Legal needs change as we get older. We need to get our estates in order and figure out who will be responsible for our medical care and finances in our twilight years.
An elder law attorney will see to it that your rights are protected as you get older, but it is absolutely necessary to find the representation you can trust.
It’s sad but true, many people take advantage of the elderly. That’s why it is so important to find a reputable attorney with you or your loved one’s best interests in mind.
Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP has years of experience in elder law in the Columbia County, PA area, and our reputation speaks for itself. Read on to find out how we can help protect your rights as you get older.
How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?
An elder law attorney performs a variety of duties that allow individuals to enjoy the comfort they deserve in their twilight years. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help.
Navigating Home Health Care
Navigating the home health care system can be frustrating and expensive. Consulting with an elder law attorney early on can save a lot of time and stress.
An attorney may recommend you set long-term care insurance that will cover your care later in life. These plans may even allow you to pay care costs off years in advance, so you don’t have to worry about these expenses when you’re not bringing in as much income.
There are also several government-funded healthcare plans including Medicaid, Medicare, PACE, and those available through the Department of Veterans Affairs. An attorney will help you determine which of these is best suited to your needs and explain what is involved. They will also assist in the enrolment process.
Estate planning is similar to making a will, but it protects the inheritance from taxes allowing your loved ones to get the ultimate benefits of your assets after you pass on. A lawyer will create a plan that takes your needs into consideration including long-term medical care, power of attorney, guardianship, and other matters that may come into play.
Guardianship and Financial Assistance
As you get older, you may want to appoint a family member as your guardian. He or she will be making medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so on your own. Most of these decisions will be made with extensive input from a medical professional.
In addition to making medical decisions on your behalf, your guardian may also have other decision-making responsibilities. The relationship may be compared to that of a parent and a young child.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney involves aspects of guardian of the estate and guardianship in that it allows an individual to make financial and medical conditions on your behalf, but it leaves the older adult some say in the decision-making process.
There are different designations of power of attorney. An ‘attorney in fact’, or ‘agent,’ will act on the older adult’s behalf in all legal and financial matters. A ‘nondurable’ or ‘limited power of attorney’ means that person only has that type of authority in a specific situation.
‘Springing power of attorney’ is another designation. It means the power of attorney does not go into effect until certain requirements are met. This could pertain to a specific diagnosis by a medical expert. For instance, if the older adult is diagnosed with dementia, springing power of attorney may go into effect.
Your attorney will help you decide which power of attorney is right for you.
The Probate Process
After a person passes, a probate process begins. This involves the inheritor filing a petition and dealing with challenges to the estate from other potential inheritors. This process must be completed before the deceased’s assets can be distributed, which is where things can get complicated and expensive.
The right planning will help the probate process go smoothly. Your lawyer will see to it that your family does not have to go through hoops to get their money and they will be there to help them if any challenges arise.
When Should I Hire An Elder Law Attorney?
The term ‘elder law attorney’ is a bit misguiding. It makes it seem as if you only need to hire an elder law attorney when you are a senior.
The truth is, the sooner you see an elder law attorney, the better. It is advisable to get these affairs dealt with in middle age.
If you hold off on consulting a lawyer, it may be too late. You may already find yourself dealing with medical and financial issues that could have been avoided with the right planning. And having to deal with these problems later in life, when you may not be in the best of health, is not advisable.
It is best to call in a lawyer as soon as you have a good idea of your assets and the family members you would like them to be distributed to.
Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP Are the Right Choice for Pennsylvania Elder Care Law
If you are looking for a lawyer to handle your elder care matters, you need someone you can trust. Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP has years of experience handling elder care law in the Columbia County, PA area.
When you come into our offices, you will know you are in good hands. We provide excellent customer service and are known for treating our clients with the care and respect they deserve. We will see to all your eldercare needs to eliminate stressful situations that may arise as you get older.
Your elder care needs are important. Do not trust them to just anyone. Call Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP for a free consultation and leave the rest to us.