How elder law attorneys can help
Elder law is an unofficial legal branch with a loose definition, but in general terms, it encompasses legal statutes and regulations that affect those segments of the population who are advanced in age. The goal of elder law is to ensure that senior citizens enjoy happy, productive and safe golden years free of crime, discrimination and elder abuse.
There are many specific issues with which elder law attorneys assist senior citizens, though the primary ones include estate planning, long-term health care and fiduciary relationships such as power of attorney, probates and trusts. In fact, there are dedicated elder law firms out there which specialize in helping seniors take care of outstanding legal issues or concerns.
Guardianship and protection also comprise a significant part of elder law. Attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals and other professionals working within the sphere of elder law, including caregivers, financial planners, doctors and social workers, all work together to ensure that no senior citizen slips through society's cracks.
How Elder Law Lawyers Help
Elder law attorneys also assist clients in claiming Social Security benefits owed to them, managing health insurance claims and facing legal end-of-life issues. They also help fight discrimination against the elderly, counsel clients on tax issues, advocate for their rights and ensure that real estate and landlord/tenant issues are dealt with lawfully.
Unfortunately, elder abuse is more common than you might think and can be perpetrated by both caregivers as well as family members. Fraud targeting the elderly is also a major problem, as there's a perception among criminals that older people make easier targets. Attorneys are there in the event that civil action needs to be initiated against a caregiver, nursing home or fraud perpetrator.
It's also been well-documented that poorly run nursing homes can be awful places for a person to spend their last years. Initiating legal action is usually necessary to recover damages from these institutions.
With a growing segment of the population reaching senior citizen status, legal issues facing older individuals are more visible than ever before. If you or any aging members of your family are in need of legal assistance, contact an elder law firm for a consultation. Look for lawyers that offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations to new clients.