What are the benefits of legal services for seniors?
Seniors have an array of important legal issues to consider as they age, including long-term care, power of attorney, wills, trusts and guardianship. Without the proper legal services, seniors may have trouble ensuring their wishes are carried out should they become incapacitated. Further, seniors are frequent targets of fraud and other criminal wrongdoings, but with the right legal services in place, your loved doesn’t have to become a victim.
How can Senior Estate Concierge help with a senior’s legal services needs?
Senior Estate Concierge can help seniors locate reputable elder law or family law attorneys for their legal needs. We work with specialized, board-certified attorneys who have experience with senior clients. We can also help families locate an elder mediation specialist, if further discussions about your loved one’s care are needed. If a senior is in need of buying or selling a home, we can also help find a real estate agent with a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) accreditation.
With these experts within easy reach, Senior Estate Concierge can help your loved one secure their future quickly and conveniently.
How can an attorney specialized in elder law help seniors?
Elder law attorneys know everything there is to know about the legal issues that impact seniors. As such, they are a valuable expert to have on call, especially if questions about your loved one’s health and care are emerging. Here’s how an attorney specialized in elder law can help:
Help develop a long-term plan for care
Experienced elder law attorneys are familiar with the medical issues and financial challenges seniors face. As such, an elder law attorney can provide long range insight into what kind of care a senior will need, and the legal implications associated with that care. This is especially important if your loved one is suffering from a potentially-incapacitating condition, like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Establish a durable power of attorney
If your loved one is incapacitated and can no longer make their own medical or financial decisions, they will need someone they can trust to make those decisions for them. A durable power of attorney grants an individual this, and is usually entrusted to a close family member. An elder law attorney can provide families with the paperwork they need to establish power of attorney. An elder law attorney will also help prepare the paperwork to ensure nothing interferes with the process.
Establish guardianship if necessary
If your loved one can no longer make their own decisions and no one else has power of attorney, an elder law attorney can start guardianship proceedings so that a trusted person can make those decisions.
Protect your loved one’s assets
Seniors are frequent targets of fraud, both overt and subtle. An elder law attorney can oversee the handling of your loved one’s financial assets, ensuring they cannot be accessed by bad actors. Further, elder law attorneys can help with senior financial planning, including help with estate, income and gift tax concerns.
Help with Medicaid questions
Medicaid is complicated, but elder law attorneys can simplify it for their clients. This includes help with Medicaid eligibility and with applying for benefits. An elder law attorney may also provide help with other government support programs, like veteran’s benefits.
Provide objective counsel
Experienced elder law attorneys have seen many clients and know what long-term care arrangements are likely to work best for a particular senior. If there are any questions about how to proceed with care or other long-term legal issues, an elder law attorney will provide direct, impartial guidance.
Why do seniors need a family law attorney?
There is a bit of overlap between elder law attorneys and family law attorneys. Both can assist with estate planning, but family law attorneys tend to specialize in this area more, so if there are lingering questions about who will receive what, and who will take care of whom, a family law attorney can help provide answers.
Family law attorneys can help draft wills and trusts, or help families arrange for guardianship. Advance estate planning will ensure your loved one’s wishes are carried out, so they should be developed while your loved one can make these decisions in sound mind. Wills and trusts ensure beneficiaries receive what is intended for them, while minimizing the time spent in probate. If child custody is an issue, which may be the case if a grandparent is taking care of a child, a family law attorney will ensure the named guardian has custody of the child once required.
What is elder mediation and who needs it?
Questions about care, residence and estate planning can cause conflict in families, including conflict between seniors and their children or grandchildren. In these instances, conflict can reach a point where it leaves important questions unanswered, to the detriment of any seniors involved.
An elder mediation service helps families move past conflict and determine the best course for everyone involved. Meetings are held wherever they are needed, including private residences or a senior living facility. Mediators are trained in conflict resolution, so they don’t take sides. Instead, they work through communication issues to develop solutions that everyone can live with.
What if my loved one needs to move out of their home?
Even if your loved one wishes to age in place, they may need a different home to do it in. Perhaps their current residence is too large, too difficult to navigate or too far away from family. Whatever the reason, Senior Estate Concierge can help connect seniors and their families with Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) with the proper certifications. Why should you prioritize an agent with SRES certification?
They are familiar with all housing options available to seniors
Seniors have additional residential options available to them, and SRES-certified agents know what options are available in your loved one’s area. This includes planned senior communities that come with extra services that seniors could use, like provided transport or community-building programs.
They know the ins and outs of the Housing for Older Persons Act
The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) outlines what homes should come with, if they are targeted toward senior buyers. This includes features like one story, open floorplans, no step entries, senior-safe bathrooms and wider doorways. SRES-certified agents know what homes meet HOPA guidelines, ensuring your loved one has a home they can live in comfortably and safely.
They can refer their clients to additional specialists
SRES-certified agents usually have contacts with other relevant specialists, so they can be called on when necessary. For example, if your loved one wishes to age in place, SRES-certified agents can find an aging in place specialist to survey the home and outline what additions are needed to ensure it is safe.
Seniors face a multitude of complex legal issues during a time when they must make important decisions about where they will live and how they will receive care. This can feel overwhelming, but Senior Estate Concierge can help speed the process along by connecting trustworthy legal and real estate professionals with seniors and their families.