While it is impossible to prepare for all aspects of aging, you can take steps to protect yourself in legal matters by using the services of a local Elder Law Attorney. Elder Law is a relatively new term that describes a suite of professional services that have existed for decades. Berry Law Firm is committed to helping you understand the benefits of Elder Law services and helping ensure that your needs and the needs of loved ones are met. We realize that preparing for aging can be an opportunity, rather than a challenge for families.
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What is Elder Law?
The term ‘Elder Law’ can often be confusing because of how widely it is used. People often ask us, “What does Elder Law include?” The short answer is that Elder Law covers a wide array of legal areas related to the elderly and aging. Elder Law is a fast-growing legal practice that focuses on the rights and legal needs of an increasingly diverse population. According to a research study conducted by the Aging Nebraskans Task Force, in Nebraska alone, the population of those 65 and older will surpass 400,000 by 2030. Elder Law Attorneys address the needs of these clients to preserve and ensure the client’s autonomy, safety, and well-being. Few practice areas encompass the range of emotional, practical, and legal considerations that these attorneys often encounter. Some of these practice areas include:
- Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, & POA’s)
- Fiduciary Representation
- Legal Capacity Counseling
- Medicaid Planning
- Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT)
- Residents Rights Advocacy
- Employment & Retirement Rights
- Age/Disability Discrimination
- Litigation & Administrative Advocacy
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
- Health and Personal Care Planning
How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?
Every aging person encounters issues that are difficult to prepare for, but preparation and planning are critical to maintaining peace of mind. Elder Care Attorneys can bridge the gap by applying their experience with the legal issues elders often encounter, utilizing a depth of knowledge to help their clients understand their options, and deliberately plan for the future. Getting ahead of problems can be advantageous, and many clients find it helpful to contact an attorney long before any issues arise.
Seeking out the counsel of an Elder Law Attorney early can help assure that you, your assets, and your loved ones are protected. Most professionals in this field have connections with a variety of elder care professionals and can help you find the best services available to create a comprehensive life plan.
Once you have decided that it is the right time to work with an Elder Law Attorney, it is important to make sure you are hiring the correct person who can effectively protect your rights and identify potential problems. When selecting an attorney for your Elder Law needs, you may want to avoid generalized law firms and look for one who has attorneys focused on the specific issues you face. When meeting with an attorney about Elder Law, good questions to ask are:
- How much of your practice if devoted to Elder Law?
- Which specific area do you specialize in?
- What do you consider a comprehensive legal plan for elders?
- What do you think is the most important legal hurdle for seniors?
- What aspect of Elder Law do most people overlook?
- If something happens to me, who would take over my legal needs?
- How do you calculate your fees?
- Do you provide tax advice in your planning?
- Will you work with my wealth planner?
By asking these questions, you can get an understanding of whether the attorney you are choosing is qualified to handle your situation and the circumstances you may encounter. You can also ensure that the attorney you are meeting with has a vision that is aligned with your vision and that of your family.
Berry Law Firm Can Help
Protecting your future and your assets is a core part of Berry Law Firm’s mission, and our Nebraska Elder Law Attorneys can help give you peace of mind for yourself and your family. We have been committed to serving our clients for over 50 years and have attorneys in both Lincoln and Omaha who can assist in securing the future and legacy you want to create. If you need an Elder Law attorney, please contact our team today.