Something that many people have to be concerned about as their loved ones age is the risk of elder abuse. Elder abuse can be a real issue for some families. Even if the abuse isn’t physical, it could be financial or exploit the elder in other ways.
If you’re worried that your loved one may be taken advantage of or is being taken advantage of, then one option is to seek help from an elder law attorney. This type of attorney is different from others because they focus on helping families and the elderly protect their rights. They specialize in the needs of older adults, like getting Medicaid, planning an estate and protecting them against financial or physical abuse.
What kinds of things will elder law attorneys help with?
Elder law attorneys can protect elders from abuse by helping them draft a will and to create a durable power of attorney. The attorney can also help the elder choose a health care proxy, which is the person given the right to make decisions for the elder in the case of illness or the inability for them to care for themselves.
Elder law attorneys also:
- Help elders set up financial representatives and select legal guardians
- Locate and choose a long-term care facility
- Manage assisted-living costs
- Explain the rights nursing home patients have and help file claims if those rights are violated
How can you choose a good elder law attorney?
If you are looking for an elder law attorney, there are a few questions to ask to make sure they’re competent. To start with, ask:
- How long the attorney has been practicing law
- How the attorney’s fees are computed
- What information is necessary at the first meeting
- How much time the attorney spends on elder law cases
- Which areas of elder law the attorney places emphasis on, if any
These questions can help you get a better idea about the attorney you’re considering working with.
When a loved one is aging, finding an attorney or firm to work with is important. The attorney will get to know the elder early on and work with them and the family as the person ages. It’s a good idea to develop a relationship with an attorney you trust, so you know that you can turn to them for help if you feel that your loved one is being exploited or has become a victim of abuse.