Why Should I Talk to An Elder Care Attorney First?
What is an Elder Care Attorney?
An Elder Care Attorney focuses on a large range of legal matters related to older or disabled persons. In short, an elder care attorney helps with getting legal documents in order and help you know if your wishes are legal in your state.
What can an Elder Care Attorney help me with?
An elder care attorney can help you with financial and estate planning, future health care planning, creating a durable power of attorney and financial power of attorney, and other important issues of older adults. They can also help you facilitate long-term care and financial discussions with your family in case you become incapacitated.
What legal documents should seniors have in place?
There’s a lot of confusion as to what documents older adults need, and when they should have them in place. As laws change, many people also question if their documents are still legal. These documents are suggested for older adults – or really any adult – to have in place or to discuss with an Elder Care Attorney:
- Durable Power of Attorney: Also known as a financial power of attorney or durable power of attorney for finances. A durable power of attorney appoints someone to be your financial agent, is active the date it is signed and endures through your incapacity.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: A health care directive that is also known as a durable power of attorney for health care or medical power of attorney. A health care power of attorney appoints someone to advocate with health care providers so you receive the treatment preferences you have legally outlined. It is almost never active the day it is made and needs to be activated. When you expire, the health care power of attorney’s authority expires.
- Will: A will, also known as a last will and testament, lets you leave instructions about how your property and assets are distributed after you die. You can also name a personal representative, guardians for your children or pets, and decide how debts and taxes will be paid. In order for a will to be carried out, a court process (probate) is necessary.
- Revocable Living Trust: An estate planning vehicle that allows for a higher control of assets under the appointment of a trustee, helps to avoid probate and has potential estate tax benefits. Any property the trust maker wants to be covered by the trust must be transferred into the trust’s ownership.
No matter your wishes for your future care, and your assets after your death, it is important to let your loved ones know. An Elder Care Attorney can help facilitate this discussion and make sure the legal documentation is in place to ensure your wishes are carried out in accordance with the law in your state.