Numerous and complex issues can arise when senior citizens face special challenges related to medical care, Medicare, care providers, social security, housing and a host of other potential problems. For instance, senior citizens frequently consider special financial tools such as reverse mortgages, and may not be aware of the potential risks and benefits. As medical conditions related to aging populations increase, seniors and their loved ones are often faced with using home health care and nursing facilities.
Another particular area of concern for the aging is the best way to make arrangements in advance for family members or loved ones to have the tools they need in order to care for them. Failure to deal with that possibility can lead to interrupted care in the event of an unexpected decline in someone’s health, or cause family members to face tedious, burdensome and expensive hurdles in the event no arrangements have been made. Seniors can be especially disadvantaged when they are forced to rely on others; they, and/or trusted loved ones should consider the best way to protect themselves before any decline in health occurs. Well-meaning family members frequently dispute the best way to care for their parents or loved ones as they age. Failure to consider the options available to them before problems arise can create strife and heartache among those family members. In some cases, Adult Protective Services intervenes own behalf of the senior in order to address the worst disputes when family discord prevents proper care of the senior. Other times, family members or other loved ones are faced with asking the court to grant guardianship in order to allow them to care for him or her, which is cumbersome and expensive.
In today’s world, many seniors have been married for more than once, and may find themselves facing anticipated arguments between their current spouse and the children from their first marriage. Pre-marital agreements can be misunderstood, both by the spouses and by extended family members. Other times, for various reasons such as a potential loss of income or benefits, seniors choose not marry (or remarry) and decide to live together with their partner. In these cases, it is especially important to consult with a law firm such as ours that is prepared to address both the family law aspect of the case, and the specific legal issues related to elder law. Grandparents' rights is another area of overlap between family law and elder law. Other important areas to consider in these types of cases are estate planning and real estate law. In our firm, when we accept cases of this nature, our attorneys frequently work together and collaborate to achieve the best result we can, taking into account multiple practice areas. There are other issues (and benefits) when a senior is a former member of the military.