Caregivers in general and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients specifically need to evaluate their legal needs. This is best done earlier versus later in terms of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Yesterday, I talked about Power of Attorney (POA). There really isn’t a question here as to if you, as a caregiver should get power of attorney, the question is when; and the answer (again) is sooner rather than later.
It’s not quite as simple when it comes to using the services of an Elder law attorney. So, I’ll spend a little time talking about:
- What an Elder Law attorney is
- What an Elder Law attorney does
- And when an Elder Law attorney is necessary
What an Elder Law Attorney Is: An Elder Law attorney is an attorney that specializes in issues that are germane to senior citizens.
What an Elder Law Attorney Does: Elder law attorneys, as they practice areas of law that impact the aging, basically handle three major categories. These are the basic categories included in the practice of elder law:
- Estate planning and administration (taxes included)
- Medicaid, disability, long term care issues
- Guardianship, conservatorship and fiduciary administration
The name hints at what they are and what they do. So, let’s explore whether or not you need an Elder law attorney.
- Will your loved one become disabled over the next few years?
- Does your loved one have an estate? Not in the sense of a sprawling multi-million dollar mansion, but property, a savings account, maybe an IRA or CD’s.
- Does your loved one have grandchildren that he or she would like to help financially?
- Will your loved one need long term care insurance?
- Does your loved qualify for Medicare or Medicaid?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you should seriously consider talking with an Elder law attorney.
Some additional considerations:
- Social Security Benefits
- Other benefits
- Veteran’s issues
Many Elder law attorneys give free first time consultation services. To locate one in your area, contact your local senior center or check out Elder Law Answers on the web.
Elder Law Answers is an informative site, with a wealth of valuable information. The site also has an active forum with many of the major categories and several specific issues/questions covered.
If there is any question about your loved ones assets, benefits or or future planning, see an Elder law attorney. A small investment today will save you time, money and frustration later.