As the world population continues to grow significantly, so too does the elderly population in the United States. Statistically, the number of older adults in America has seen significant growth over recent years. Many experts estimate that by the year 2050, the elderly over 65 will outnumber the younger population of 21 years and younger. With the ever-increasing aging population, a need arose for a specialized branch of law called elder law.
Although elder law is a relatively new branch of law as it has only been practiced for approximately 30 years, many attorneys have experience in this law area. Much of the elderly face similar legal issues to the younger population but with age comes special legal issues and requirements. That’s why utilizing the services of a California elder law attorney is so essential. A qualified law attorney working in elder law can assist you with any unique issues you might be facing. If you’re looking at hiring an elder law attorney, this brief guide will help you choose one.
Who Should Hire An Elder Law Attorney?
Under California law, elder law is a broad term that encompasses many different legal areas. These areas will revolve around senior legal services. Those who require assistance with legal matters surrounding or on behalf of an older person should consider hiring an elder law attorney. Additionally, senior citizens who need an elder lawyer’s services to address the various unique legal issues that arise with age should also consider hiring an elder lawyer.
What a Qualified Elder Law Attorney Should be able to Assist You With
An elder law attorney can help you with a multitude of legal issues that may be worrying you. Most elder law attorneys are incredibly knowledgeable in all legal areas that are specific to the elderly population. If you would like to learn about a few of the various ways an elder law attorney can assist you, then have a look at the brief list below. You will need to make sure the elder law attorney you choose can handle these legal issues before hiring one.
- Estate planning including creating a will, creating trusts and financial management of IRAs, and conservatorship (also known as guardianship) decisions.
- Medicare matters including enrolling in the program and discovering if they can acquire money from your estate to settle medical bills after you have died. Additionally, elder law attorneys should be able to help you file a claim if you are having an issue with medicare.
- Assist you with nursing home care, including filing applications to ensure Medi-Cal pays for the fees.
- Help you file for social security benefits and disability benefits after you have reached the age of 61 or 67.
- Assist you with applying for long-term care via long-term care insurance. An attorney should be able to help you with the financial planning to establish how to afford the long-term care fees.
- Help you should you need representation due to elder abuse or if someone has committed fraud against you. In America, there are approximately five million cases of elder abuse reported each year. An elder attorney should be able to contact the authorities and help you recoup some of the finances you lost.
The Important Questions to Ask an Elder Law Attorney Before Choosing One
It’s crucial to ask a few important questions before you choose to hire an elder law attorney. You want to be sure an attorney can adequately assist you with the senior legal issues you may have.
- You should ask how significant a portion of the law firm is dedicated to elder law?
- How long has the law firm been practicing elder law, and how many successful case outcomes have they had?
- Does the elder law attorney do trial work if your case has to go to trial?
- How much does the elder law attorney estimate the legal proceedings from start to finish will cost you?
- Is the attorney certified to practice elder law, and have they ever been in trouble with the bar association?
Get in Touch with a California Elder Law Attorney Today to Discuss Your Estate and Affairs
Elder law legal issues can be incredibly complex matters that often require a qualified elder law attorney’s services. It’s crucial you find an elder law attorney that can help you and that you feel comfortable with as you will likely be working with them for a long time. Don’t ever be afraid to turn down an attorney or opt to go with someone else, as it’s essential you feel confident in the attorney you hire.