Elder law is a field of criminal law practice that specifically focuses on issues which pertain to the aging aged population. The main aim of elder law planning is to enable the aged individual to achieve financial independence and full autonomy throughout their golden years. This requires that legal guidelines are followed which relate to medical insurance, wills, investment and retirement accounts among others. This legal system also addresses how to handle various social security issues pertaining to the aged.
In most instances, elderly people need legal help in dealing with their finances and ensuring they do not become a burden on their children or other relatives. As we age, we often realize that our resources have diminished to the point where we may not be able to take care of ourselves properly. Financial and medical advice from an elder law attorney can help determine which path an elder should take in addressing his or her current financial status. An attorney can also help determine who should retain care in the event of a senior needing extensive medical treatment for any reason.
Throughout the United States, a large number of aging citizens need legal assistance to deal with a variety of legal issues affecting seniors. The most common challenges to elderly citizens include nursing home abuse, wills, trusts, property and inheritance probate and the distribution of Social Security benefits. Many states provide assistance for the legal needs of the elderly including legal defense counsel, legal education seminars, free elder law attorney clinics and legal support groups. There are also various elder law attorneys who provide specific expertise in different areas of the law such as real estate, family law, probate, trusts and probate courts among others.
In some instances, family members or caregivers may not have the knowledge or expertise required in complex legal issues. For this reason, it is always wise to seek the advice of an elder law attorney who has experience and expertise in dealing with situations that involve special needs planning, assets, insurance and financial affairs. Furthermore, the attorney should also be familiar with local court policies and procedures and the applicable laws. It is very important that special needs planning be undertaken by family members or caregivers that can benefit from it.
It is important that family members or caregivers learn about their legal rights, responsibilities and financial assets in the event of an elder law crisis. There are also measures that they can take to protect their interests should a situation arise. This is especially important when dealing with financial issues or estate planning, as these issues can become complicated.
It is recommended that all seniors engage in some form of special needs planning to ensure that their final wishes are respected. It is wise to do this as early as possible in life, prior to illness or other circumstances that might cause a person to deteriorate or pass away. Some people are able to make important decisions with the help of a lawyer, while others need a full-time caregiver to assist them throughout their golden years. Many seniors fall ill unexpectedly or lose their ability to care for themselves. Some of these individuals are unable to leave their homes, but have medical needs or assets that need to be protected.
In most cases, it is difficult for seniors to understand why their rights and those of their children are being challenged. For this reason, it is advisable for everyone involved to seek out the advice of elder law professionals. Elder law attorneys will be able to advise seniors on how to handle the process of selling or passing away their home, as well as providing necessary legal representation for any legal issues that may arise. With this type of legal representation, older adults can be better prepared to handle the process of transitioning from one stage of life to another.
Another concern for many seniors is becoming over-dependent on their children or grandchildren. This often happens when a parent lives with a caregiver for an extended period of time. In some cases, a senior can become so dependent upon their child or grandchild that they end up in an abusive situation. Elder law attorneys can help seniors establish legal guardianship over their children or grandchildren in order to prevent their elder loved ones from becoming too much of a danger. A legal guardian will also be in charge of making sure that the elder has access to the necessary resources such as money and food, while they transition from life inside the home to one that is outside of it. Ensuring that a loved one is properly cared for after they pass away is very important, and the services of an experienced elder law attorney should always be consulted before making any important decisions regarding their care.