Many challenges arise as people age, some of which may require outside help. People tend to think of financial professionals and medical professionals as the main sources of support that they will require in their golden years. However, quite a few people nearing retirement age or who are already enjoying their retirement also need help to address their legal circumstances.
There are a variety of scenarios in which people may decide to seek the assistance of an elder law attorney to maximize their security as they age. The following are the most common reasons that people reach out to lawyers who focus on elder law.
Retirement home issues
Most older adults would prefer to continue aging in the home where they have lived, and an elder law attorney can make that possible. Asset protection planning is a smart move for those who intend to live at home and who wants to preserve their resources from creditor collection effort while they live on a fixed income later in life.
Medicaid planning may be an important step for those who believe they might need to move into a nursing home eventually but do not have the capital on hand to pay the thousands of dollars each month it will cost for a room. Finally, even the process of choosing a nursing home could be a little easier and safer with the guidance of an attorney who can help someone review their options.
Concerns about care and guardianship
Older adults usually want to live independently for as long as possible and then to have as much say as is feasible when they require support. Those over a certain age may be eligible for specific benefits, while those with limited resources or a history of military service may qualify for other types of benefits.
Consulting with an elder law attorney can help people better prepare to qualify for benefits that will keep them in their homes and can also help them plan for a time when they may lose the capacity to control their own lives. Durable powers of attorney and advanced directives drafted by elder law attorneys can allow older adults to have control over their care and the management of their resources even when they can no longer handle those matters independently.
Recognizing when it may be time to talk to an elder law attorney can give older adults and the people closest to them greater peace of mind about the future.