As you age, you face critical decisions that not only impact your quality of life but the life of your loved ones. Some decisions you might make include how you receive medical care, where you live, and what you want when you pass away.
Many decisions you make have legal considerations too, which is why elder law attorneys are there to help. Elder law attorneys are advocates. They help you make plans, offer advice, and draft legal documents you might need to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones.
What is Elder Law and How Does It Work in Plainview, NY?
The laws of New York have specialized fields – such as family law, tax law, and corporate law. While you have heard of most of these areas, one you may not have heard about is elder law. Elder law handles the legal issues affecting the elderly.
Some areas that elder law covers include:
- Guardianship and Financial Administration – If you became incapable of caring for yourself or you were unable to make decisions due to an illness or incapacitation, how would your estate and personal matters be handled. In these instances, the court is called in to appoint a guardian. While in some cases the court might appoint someone you would have picked yourself, in most cases, you may not receive the guardian you intended. Using your rights, you could select a guardian yourself – thus, ensuring the person who handles your healthcare, personal, and financial decisions are one you trust.
- Advance Directives, Power of Attorney, Living Wills – You have numerous documents that you can draft to help prepare you in case you are incapacitated. An Advance Health Care Directive lets you create wishes for medical treatments if you become incapacitated. This document outlines all care you wish to receive and at what point you want medical professionals to withdraw attention.
- Health Care or Social Security – Another critical area of elder law is Medicare. With an attorney’s help, you can handle disputes over medical care, learn about your patient rights, and apply for Medicare coverage. Also, most elderly individuals rely on Social Security benefits during retirement. If you have issues with Social Security, your attorney may be able to transfer benefits to spouses and dependents to lessen your estate’s value.
- Estate Planning – One of the more commonly used areas of elder law is estate planning and estate administration. Estate planning involves transferring your property to intended beneficiaries upon your death. Estate planning also comes in many forms, including the traditional Will to the trust. When you meet with an elder law attorney, you will discuss which options are best for your estate based on your wishes, estate value, and New York laws.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?
An elder law attorney is an advocate for the elderly. He or she works to protect your rights, but they also handle a variety of legal matters that affect you as you age or become disabled. Your elder law attorney can help with everything from long-term care planning to retirement to Social Security to Medicare and estate planning.
An elder law attorney is more capable of handling sensitive issues as well, including the physical and emotional needs of older adults and even those who are disabled.
Some Ways an Elder Law Attorney Can Help
- Discussing wills and other estate planning documents, including preparation for minors, adults with special needs, probate, and other estate planning issues that can arise
- Creating a durable power of attorney
- Creating a plan for financial planning, housing, and estate or gift tax issues
- Explaining all nursing home options, resident rights, and filing nursing home claims if necessary
- Drafting a living will or creating an advance directive, including the Power of Attorney or long-term planning documents
- Helping locate long-term care facilities or managing assisted living costs
- Helping apply for government benefits, including Medicare or Social Security
- Providing help with financial planning and health care planning
What to Consider When Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
An elder law attorney does not always specialize in all areas that affect the elderly. Therefore, you want an attorney that handles the specific area of elder law you need, but also consider what long-term services they may be able to offer you. It is easier if you have established a long-term relationship with an elder law attorney – in case new issues arise.
Find an Elder Law Attorney in New York Today
If you need an elder law attorney or you want to explore your options for elder law services, contact an attorney in New York that has years of experience handling everything from advance directives to real estate, Medicaid, and estate planning.
The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help you with your long-term planning needs. We help with legal and non-legal issues, including nursing home planning, retirement planning, and long-term care insurance.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today at 516-605-0625 or request more information online.