Elder law is one of many different specialized legal areas. This legal field focuses on the issues that specifically affect elderly adults. If you are caring for an elderly loved one, you might need to deal with some of the different topics that are covered by elder law. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can offer you some guidance and help you to save time with paperwork, and we can refer you to a trusted elder law attorney for further help if you need it.
Guardianship, financial administration, and conservatorship
Guardianship, financial administration, and conservatorship may come into play when your loved one becomes incapacitated and is not able to care for himself or herself. Incapacitation because of age or illness often happens to elderly adults, making this area a frequent issue within the practice of elder law.
When people become physically or mentally incapacitated, courts may be asked to appoint guardians. Guardianship involves a legal process through which a court will rule whether a guardian should be appointed. The guardian is tasked with making decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person or ward. The responsibilities of a guardian include caring for a ward, managing the ward’s finances, and making medical and health care decisions. Conservators are similar to guardians, but their responsibilities are limited to managing the financial affairs of the wards.
Living wills, advance directives, and powers of attorney
It is common for people to make advanced preparations to plan for the possibility that they might become incapacitated at some point in the future. An advance health care directive is a document that you can write so that you can write down your wishes for the types of care and medical treatment that you want if you become disabled. To create a more binding document, you can draft a living will or grant a durable medical power of attorney. You can also write a durable financial power of attorney to allow a trusted person to make financial decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated.
Social Security and health care issues
Most elderly adults rely on benefits from the Social Security Administration during their retirement. In some cases, people encounter problems with getting their benefits, transferring them to spouses or children, or apply for them. If you are disabled, you might also be able to qualify for Social Security disability. These issues may require the assistance of an elder law or disability lawyer. Similarly, health care is often an issue for elderly adults. Getting benefits can be important for your health and financial well-being.
Estate planning is a very important area of elder law. This involves planning for how your assets will be distributed after you die. In many cases, assets are transferred through the probate process, and lawyers are often involved with estate planning from start to finish.
There are many different types of documents that can be used in estate planning, including a will, trust, living trust, durable power of attorney, and an advance directive. An estate planning attorney’s job may be to help his or her clients to choose the particular types of estate planning tools that might help them to meet their needs and goals.
Contact Elder Care Direction
If you are contending with elder law issues, you might want to get some help. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can offer you some general advice and help to save you time and money with some of the paperwork. We can also refer you to one of our trusted partner attorneys for further assistance. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.