help of an elder law attorney may aid in ensuring that your loved ones receive the assistance they require by helping you secure legal standing. They may also help liquidate assets by providing legal advice for the care they need.
2) Incapacity Planning
As a senior, you must consider incorporating an incapacity planning aspect into your estate planning. This way, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out as you see fit. It also gets you better prepared in case you reach a stage in life where you may not be able to put forth your wishes because of certain incapacitating conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
3) Estate Planning
According to a poll conducted by a credible organization, 77% of all American adults believe in the importance of estate planning regardless of their wealth status and income levels. Elder law attorneys can assist you in updating the paperwork of your loved ones for their will. This shall go a long way in reducing the legal issues they may encounter once you pass on during the application of probate law.
4) Veterans Benefits
If you are a veteran or a spouse of one, you may be entitled to certain benefits and perks of which you may not be aware. One such benefit is VA&A (Veterans Aid and Attendance). Qualifying for the VA&A shall entitle you to receive monthly financial aid.
5) Nursing Home Abuse
If you or an elderly loved one of yours is a victim of neglect or elder abuse, the elder law attorneys may assist you or the victim in understanding all the legal options at your disposal including filing lawsuits against an individual or a facility.
If you are concerned about the safety of an elderly loved one who can no longer tend to themselves or manage their finances, you could consider petitioning for guardianship. Here, an elder law attorney may aid you in making an informed and thorough decision to become your guardian.
Since older people are more susceptible to financial and health-related risks and threats to their safety, an elder Law Attorney can assist you in better understanding the ADA regulations. It will enable your loved one to seek the care they require and deserve. An elder law attorney can also help secure and better their rights by dealing with numerous legal issues they may face apart from the ones mentioned in this article.