You shouldn’t have to worry about your loved one’s affairs. Read here for nine telltale signs that you need to hire an elder law attorney.
Business imposters and tech support scammers are some of the most common ways that older adults lose money. They’re promised one thing, only to be left with an emptied-out bank account and a lack of understanding of what happened.
It’s important that you have an elder law attorney exactly for this reason. They can help walk senior citizens through any legal situation they may have fallen into. In some cases, your attorney can even help them make financial plans for the future.
Here are nine signs that you should call up an elder law attorney today.
1. Your Estate Plan Is No Longer Up to Date
Creating an estate plan is the easiest way to avoid probate. This involves creating a will, trusts, and a healthcare directive. It’s an essential part of preparing for the end and saving your loved ones a lot of trouble later on.
There are benefits to hiring an estate planning attorney to help with the process. They can maintain documents on your behalf, make sure your plan complies with any changes in the law, and provide advice for other areas.
Most importantly, your estate planning attorney can help your loved ones avoid much of the stress after you pass. They can focus on healing rather than searching for documents.
2. Suspected Elder Abuse or Neglect
You’ll want to call a lawyer if you suspect abuse or neglect by your elder caretaker or even a family member. While it’s easy enough to fire a caretaker and hire a new one, you can’t exactly do the same thing when it comes to a family member or friend.
If you suspect that foul play is at hand, your elder lawyer can help you sort through your options. They may suggest something like getting a restraining order or even pursuing charges against the abuser.
3. Financial Exploitation
Along the same lines, there’s also the risk of financial exploitation. Unfortunately, many seniors fall victim to all kinds of fraud and scams. It’s even more common when it involves technology or their own debt.
The best way to avoid elder fraud is through education and awareness, open communication, and robust privacy measures. If your elderly loved ones call you about something regarding money, you need to listen to them. You may be the only thing keeping a complete stranger from accessing their financial information.
4. Loss of Independence
Unfortunately, there comes a time when a person’s body and mind can’t function as well as they used to. When that happens, it’s important to set up some systems to support them.
For example, you may want to get a healthcare or financial power of attorney. That way, you will be responsible for any decisions regarding your loved one’s health and finances.
You may also want to set up a healthcare directive if the individual cannot speak on their own behalf. This is important if they suffer from a disease like dementia. Even if you hire a caregiver for them, they should reach out to the power of attorney for any important decision-making.
5. Medical Malpractice
Many elderly citizens require extensive medical care for their various ailments and injuries. The problem is that they don’t always gain access to the best care possible. It’s not easy for them to travel far, so they often settle for what’s closest.
As such, it’s not uncommon for medical malpractice to come up. Maybe their physician made some negligent mistakes or prescribed the wrong medication. It’s also likely that they didn’t put in as much effort due to the age of your loved one.
When you find yourself in that situation, an elder law attorney will come in handy.
6. Senior Housing Matters
Senior housing is one area that’s difficult to navigate for anyone. There are a lot of options, but they aren’t always available or affordable.
First of all, your elder law attorney can help you find suitable housing that fits within your budget. They can help you figure out what kind of benefits your loved one is entitled to and how to access them.
The attorney can also help with housing problems such as potential eviction and landlord disputes.
7. End-of-Life Plans
End-of-life planning is important to get out of the way if you know you’re approaching the end of your time. This often involves writing out which of your family members gets what items, what to do with your property after death, and even if you want your body buried or cremated.
An attorney can help make sure that your plan is legally sound and not up for debate by troublesome family members.
8. Age Discrimination
Age discrimination can come up in almost any situation. It involves unfair or unjust treatment of a person based on their age, and it’s unfortunately common for senior citizens to go through.
While some elderly individuals do suffer physically and mentally as they age, that doesn’t automatically apply to all of them.
For example, a company must prove that a person is incapable of their job in order to fire them. If you believe that a loved one has suffered due to age discrimination, you should contact a seasoned elder law attorney.
9. Complex Financial Situations
Finally, seek legal help when dealing with any complicated financial situations. This may involve acquiring disability or social security benefits. It’s also possible that the older individual has a financial situation such as debt that they don’t want passed down to their successors.
Your elder law attorney can help make sure that there aren’t any lingering issues that will come up after you pass.
Speak to an Elder Law Expert
It’s a good idea to hire an elder law attorney whenever you or a loved one is going through any kind of big transitionary period. They can help walk you through the process and set up things like your estate plan or medical insurance. You may also need their services if you pursue a lawsuit against another person.
Johnson/Turner Legal is here to assist with family law, estate planning, probate, and more. Our team gives clients fixed pricing with no hidden costs. Contact us to set up a free consultation and to learn more about our law office.