As people age, their needs for all kinds of services change over time. Medical needs change, so instead of just seeing a general practitioner, it may be necessary to work with a physician who specializes in a certain field. Financial situations and needs change; so there is often value in working with a financial professional who works regularly with retirees. When it comes to legal services, an elder law attorney can help seniors plan and address legal needs that generally don’t apply to younger generations.
Services Elder Law Attorneys Provide
Specific service offerings may vary from attorney-to-attorney and from firm-to-firm, however attorneys holding themselves out as “Elder Law” attorneys generally help clients with planning ahead for paying costs associated with long-term care, helping seniors plan for management and distribution of their assets during periods of lifetime incapacity and at death, and navigating veteran’s benefits.
Long-Term Care Planning
Long-term care in New Jersey can cost more than $65,000 per year, and the average length of stay in a facility is 2 1/2 years. Those statistics can be overwhelming; the good news is that there may be options for seniors who plan ahead. Elder law attorneys can help explain the methods and options of paying for long-term health care. Seniors and their family members also often have questions about qualifying for government-funded programs like Medicaid. An elder law attorney can help evaluate your current financial situation and can explain various options.
Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer Planning
An elder law attorney can be an invaluable resource when it comes to planning for how to manage and distribute estate assets in the event of incapacity, and after death. Tools used often include wills, trust instruments, advance directives for health care and powers of attorney for financial transactions. For clients who find themselves in a crisis situation needing to help an aging family member who can no longer manage their own affairs, an elder law attorney may also be able to help with guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.
Understanding what resources are available to veterans of the armed services, and knowing how to access those resources, can be challenging. An elder law attorney can help veterans and their loved ones obtain the services they have earned.
Questions to Ask Elder Law Attorneys
Ask your elder law attorney if he/she is a Certified Elder Law Attorney. Attorneys who wish to earn this designation, granted by the National Elder Law Foundation, must demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in special needs and elder law. Certified Elder Law Attorneys have met rigorous qualifications. Long Term Living Association’s (LTLA) elder law attorney is one of only 50 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the state of New Jersey.
It’s also important to understand what an elder law attorney’s services will cost. Don’t be afraid to ask. Costs can vary widely and may reach up to $15,000, depending on the attorney’s qualifications and experience, the complexity involved in the client’s situation, and what services are actually provided.
LTLA Can Help
At LTLA, we understand the challenges that come with aging. We can help you plan for the future, so you’re ready to meet it head-on. Seniors and their loved ones who find out they need help now, rather than later, also count on LTLA to help navigate what can feel like a sea of services and service providers.
Our Certified Elder Law Attorney helps clients with Medicaid planning, estate and wealth transfer planning, and veteran’s benefits. To learn more about our elder law services, or about any of the services LTLA offers to help seniors and their loved ones, get started by completing our online contact form today. If you prefer, you can also call LTLA at 1-800-868-1193.
Our Elder Law and Estate Planning Specialist