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At What Age Should a Person Contact an Elder Law Attorney?

Posted on July 28, 2023

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There is no specific age when you should reach out to an elder law attorney, but it’s ideal to start planning your affairs once you reach 60 years. 

At Schlessel Law, we generally advise seeking the services of a skilled Nassau County elder law attorney before you even need one. To maximize the benefits of retaining an elder law attorney, it’s important to start creating or updating your estate plan as soon as possible. 

Despite the practice’s name, elder law attorneys offer a wide range of services that can be helpful to all ages. Elder law attorneys are typically involved in estate and retirement planning, Medicaid and long term care planning, and guardianship cases, among others.

Estate and Retirement Planning

When you think of an elder law attorney, the first thing that comes to mind is estate planning. Elder law attorneys can help in making sure your assets are protected for the benefit of you and your loved ones’. An elder law attorney can also help ensure that your preferred beneficiaries would receive the parts of your estate you want them to get. You can also assign the preferred executor of your estate to avoid the time-consuming probate process. Elder law attorneys can also help establish trusts that would make it possible for your estate to avoid estate taxes wherever applicable.

As part of estate planning, elder law attorneys can also help in planning for your retirement. Some elder law attorneys also offer business succession planning services which help make sure that any businesses you’ve established will pass to the right hands.

Healthcare and Medicaid

As we age, the risk of developing life-threatening medical conditions increases. An elder law attorney can help make sure that your medical needs will be taken care of when the time comes that you cannot make decisions about your care. For this reason, it is essential to consult with an elder law attorney as soon as possible. The older we get, the higher the risk of losing the mental capacity to decide on our affairs due to health conditions.

With the help of an elder law attorney, you can also set up a health proxy who would make decisions about your medical care on your behalf. Elder law attorneys can assure clients that their preferences and best interests will be upheld if they cannot make decisions by themselves. This can happen when a client is in dire need of medical care or is incapacitated.

Without a prior appointed health proxy,  your family might be forced to make tough decisions about your medical care, not knowing what your preference would be in the situation. Should there be a disagreement stemming from a difference of opinion, the court may be forced to intervene.

If you need long-term care, an elder law attorney can help ensure that your assets are protected while ensuring you can avail of government assistance like Medicaid. Long-term care can be expensive and a drain on your finances. An experienced Medicaid planning attorney can help you avoid penalties on your ability to avail government aid and still retain some of your assets.

Guardianship

Parents with minor children want to make sure that their kids are well taken care of. Conversations about what would happen to our loved ones when we pass away are never easy but consulting with an elder law attorney may help. An elder law attorney can help reassure parents that someone they trust will look after their children through a guardianship process. 

Schlessel Law caters to clients in need of elder law services regardless of age. Seth Schlessel, our founding attorney, has dedicated his career to helping people plan their future. We take a careful look at your financial situation and provide you with a plan that best suits your needs.

Our elder law attorneys are available for a consultation and can let you know more about the services we provide. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online form or call us today.

Long Island elder law attorney

When Should I Hire an Elder Law Attorney

When it comes to seeking the assistance of an elder law attorney, many people assume it’s necessary only when a family member falls ill or becomes incapacitated. However, the benefits of consulting an elder law attorney extend beyond late-life planning and can be valuable for individuals in their thirties, forties, and fifties as well.

There isn’t a specific age that dictates when you should seek the advice of an elder law attorney; the earlier you start planning for your senior years, the more options you’ll have to secure your wealth and well-being in the future. Engaging with an elder law attorney sooner rather than later is advisable if you have concerns in the following areas:

  • Health: While you might already have a last will and testament, this document doesn’t address the possibility of incapacitation. An elder law attorney can help enhance your plan by including essential documents like a living will, health care proxy, and powers of attorney, providing protection in case of illness or disability.
  • Family Situation: Initially, estate planning for young couples often revolves around providing for children and selecting the right guardian for them. However, as you age, you may want to engage in multigenerational planning by incorporating provisions for grandchildren or assisting your adult children in establishing their own estate plans.
  • Assets: Many individuals mistakenly spend down their wealth or transfer assets during their lifetime to qualify for Medicaid. An elder law attorney can help you qualify for benefits, devise strategies to navigate the Medicaid lookback period and explore various ways to finance potential nursing home care.

By proactively seeking the guidance of an elder law attorney, you can ensure comprehensive planning for your golden years and make informed decisions about your wealth, health, and the future of your family. Planning early allows you to have a wide range of options and greater peace of mind for the years ahead.

Concern Areas Considerations
Health Consult an elder law attorney to include essential documents like a living will, health care proxy, and powers of attorney to provide protection in case of illness or disability.
Family Situation Engage in estate planning to provide for children and select the right guardian for them.
Assets Seek guidance from an elder law attorney to avoid mistaken spend down of wealth or improper asset transfers to qualify for Medicaid.

What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

Elder law focuses on addressing the unique concerns of elderly individuals. The objective of elder law planning is to assist seniors in achieving financial independence and self-determination through effective financial planning and long-term care strategies. As our aging loved ones approach their golden years, we frequently have questions about their financial situation, assets, estate planning, healthcare, and long-term care alternatives, among other issues.

In New York, an elder law attorney plays a crucial role in assisting seniors with estate planning and long-term care needs. They help create comprehensive estate plans tailored to the individual’s health, financial situation, and family dynamics, including setting up trusts or guardianships and planning for long-term care. An experienced lawyer may also help protect seniors’ assets, ensuring they qualify for government benefits such as Medicaid while assisting in establishing senior guardianships and preparing essential documents like wills, trusts, and special needs trusts.

In addition to estate planning, a skilled New York elder law attorney can guide clients through the intricacies of Social Security benefits, pension plans, and retirement accounts, ensuring financial security during their golden years. By working closely with an elder law attorney, seniors, and their families may be able to navigate complex legal matters, safeguard their assets, and ensure a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their loved ones.

Schlessel Law Firm is committed to providing experienced guidance and personalized solutions for seniors and their families in New York. Our team of elder law attorneys may be able to assist you with estate planning, long-term care, asset protection, retirement planning, and more. Contact us today at (516) 574-9630 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

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