How an Elder Law Attorney Helps You or Your Senior Loved One
The origins of elder law date back to the 1970s, following enactment of the Older Americans Act in 1965. Now — more than ever — an elder law professional can provide essential and critical support to help aging adults and their families address the myriad of legal, financial, and personal challenges that arise late in life. At Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia, our elder law attorneys dedicate their practice to helping seniors and their families navigate through all their unique concerns, to ensure that every senior has the opportunity to age with dignity and respect, as well as the ability to enjoy their life to the greatest extent possible.
What Does Elder Law Include?
Elder law encompasses a broad range of concerns relating to health care needs and long-term care planning, asset preservation and protection, and access to government programs available for seniors. Elder law benefits middle-class Americans who have worked throughout their lives to provide for themselves and their families, as well as seniors with limited assets and resources. Thoughtful planning with an elder law professional can help any senior maintain autonomy and financial security — two crucial concerns that affect every aging adult.
Health care planning becomes essential for seniors, because of the astronomical cost of day care, assisted living, nursing home, or other long-term care. Without guided planning in advance, seniors who have accumulated modest assets face the prospect of using up savings, retirement funds, and investments to provide the needed care. However, with assistance from a knowledgeable elder law attorney, many seniors have options for protecting and preserving assets — including the family home — while providing the health care services that the senior needs in their life.
Long term care planning, nursing home planning, and Medicaid planning are all part of elder law services, but so are important estate planning needs. Many people do not realize that your estate plan protects you during your lifetime, in addition for distributing your property after you pass away. Documents that express your wishes for medical and personal care and financial management in the event of temporary or permanent incapacity are important for everyone, but they are especially important for seniors.
A sudden event, such as a medical emergency or accident (like a fall), can cause incapacity. If your estate plan doesn’t address those situations, family members may need to go to court for authorization to make decisions regarding your care and your finances. A thorough estate plan avoids that possibility and makes your wishes clear to your loved ones.
Estate planning is also important to preserve and protect your legacy for your family. In many situations, gifting property through a Last Will and Testament does not adequately address future risks. There are estate planning options that enable you to protect your financial assets to ensure that they benefit your loved ones the way you intend.
Who Can Benefit From Elder Law Services?
Seniors benefit directly from elder law services through the careful planning for their own future. A senior’s family members also benefit from knowing that their loved one has a carefully designed plan in place to protect the senior and their assets.
In many families, everyone works together to make certain that elder family members have the support and care they need. But seniors and their families do not need to face the challenges of the later years alone. Our compassionate elder law attorneys help families navigate through difficult concerns and issues together to find the best solutions for everyone. In many cases, objective assistance and guidance from an elder law professional can help resolve problems that family members cannot resolve on their own.
When Should You Start Planning?
The best time for a senior to plan for future health care and financial needs is when they are still healthy and active. A good place to start is with your estate plan. If you don’t have one, you need one. If you do have one, you should review it with an elder law attorney to make certain that it still addresses your goals and needs, and that it comports with current provisions of applicable federal and state laws.
As part of the estate planning process, you should discuss long-term care needs. When you anticipate future care needs well in advance, you can take a thoughtful, measured approach and weigh available options for protecting assets and preserving your family legacy. Addressing neglected needs in an emergency poses considerably greater challenges.
Advance planning also provides the opportunity to put protections in place to prevent financial exploitation and abuse. Elders become vulnerable to many types of fraud and deception, but seniors can put preventative measures in place to ensure the security of their assets and themselves.
Talk With Our Georgia Elder Law Attorneys
In our Cartersville practice at Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia, our dedicated elder law attorneys help seniors and their families address all the unique needs of aging adults. Estate planning, nursing home care planning, and Medicaid planning are important parts of our services. We provide elder law and planning services to clients throughout the communities northwest of Atlanta, including in Bartow County, Cobb County, Cherokee County, Gordon County, Floyd County and Paulding County. Call us at (770) 382-0984 or contact us through our online form.
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