Often times, people hear about different areas of legal practice and the terms used mean practically nothing in and of themselves. That’s to be expected, of course, since the practice of law often encompasses different areas of legal concern that are difficult to accurately sum up in a one or two-word phrase. One example of this phenomenon is the term “elder law.” If you don’t know what it means, it can be difficult to know whether you need a lawyer who practices in this area of law. While it generally refers to that area of the law that addresses the legal concerns of seniors, even that definition doesn’t really do the term justice. To better understand it, here are seven clear signs that might indicate that you need the services of an elder law attorney in Georgia.
- Are you sitting on assets below $100,000 in value, and wondering how you’re going to manage the cost of nursing home care should that ever become an issue?
If you’re a senior or approaching retirement and concerned that your current estate could never provide you with the financing you need to pay for any potential long-term care, then you need the type of services that only an elder law expert can provide. There are ways to pay for that care, but they typically involve strategies that are best implemented years in advance of any nursing home need. At a minimum, you should begin things like Medicaid planning at least five years before you plan to apply for benefits to ensure that you don’t run afoul of the program’s five-year look-back period.
- Are you suffering from anxiety related to serious financial changes that have left you worried about the future?
Everyone’s finances change over time – sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. Any decline in your financial fortunes can present serious concerns about your ability to take care of yourself as you get older. Elder law attorneys can provide the type of financial planning guidance you need to ensure that your financial affairs remain in order as the years go by.
- Are you or someone you know suffering from abuse, being victimized by fraud, or otherwise being mistreated by family, caregivers, or nefarious scam artists?
Elder abuse and criminal fraud are crime, but all too often they are crimes that go unreported by seniors who are too ashamed or confused about what has happened to them to alert the authorities. An attorney can help to ensure that your rights and safety are protected from these threats.
- Are you currently living in a long-term care facility and concerned about protecting your rights and interests?
Most nursing homes and other long-term care facilities actively work to ensure that all caregivers are cognizant of residents’ basic civil liberties and patient rights. However, there are often instances in which those residents find that their rights and interests are being ignored. When that happens, it can be difficult for seniors to know where to turn, since complaints can sometimes bring reprisals. If you or a loved face such a situation, rest assured that you can always contact your elder law attorney for the assistance you need.
- Have you been diagnosed with an illness or other medical condition and been informed that you have less than a decade or so to live?
Any serious medical diagnosis can serve as an early warning sign that you may need more long-term and intensive health care services in the near future. That can prompt worries about how you’ll pay for that care, how you can ever manage to leave a legacy for your family when you’re gone, and other important concerns. An elder law attorney with estate planning expertise can help you to create the plan you need to meet all of those financial obligations and end-of-life goals.
- Are you dealing with a number of different health care providers and having problems coordinating that care to ensure that your needs are met?
Let’s face it; at some point these types of coordination problems can get the best of all of us. When you’re not feeling well and receiving ongoing care, of course, patient management of that care can be a particularly challenging ordeal. Contact an elder law attorney for the advocacy and advice you need to make sense of it all.
- Has a lengthy period of time passed since you last updated your estate plan?
This is one of the most common problems many seniors face. The fact is that if you’ve let your estate plan sit for a number of years, there’s a good chance that life events have rendered many of its existing provisions all but useless. The birth of new heirs and death of older heirs may have left much of your inheritance strategy in shambles. Moreover, you may have never even gotten around to asset protection strategies, Medicaid planning, and other important planning concerns. It’s always a good idea to update that plan on a regular basis to ensure that it is doing all that you need it to do.
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then an elder care attorney can help you sort out any difficulties and regain the peace of mind you deserve in your retirement years! Of course, you still have to know who to turn to if you want to get the professional help that you need.
At Fouts Law Group, LLC, our legal team can help you to deal with a wide-ranging array of elder law issues. We work with you to deal with current challenges, address those most likely to appear in the near future, and create long-term strategies to take care of potential future needs like nursing home financing and incapacity planning. As we age, we all face new challenges that require a more specialized approach to legal questions. To find out how we can help you find the approach that is right for you, contact us online or give us a call at (678) 242-8344 today.
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