Many elderly persons rely entirely on their children, family members or other trusted individuals to help them. This dependence upon caregivers or family members can sometimes backfire and make an older person more vulnerable to abuse and financial exploitation. Legal arrangements and actions by the family may be necessary to protect loved ones from being taken advantage of or from making bad decisions.
Making legal decisions about property, finances, powers of attorney, and final wishes are important tasks to be completed sooner rather than later. Having legal documentation for the disposition of property, for medical treatment and for the person designated to be responsible for parents’ welfare can avoid family disputes and financial abuse, and help to conserve assets.
Elder law attorneys focus on various legal issues affecting the elderly. They assist the elderly and their families with all aspects of estate planning and with the implementation of necessary legal documents. An elder law attorney can also help with disputes with Medicaid. Below is a partial list of what an elder law attorney might be able to do for clients:
- Preservation of assets
- Disability planning, including use of living trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies.
- Help with financial management and health care decisions
- Administration and management of trusts and estates
- Long term care planning for nursing homes and assisted living