Elder Law Attorneys

 

Although there are many different types of lawyers, when it comes to retirement, long-term care issues and estate planning, it is best to seek legal advice from an elder law attorney. These professionals specialize in legal matters that concern older adults and their family caregivers, but it is important to remember that all individuals will face these concerns at some point in their lives. It is never too early to begin planning for your future.

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To find an elder law attorney near you, search the AgingCare.com Elder Law Attorney Directory. We will assist your family with finding a legal professional in your area. This service is provided free of charge.

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Elder Law Services

Attorneys who specialize in elder law can provide legal counsel on matters related to retirement, aging, paying for long-term care, mental competency, probate processes, and more. Some elder law lawyers may pursue further specialization in certain areas like Medicaid planning, but the table below shows the most common legal documents and goals that these professionals assist clients with.

Fields of LawDocuments and Objectives

Health Care Decisions

  • Medical Power of Attorney (POA)/ Health Care Proxy
  • Advance Directive
  • Living Will
  • Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Financial and Benefits Planning

  • Financial Power of Attorney (POA)
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Establishment of trusts for eligibility purposes

Estate Planning

  • Will Preparation
  • Estate Tax and Probate Planning
  • Administration of formal probate processes
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Establishment of different types of trusts

Other Legal Services

  • Guardianship and Conservatorship Matters

How to Pay for an Elder Law Attorney

Legal counsel is paid for privately. For some low-income individuals who cannot afford to hire professional assistance, local area agencies on aging (AAAs), state bar associations and charitable organizations may be able to provide funding for these services or a referral to a provider that might be able to help. Eligible veterans may be able to receive pro bono legal help as well.

All of the sources below can be used to pay for or receive elder law services:

Elder Law Attorney Fees

Charges for legal services can vary widely depending on the nature and extent of the services needed and the expertise of the attorney. Larger cities have a higher cost of living, and this can cause legal fees to be higher in areas like Boston and Chicago. Some attorneys charge by the hour for certain services but use flat fees for others. Professionals who have been practicing and studying law for many years and who specialize in particular areas will generally charge more than a younger lawyer who is still working on building their practice.

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Choosing an Elder Law Attorney

When selecting someone to help you compose important legal documents, it is important to have a good working relationship and confidence in their abilities and ideas. Look for attorneys who participate in continuing education opportunities, have no complaints or instances of misconduct on their record, and who have appropriate certifications or awards that pertain to the services you require.

For more tips on hiring legal help, read How to Select an Elder Law Attorney.