WAGM’s recent article entitled “A Closer Look at Elder Law” takes a look at some of the finer points of how an elder law attorney can help families planning for later life.
Elder law focuses on issues that often concern seniors, but it’s not just for older people. Elder law attorneys frequently also work with families to ensure all members, especially those who have medical or other special needs, are protected.
This area of the law often also centers upon long-term care planning, and this should be started before a senior is in a crisis and needs an immediate solution. Often elder law is broken down into two categories: proactive planning and crisis planning. There are many more options available for those who plan ahead.
Not every estate planning attorney is experienced with elder law issues like qualifying for VA Pension or Medicaid. To ensure you are working with someone with experience and expertise in this area, look for a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). The National Elder Law Foundation provides this certification to experienced attorneys who meet their high standards. To find a CELA near you, use the search engine found at NELF.org.
A CELA can help with questions about qualifying for VA Pension or nursing home Medicaid, so the individual can receive proper care, whether that’s at home or in a care facility. These programs are complicated, and the consequences of improperly planning can include delays in qualification or disqualification.
Planning can also provide protection if a senior suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and will require specialized care. With powers of attorney or a living trust, families can ensure that a trusted person is making decisions if a loved one becomes incapacitated.
Consulting with a CELA can benefit families who want to help protect their loved ones, lifestyle, and assets; retirees and pre-retirees who’d like to preserve the savings they’ve worked hard to compile over the years; and those seniors who may not have someone to care for them or significant assets to pay for these costs.
Reference: WAGM (Dec. 8, 2021) “A Closer Look at Elder Law“