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When Should You Involve an Elder Law Attorney?

elder law attorney desk name plate and gavel

Elder law is a new type of law that has come about due to longer life expectancy of the Baby Boomers. An elder law attorney provides advocacy to the elderly, disabled, and their family members. It can be confusing to know when to contact an elder law attorney. For this reason, we have identified the most common reasons people contact one and how the attorney helps.

How Your Elder Law Attorney Can Help

An Elder Law Attorney, also listed as Elder Care Attorney, and some times referred to as an Elder Care Lawyer help people with legal matters having to do with estate planning, asset protection, Medicaid, and other types of planning.

The best time to involve an elder law attorney is before someone’s health begins to fail due to age-related conditions. It is important that the person is of sound body and mind when making decisions about the future.

The following are some of the ways an elder law attorney helps older individuals.

Elder Care Attorney and Management of Assets and Health Care Plan

An elder care lawyer can help you appoint a loved one to manage your assets and health care plan in case you become so ill you are unable to manage them yourself. This should be someone you trust and you believe will carry out the plan as written in the agreement.

The lawyer will help you complete the legal documents needed, so only the prescribed person can take control of your assets and health care plan. They also are experienced in the multiple options available to you. Since not everyone’s situation is the same, you will want to spend some time with the elder law attorney, ask lots of questions, and make sure that things will be managed according to your wishes.

An Elder Care Lawyer Will Write A Long-Term Care Plan 

A long-term care plan involves stating your wishes with regard to your care and how it will be paid for when you need it. Most of the time, the person in charge of your assets and health care plan will also be in charge of this plan. This differs from the above in that this covers your nursing care, while the health care plan covers medical care. The lawyer will help you complete the necessary documentation needed to ensure your long-term care plan is followed.

Estate Planning

estate planning infographic for meeting with elder law attorneyEstate planning has to do with distribution of your assets in the event of your death. This may include a will, trust or other documents. Since these are all legal documents, an elder law attorney needs to prepare them to ensure they are completed correctly and therefore binding.

Power of Attorney

It’s important to also appoint a person to be your Power of Attorney (someone who will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated) For more explanation please visit our blog a living will vs power of attorney and is it really that important. You will need to complete paperwork for this, as other loved ones may want to take control of this when you are not able to respond. An elder care lawyer will ensure the documents are completed in their entirety.

Eldercare Connections Can Recommend an Elder Law Attorney

If you need to appoint someone to manage your assets, healthcare plan, long-term care plan, and/or create a will or complete a Power of Attorney document, it’s important to contact an elder law attorney. Eldercare Connections can help you find an appropriate attorney. For assistance either complete our contact us form or give us a call at 513-685-8998.

Living Will vs Power of Attorney and is it Really that Important?

Determining Living Will vs Power of Attorney (POA) is often difficult because people wonder if they really need a Power of Attorney or a Living Will as they get older. They don’t believe they will ever get to a point where they cannot make their own decisions when it comes to medical care or long-term care. Unfortunately, most people do get to this point, and then their loved ones are left with deciding what is best. Before jumping in, it is important to know the differences between durable power of attorney vs living will and which is right for you.

Durable Power of Attorney vs Living Will and the differences.

Before identifying the reasons you should have a POA or Living Will, these are the differences between each one.elderly person trying to understand comparison of durable power of attorney vs living will

And just for clarification sake, when we refer to Power of Attorney (POA), we actually mean Durable Power of Attorney. What does durable mean? In simple terms it means that it stays in effect if you become incapacitated or some how unable to manage your affairs on your own. Whereas a regular POA (“nondurable”) would automatically end if the personal losses mental capacity. So for our purposes here, when we use the term POA, we are referring to the “durable” type.

POA is when you appoint someone to make all of your decisions. If you become incapacitated, this person can make all of the decisions having to do with your medical care. This includes financial decisions to pay for any services needed while you are unresponsive.

A Living Will is a document that outlines what you want to happen if you become incapacitated. Most people include whether or not they want to be resuscitated in this document. This is an important consideration and can sometimes depend on religious beliefs. It’s a personal decision for many people, so that’s why they want to have it in writing.

Living Will vs Power of Attorney and is it Really that Important?

Someone who doesn’t have a POA or Living Will is at the mercy of their loved ones if they become unresponsive. If no loved ones are available or do not want to make the decision about care, the medical community will do what they believe is in your best interest. Either way, by not having the appropriate documents in order, you will not have expressed your wishes of future care and treatment.

lawyer drafting comparison of living will vs power of attorney

Other people’s beliefs regarding what is in your best interest may not exactly be what you believe is in your best interest.

So, yes! We believe they are important. Whether you prefer durable power of attorney vs living will is a personal choice and may involve considering many varying circumstances. Consulting an attorney (elder law attorney) who specializes in this type of practice may be a good option. Eldercare Connections is also a good option. They can help you work through some things to consider, and also can recommend an attorney to consult who specializes and can create the appropriate documents.

How to Create a POA and Living Will

living will vs power of attorney comparison is trickyIdentifying a POA is a legal procedure. You must speak to an elder law attorney to draft the document for you. You and the person that you are appointing as your POA will need to sign the legal document. A copy will go to you and the POA, while the original stays with the attorney. This is in case the copies are destroyed and the attorney needs to prove that your POA has been legally identified by you as your POA.

The Living Will is also a legal document. You will speak with an elder law attorney to discuss what you would like to happen if you become incapacitated. You can include medical care and financial plans in the document, so there is no question of what you would like to happen. In case something does happen that you become unresponsive, this plan will be followed. Several significant people, i.e. spouse, family member, etc. should know about this Living Will, so that it can be furnished if needed.

How Eldercare Connections Helps Determine Living Will vs Power of Attorney

Eldercare Connections is a free senior placement services & elderly home care referral for people who are growing older and their loved ones. If you need help with a POA and/or Living Will, we can help you find an elder law attorney. Simply call us or contact us through our website for more information.