At some point in their lifetime, most Americans will need an attorney for one reason or another — to assist with the purchase of a home, consultation for a new business, or advice regarding the myriad of complicated tax laws. But as we mature, there is a whole new set of legal matters that most of us are forced to consider and that is when the guidance of an elder law attorney becomes particularly critical.
So just what is an elder law attorney or lawyer?
Elder Law Specialization
An elder law attorney focuses on a range of issues affecting the elderly, including retirement, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Elder law attorneys are knowledgeable about the intricacies of long-term planning, and can help individuals make the right choices about wills, estate planning and other financial matters, including a durable power of attorney. They can help seniors and their loved ones locate the best resources for long-term care or assisted living facilities. They also advocate for those who need to file nursing home claims, and can offer guidance with the selection of a legal guardian. Because elder care attorneys tend to have a greater sensitivity to the special physical and emotional needs of the elderly, they effectively work with older clients in a way that other attorneys do not.
Doing the Research
You can obtain more information about what an elder law attorney or lawyer does, and how they can assist you, by visiting resourceful Web sites like the the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) (www.naela.org). Although online research can help answer your general questions about what is an elder law attorney or lawyer, the best option is to speak to an elder law attorney personally, especially one that has been personally referred by a friend or other family member. When interviewing attorneys that focus on elder care law, some important questions to ask include how long they have been practicing law, and in particular, how much time they spend practicing elder care law.
Felinton Elder Law and Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton has more than 30 years of experience in assisting seniors with a wide range of matters surrounding elder law. For more information about her team’s services or to register for a free seminar, contact her office at (301) 610-0055.