Understanding Elder Law

Elder law affects us all at some point in our lives. Whether you are currently taking on the role of the caretaker or the older adult who requires care, knowing how elder law works is essential for your future. Despite its necessity, not everyone understands what elder law entails. When it comes to ensuring that your assets are protected as you age, it is important that you work with an attorney to make sure your rights are preserved as you grow older. Likewise, if you are now the caretaker for an elder parent or relative, make sure you know what legal changes may be required as you move forward.

What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

The primary job of an elder law attorney is to protect the rights of the elderly. This extends to any subject matter affecting the life of the elderly person in question, but can include healthcare, guardianship, retirement, Social Security, and Medicare issues. The goal is not to make a plan for the elderly individual, but make a plan with them, ensuring that their wishes are preserved and honored.

Elder individuals often have different concerns than younger adults do. It is the elder law attorney’s job to determine what needs to be done in order to ensure that the elder individual’s needs are met and continue to be protected. This may relate to financial planning and making key medical choices about care in the future and appointing guardianship. As an elder person’s health begins to fail, it is important that other, younger adults that they trust are appointed with the authority to make medical decisions on their behalf. It is important that these orders are established early on while the elder individual is of sound mind and able to make these big decisions. An elder law attorney can help with more sensitive issues and complex situations regarding family matters and special medical needs.

Typical Elder Law Services

An elder law attorney will work with elderly individuals and their families to establish a plan for their finances, medical wishes, and everything else pertaining to the future. This might also include estate planning documents, establishing a durable power of attorney, and addressing any other sensitive needs, such as disabilities or potential assisted living plans.

Common legal services offered by an elder law attorney include:

  • Preservation of assets and finances
  • Estate planning
  • Creating durable power of attorney
  • Planning for health care
  • Appointment of guardianship and conservatorship
  • Planning for long-term care or assisted living
  • Probate and estate administration
  • Probate litigation

Even with an established estate plan, you might still need the help of an experienced elder law attorney. As we age, we often face a host of serious threats. If your health takes a turn for the worst, it is important that you have your wishes clearly written down to direct your loved ones if you are unable to guide them yourself. Additionally, many elderly individuals find themselves living under the care of a nursing home facility, which can sometimes be dangerous. Not all nursing home facilities and professionals are fair and kind, which can lead to cases of neglect or abuse. An elder law attorney can help you find well-reputed assisted living facility you can trust, and will inform you and your family of your rights to better protect you. The elderly are also frequent targets of financial scams, but having your assets protected can significantly improve your chances of falling victim to such schemes.

If you are in need of an elder law attorney, our firm is here to help. Contact Scaringi Law today to begin working with our Harrisburg elder law attorneys.


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