Should you work with an elder law attorney?

An elder law attorney may be familiar with many kinds of law, but he or she generally practices and is experienced in elder law. He or she handles legal matters involving estates, planning for guardianship, long-term health care planning, Medicare and Medicaid, wills, trusts and other important matters for aging individuals. Don't let the name of the practice area confuse you, though; elder law attorneys work with people of all ages.

If you're a young adult with many assets or have just started a family, working with an elder law attorney could help you create guardianship plans for your young children or to begin financial planning. If you're an older person approaching retirement, your attorney can help you create a durable power of attorney, draft a living will or even understand your rights if you enter a nursing home.

Elder law attorneys are experienced in this form of law to protect the elderly. They usually charge an hourly rate, although some attorneys give free consultations or charge a flat rate for certain services. Before you hire your attorney, you should take the time to ask about his or her charges and how you'll be billed. In addition to that, you may want to learn more about the attorney's history in law and find out what kinds of documents you need to take up as little of the attorney's time as possible. This saves you money and gets your legal tasks done faster. A good attorney can give you more information on what to expect when you're working together, so you're never caught off-guard or feel taken advantage of.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?," accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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