Are you a senior wondering whether you need an attorney to help with the challenges you face? If so, it’s important to understand how an elder law attorney can assist you with your unique needs. Much has been made in recent decades about the nation’s aging demographics. If you’re a senior citizen, it’s important to understand what a Scarsdale elder law attorney can actually do for you.
America is getting older and with that advanced age comes new legal challenges that must be met. Long-term care, estate planning, and protection from elder abuse are just a few examples of the types of legal matters that our seniors have to deal with in their retirement years.
What does the area of elder law involve?
Many people are confused by the words “elder law” and wonder what it actually means. Frankly, there are good reasons for that confusion, since elder law covers a wide variety of different legal areas – and many attorneys only routinely handle certain kinds of issues. At its core, however, elder law can be defined as including all of those areas of the law that directly impact senior issues and interests. As a result, it can include everything from estate planning and nursing home care to age discrimination and elder abuse. Thus, a Scarsdale elder law attorney could provide you with assistance in dealing with many different elder law issues.
Issues involving estate planning
Seniors often need help with issues related to estate planning, even if they have an estate plan that has been in place for some time. Circumstances change, and new life developments may require them to add new beneficiaries to their estate plan or remove the names of heirs who have passed away. They often need to add trusts and other components to maximize their plan’s effectiveness. A Scarsdale elder law attorney can help you with your estate planning.
Assistance with Social Security and other benefits
Some seniors also need help when applying for certain benefits and entitlements. These situations can include those that involve claims for Social Security and Medicare or preparing an appeal of a disability denial. Seniors often need assistance as they try to obtain veterans’ benefits as well. An elder law attorney can help to eliminate much of the stress associated with these benefit approval processes and help to ensure that seniors get the assistance they deserve.
The importance of Medicaid planning
This is often cited as one of the most important elder law concerns – and with good reason. Seniors who need nursing home or other long-term care are often confronted with costs that amount to hundreds of dollars a day. For the average senior, that high cost of care can spell doom for any meager savings amassed over a lifetime of hard work and leave them with no assets for themselves or their heirs. A Scarsdale elder law attorney who practices in the area of Medicaid planning can help to avoid those dire consequences.
Asset protection strategies
With the right strategy, assets can be protected in a way that ensures that the senior nursing home applicant won’t be completely impoverished by the high cost of care. In addition, your attorney may recommend other tools like long-term care insurance where appropriate. Using irrevocable trusts and other tools and techniques, your attorney can ensure that you get the benefits you need without impoverishing your spouse, and still have a legacy to leave behind for your loved ones.
Dealing with Incapacity
If something happened to you tomorrow, do you have a plan in place? Your attorney can assist you with the process of creating an incapacity plan that can provide the protection you need against unwanted court-ordered conservatorships. With the use of living wills and durable powers of attorney for your financial and health care decision-making needs, you can rest assured that your trusted agent will be able to make those important decisions for you in the event that you lose the capacity to do so yourself.
Addressing and preventing discrimination against the elderly
Most of us would like to believe that discrimination of any kind is a thing of the past, but that’s simply not the case. Seniors often find themselves being discriminated against based solely on their age. Sometimes, this discrimination comes in the form of denial of housing. At other times, it involves denial of employment. In all instances, age-based discrimination is something that needs to be addressed to protect the senior’s rights and deter others from engaging in the same behavior. A Scarsdale elder law attorney can provide important assistance in remedying instances of discrimination.
Guarding against abuse and fraud
Sadly, elder abuse seems to be more prevalent than ever before, and so too is the fraud perpetrated against New York seniors. Often, seniors who have suffered abuse, neglect, or criminal fraud are simply too ashamed to seek help from family and friends. Many are slow to recognize that they have been mistreated. A Scarsdale elder law attorney can help you to protect your interests and fight back against abuse and fraud.
Attend a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding elder law issues or any other estate planning matters, contact the Law Offices of Mary A. Miller, P.C., for a consultation either online or by calling us at (914) 939-6565.