An elder law attorney is a legal professional that specializes in the issues that arise as we age. These issues can include the transfer of the power to make financial or health care related decisions and planning for long-term care needs.
Two specific benefits an elder law attorney can provide include:
- Legal documents. The chances that a power of attorney or health care proxy will go into effect increase as we age. As a result, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure these documents are in place and reflect your wishes. The person you choose to manage assets may need to take aggressive action to help ensure long-term care costs do not bottom out the estate. It is important to have a lawyer draft a power of attorney document with this in mind.
- Long-term care. In addition to putting together the legal documents needed to better ensure the estate is protected and assets are transferred in line with your wishes, those who are nearing or already enjoying retirement should also take into consideration the costs of long-term care. Proactive planning strategies can help to better ensure your estate has limited exposure to nursing home bills and other alternative options that result in long-term care expenses.
It is important to note that you should take into consideration state as well as federal rules and regulations. Both will apply to your estate plan and a failure to account for these rules could result in unintended consequences. As a result, it is wise to seek legal counsel that is familiar with local rules.