Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis
The financial, medical and senior care system is becoming more confusing. The aging population is finding it hard to conduct these on their own. So, they need elder care law support.
This is where the tasks of caregivers come to light. But, first, caregivers need to be the ones to find proper legal support for the elders. And this is not an easy task.
Our focus on this article is to give you, the caregiver, a complete idea about elder care law. By the end, you will know how to find elder care law support as caregivers.
What Is Elder Care Law?
So, the first question is- what is elder care law? When seniors become old, they need constant care. With this comes many more complications.
For example, the elderly may be thinking of moving to a senior care facility. What would be the best option for the elderly? Another example can be when the senior decides to sell away or divide the assets. There are legal issues connected with each of these processes.
That is where elder care law comes in. This division of the law is focused on the legal aspects of older adults and their adult kids. The field involves many different areas. We already have some idea about two of them.
The most important thing to remember here is that caregivers must be aware of this. Seniors get old, and it is tough for them to keep track of all these. Thus, it is a caregiver’s duty to find elder care law support for seniors.
Importance of Elder Care Law Attorney Support
Elder law attorneys look after the areas of elder care law. We will shortly know about their activities. But before that, we need to understand the importance of elder care law support. This can two-folded:
1. It helps you plan for the future
An elder care law attorney will help you plan for the future. The lawyer will suggest the best possible recommendations. As a result, you can make the most suitable plan for future senior care.
They will answer many questions about this topic. They will guide you through different types of senior care options. You will know about how seniors can manage expenses. Thus, they are the ultimate guide to leading seniors to a happy last few days of their lives.
Their functions are not limited to this only. They will also guide you to protect the senior’s assets best. And lawyers also guide you through creating wills before the death of the seniors.
2. Prepare accurate legal documents
Each state has different laws regarding legal documents. Attorneys are well aware of this. They know about this better than anyone else. And anyone would agree that preparing legal documents is challenging.
For example, the elderly you’re caring for intends to prepare a will. You will need to consult an attorney for this. It is better to look for a local elder law attorney for processes like these. These attorneys are knowledgeable about the local laws and regulations.
What Does an Elder Care Law Attorney Do?
Elder law is a special division of legal activities. The focus of this sector is the legal aspects of older adults. The legal issues may also involve adult children of the seniors. Thus, it consists of several different legal needs of senior citizens.
An elder law attorney focuses on those areas of the law. The areas cover elder care law. Here is the complete list:
5 Ways an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Family Caregivers
If you think seniors don’t have any legal issues, you are wrong. As they age, they might face stringer legal cases. This can involve housing, health issues, long-term care and financial aspects.
Elder law attorneys can help family caregivers in assisting seniors with such legal issues. They provide seniors with possible options to plan for unexpected things. For instance, what options do seniors have when they suffer from a severe illness that requires long-term care?
Senior law attorneys guide elderly people through such situations in life. They are experts in many different areas of senior legal issues. Thus, seniors need them to plan for possible scenarios in the future. Here are 5 ways elder law attorneys can help family caregivers.
1. Advice the best decisions
The advice can come from many places. But how would seniors know which one to pick? If they’re likely to face legal issues, attorneys are the best advice-givers.
Families are often indecisive about what senior care facilities they should choose for their parents. As caregivers, you might decide on emotion and influence as well. So, what do you do? You seek lawyer advice.
The elder law attorney will support you with a decision that is best for the seniors. The lawyer will decide without any emotion. The sole purpose of the decision will be to suggest what is best for the client.
2. Develop a plan for long-term senior care
People can easily underestimate an elder law attorney. Yet, they are excellent support for long-term senior care. Everyone might think that only doctors or caregivers know everything about it. But that is not the case.
Even attorneys know a lot about senior diseases and healthcare options. They know what lies ahead when situations come to this. As a result, they will prepare the best possible plan for you after judging your condition.
3. Guide towards Medicaid access
Certified attorneys are well-familiar with Medicaid. They know the ins and outs of the senior care payment option. Thus, they can guide you to apply for the benefits. And then, you can help seniors to become eligible for it and get it.
The veteran benefit is another thing that seniors can apply to manage senior facility expenses. Again, elder law attorneys can provide you with every information on it. The more you know, the more your chances of helping your loved ones.
4. Protection from financial exploitation
This is probably the most critical and harsh thing attorneys can help you with. Relatives and kids often try to exploit seniors off their assets. Even bad neighbors can look for the opportunity too.
As caregivers, it is your responsibility to take care of the elderly person. You can seek elder law attorney support to avoid this situation. The lawyer would know when it is potentially dangerous for the senior. And they will suggest measures to take against fraudulent or criminal activities.
5. Give you accurate information
Caregivers can often have questions with their senior loved ones. They go from door to door (website to website today) for accurate answers. But they cannot find the desired answers most of the time.
This is where attorneys come to light again. You can go to elder law attorneys to seek proper answers to elder law care questions. They will give you the answer you need, not the answer you want to hear. This is the best that you can do for seniors regarding legal issues.
5 Things Caregivers Must Know about Elder Care Law Support
Caring for seniors can be a challenging task. There is a lot of physical and emotional hardships involved. And when it comes to legal support, things can be even more daunting.
Caregivers can get very frustrated. So, seeking legal advice is standard practice. But even then, caregivers may face issues on elder care law. Thus, here are 5 things every caregiver must know about elder care law support.
1. Power of attorney
As mentioned already, there are many legal issues associated with seniors. A very common one is asset exploitation when the elderly is suffering from dementia. In such a situation, the elderly need a power of attorney as legal support.
A power of attorney has financial access to the accounts. As a result, the person can make important legal decisions for the elderly. So, the person should be trustworthy, experienced and skilled.
2. The will while alive
The second thing to know about is the living will. It is the documentation that states about the assets and their division in times of severe medical conditions. It also outlines the preference of the person in the situation of life support.
Caregivers can help seniors prepare the documentation. They can bring in lawyer support for elderly people. Knowing how to create a living will is a great added advantage.
3. Public benefits
Public benefits are a fantastic thing for the seniors. They help seniors manage the finances of senior living facilities. Some public benefits can be Medicaid, veteran benefits, social security and others.
As caregivers, you must have more than basic knowledge about them. There are many things associated with these benefits. You will need to ensure that they are eligible to apply. And the application process can also be tricky. Lawyers can guide you through the process.
4. Types of senior care needed
Not every senior needs to live in a nursing home. There are many options available for elderly people. Which one is the most suitable for them? Caregivers can guide them towards the best choice. And they can also take elder care attorney support for this decision.
5. Standard of care
Caregivers must also know about any law related to elder care. The laws may differ from state to state. Thus, it is even more crucial to seek the support of an elder care attorney in your area. Know about the laws and their practices. This way, the elderly is away from any legal trouble.
How to Find the Right Elder Care Law Support: Tips for Caregivers
There are several sources of free elder care legal services. But you will still have to choose one for yourself. So how do you do that? You do that by following these 5 tips.
1. Meet for a free consultation
Nothing is better than an in-person meeting. And this is the first thing you will need to do to find an elder care support attorney. And this consultation needs to be free. Most lawyers offer a short 15 to 30 minutes of free consultation. So ask as many elder care law questions as possible during this time.
2. Find out the level of experience
The lawyer you want to choose for the elderly must be highly experienced. This means that the attorney should have enough experience in handling senior care laws. It is even better if the lawyer has experience in cases like the senior you’re caring for.
3. Evaluate the customer service
The lawyer you want to work with must be responsive and professional. The elder care attorney must offer you the best possible service. This involves quite a few things:
- The behavior with senior clients
- Politeness and professionalism
- Timeliness with calls and emails
- Following up with explanations
4. Take notes
Taking notes when meeting a lawyer is essential. You will be able to remember unique things about the lawyer. Use the notes to evaluate the attorneys with the senior you’re caring for. The review and decisions should come from both of you.
5. Check lawyer credentials
Before finalizing, you will have to confirm the credentials. You can check the credentials on the American State Bar Association webpage. Go to the weblink and search for the name of the attorneys. Then, check their Bar and license numbers. You will also find many different information on the attorney on the website.
Elder care law support is not a simple matter. A lot of things go into the consideration of taking lawyer support for seniors. First, we find it difficult; imagine what would happen to seniors!
If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one, it is important to find the right support for your needs. This includes, in-person meetings with the lawyer, looking at their experience level, checking client service reviews, taking notes, and verifying their credentials.
Thus, the caregivers’ duty is to find the best elder care law support with the 5 tips. You now know what knowledge you must build up. It’s time to focus on finding the resources for attaining legal help.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the elder care law process work to establish Medicaid?
The elder care law process to establish Medicaid begins with the individual or family completing an application with their state Medicaid agency. This application will ask for basic information about the individual and their finances.
After the application is submitted, the state Medicaid agency will review it to determine if the individual meets the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. These requirements vary by state, but generally include being a low-income household, disabled, or elderly.
When to use elder law?
Elder law can be used in a variety of situations. One common time when elder law may be utilized is when an individual is approaching retirement age and needs to make preparations for their future. This may include drafting a will or Power of Attorney, setting up trusts, or entering a long-term care facility. Elder law can also help protect seniors from scams and financial fraud. Please consult with an attorney if you have any questions about how elder law could benefit you or a loved one.