As we can observe, learning about Elder Law is something that is not so interesting for younger individuals – at least, for now – as this practically does not apply to them personally. And you might be thinking the same way. But the thing is, we should realize that we will age in time and that should be enough reason why it makes sense to have some knowledge about this area of the law – all of us, young and old. It can help us when we get old. Aside from that, we can also offer some help for seniors by imparting what we learn as early as today.In our attempt to learn about this thing, Elder Law Attorneys play an important role. They are legal professional who specialize in the area of law that focuses on representing, counseling, and assisting seniors or aged people in a variety of legal issues. Generally, they help seniors in addressing legal, medical, financial, social, and family issues, with emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for them.
Below are some specific issues that Elder Law Attorneys address:
Estate and Gift Tax Planning – they provide this particular service with the purpose of assisting clients to adequately provide liquidity for their estates; provide for continuation of the business and to minimize gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Medicaid – seniors are also assisted whether they are qualified for Medicaid, a government medical program for certain people and families with low income.
Retirement Benefits – this is one of the most important areas that senior individuals should be knowledgeable about and a lawyer who is expert in Elder Law can help to get the most benefits they can possibly get.
Estate Planning and Probate – estate planning, by definition, is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate; probate means legal establishment of the validity of a will before a judicial authority.
Age Discrimination – a very common scenario you can see around particular in work where there is a high rate of layoffs based on age.
Long Term Care Financing – this has something to do with preparation for possible future long-term care needs, which basically rely on ‘self-insured’ resources and the donated ones. An expert Elder Law attorney helps you understand the concepts behind such program and assist you along the way to make the most out of it.
Insurance – attorneys can also help seniors to be able to enjoy insurance benefits; they assist them particularly when it comes to legalities and laws governing insurance policy benefits that are especially designed for seniors.
By learning about Elder Law, it gives us an opportunity to become better prepared for the future. Remember, all of us get old and that is inevitable.
It’s never an easy decision to place a parent or loved one in a nursing home, but in many cases it is the best possible solution for an elderly relative who wants to maintain some degree of independence but who can’t live on his own. Many of today’s facilities are respected places that provide exceptional care, but there is always the chance that your parent could end up as the victim of abuse or neglect. If this is the case that you’re facing, learn when to contact litigation attorneys for help.Elder Law Protects Nursing Home ResidentsFortunately, the government has put various elder law reforms into place as a means of protecting residents and their families. One of the most comprehensive is the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, which outlines the rights of residents, including:
• The availability of resources and services for the highest level of functioning• Freedom from unnecessary restraints, including physical restraint or the use of drugs unless they are prescribed by a doctor for a limited and specific period of time• Privacy, including privacy for visits and telephone conversations• You have the right to have and use your own personal effects as long as they don’t interfere with the rights or the safety of others• The right to be notified in advance of any change in roommate or change in living arrangements such as being moved to a new room• The right to consult with an elder law representative• The opportunity to manage finances and have access to your own money• The ability to set your own schedule for sleeping and rising, eating, choosing your own clothing, and other daily activities• The right to leave at any time• Freedom from coercion, intimidation or fear of reprisal from employeesThere are additional rights outlined in the regulation that could pertain to your loved one. An elder law attorney can go into these with you in more detail and help you select a facility that conforms to all aspects of the Reform Law.When Is A Litigation Attorney Needed?If you suspect that your family member is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should immediately begin monitoring his activities closely. Keep track of his health, level of alertness and needs on a daily basis, including how and when staff members respond to those needs. If you believe that there is a problem, request a meeting with the director of the facility and clearly outline your concerns. The director should be able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, but if you don’t feel things have changed, contact the ombudsperson assigned to the nursing home. This is a patient advocate assigned by the state to handle these kinds of disputes.
If the situation still isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, you should consult with a litigation attorney versed in elder law issues. While you may be able to resolve the problem without going to court, it is best to work with a litigation attorney so that your loved one is represented by a lawyer who can effectively make a case in the event you do have to sue the facility.