Americans are living longer than ever which is putting more and more adult children in the position of having to care for or make decisions on behalf of their aging parents. This is where attorneys who specialize in elder law become invaluable. These attorneys assist seniors and their families manage and protect their homes and assets during their golden years.
Areas Of Focus
Elder law is an area of legal practice that encompasses issues affecting aging adults and seniors. It has become a fast-growing specialty as Baby Boomers have reached retirement age, and as medical advances keep us alive longer than ever. There are three major areas of this specialty.
Estate Planning and Administration Medicaid, Disability and Long-term Care Issues Guardianship, Conservatorship and Fiduciary Administration
This is a wide-ranging field. Legal issues that fall under the umbrella of these categories include: wills; trusts; protection against elder abuse, neglect, and fraud; end-of-life planning; all levels of disability and medical care; retirement planning; Social Security benefits; Medicare and Medicaid coverage; Medicaid planning; consumer protection; nursing homes and in-home care; physicians’ or medical care directives, declarations and powers of attorney; landlord/tenant needs; real estate and mortgage assistance; various levels of advice, counseling and advocacy of rights; tax issues; and discrimination.
Elder law lawyers may practice in all of these areas or specialize in just one or two. An elder law firm will likely have a staff of attorneys who cover all of these areas among them.
Getting Help From Elder Law Lawyers
Smithtown, NY elder lawyer can help seniors plan for their future with or without the assistance of their children or heirs. Seniors may want to have their wills reviewed, create an estate plan or get assistance making a Social Security or Medicare claim. Qualified attorneys can help pre-retirement age individuals address issues such as retirement planning, and benefits and age discrimination in employment. For seniors of minor or adult children with special needs, they can help create a guardianship and estate plan to take care of their child after they die.
For children of seniors, elder law lawyers can help make sense of government regulations relating to Medicare and Medicaid, assist them in managing their parent’s finances, taxes or real estate, obtaining power of attorney and determining their parents insurance needs.
In addition to these longer-term issues, these specialists can help in day-to-day matters in issues affecting senior care such as assisted living and nursing home rights and care. Because of their specialization, elder law attorneys are well-equipped to understand the needs of seniors and the challenges they face. They are also very well-versed on current laws affecting seniors, particularly government entitlement programs. These lawyers can help locate nursing homes, assisted living or long-term care facilities and advocate for their clients’ rights.
For anyone faced with making decisions for aging or infirm parents, attorneys who specialize in these issues can be a dependable resource. They offer services far beyond wills and estate planning and can help you make informed decisions that will work best for your particular situation.